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Tehillim 13:4 talks about the the sleep of death (אִישַׁן הַמָּוֶת), Yeshayahu 26:19 reads something like my dead bodies shall arise--awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust (הָקִיצוּ), Daniel 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to reproaches and everlasting abhorrence.

Sleeping is compared to death: In the Modeh Ani prayer we thank G-d for returning our soul to us after our sleep. Someone once told me the soul releases itself from the body in the dream state, leaving the body as if it were dead.

But is death also comparable to sleeping? Do we pass through a state of sleeping of some sort during the process of t’chiyat hameitim (the resurrection of the dead), when the bodies of the dead will be brought back to life and reunited with their souls. Is the phase between death and this resurrection comparable to a state of sleeping from which one 'awakes'?

Or to put it plain and simple: What does it mean to sleep and awake when referring to death? What's the difference and comparison between death and sleep if one claims the soul leaves the body.

  • I understand the question but note that the gemara says sleep is 1/60th of death (Berekahot 57b) - as such they are quite different – mbloch Jun 24 '18 at 3:36
  • @mbloch I knew about that one, and it shows, because when someone's sleeping that person isn't death. But how come when one's truly death terms like 'sleep' and 'awake' are being used to refer to it? The body and the inner part are being saperated, so it seems it must refer to the inner part, as the body is just a shell, a vehicle for the inner part (soul), right? – Levi Jun 24 '18 at 7:07
  • It is an interesting question indeed. Clearly the neshama ("inner part") doesn't die. – mbloch Jun 24 '18 at 7:19
  • @mbloch thank you, I'll wait and see if someone comes with a proper answer – Levi Jun 24 '18 at 8:22

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