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Should I Feel Guilty?

Monday, 24 June, 2019 - 9:50 pm



You know me, I always feel guilty about something. Since my mother died, I feel guilty every time I have fun or even go to the hairdresser, as if I have no right to enjoy my life now that her life has ended. I know this isn't healthy but I can't seem to let myself live. Are there any Jewish teachings on this that might help me?




The only thing you should feel guilty about is feeling guilty. Not only is it holding you back, it's holding your mother's soul back too.


The connection we have with a loved one reaches beyond this lifetime. It is a soul connection, a bond deeper than the physical and temporary confines of the body. Just as souls never die, so too our relationship with a soul never ceases. The conversation between souls continues, albeit on a more subtle and internal way. 


And it goes both ways. Your mother still loves you, and at times you will be able to actually feel her closeness. She also feels what you are going through, and is impacted by your state of mind. If you aren't happy, if you aren't thriving and moving ahead in life, it hurts her. Especially if it is her memory that is causing your stagnation. 


But when you forge ahead and live on, when you make the most of your time down here and do good for yourself and others, she gets nachas, and her soul can be at rest. You are not forgetting her when you live on, you are honouring her. When you find your way forward, her soul can find peace. She is only free to move on to her place of rest when you feel free to move on in your own life journey. 

Rather than feeling guilty about feeling guilty, take a step towards feeling good, that you are alive and that you can continue the path that your mother set you on. If you are living a life of meaning and purpose, you can even allow yourself to enjoy going to the hairdresser, guilt-free. Your mum would be proud of that too.


Good Shabbos, 

Rabbi Moss



Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 394

Toras Menachem - Menachem Tzion p 553

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