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Chabad Richmond explores ‘Journey of the Soul’

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 12:40 PST, Wed January 20, 2021

Chabad Richmond is exploring life and death in a unique online course starting next month. 

From the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute (JLI), Journey of the Soul: A Fresh look at Life, Death and the Rest—In Peace, is a six-session course offered on Zoom beginning Feb. 3 or Feb. 4 at 7:30 p.m. and then each Wednesday or Thursday following until mid-March.

The sessions answer the question every self-reflective person has asked: “What happens when we die?”

Sign-in information will be provided at the time of registration by calling 604-277-6427 or visiting Special reduced cost is $40 per person and includes a textbook. 

“Participants will embark on a journey that will enlighten them and put them at ease with the topics of life and the afterlife. Practical and powerful, thoughtful and relatable, Journey of the Soul teaches a Jewish perspective on life, that begins before birth and lasts well after a person’s passing,” said Rabbi Yechiel Baitelman, director of Chabad Richmond and local JLI instructor. 

“Death is both mysterious and inevitable,” added Baitelman. “Understanding death as a continuation of life reveals the holiness of life, while putting everything in a dramatically new context. The soul is on one long journey that is greater than each particular chapter.” 

According to Baitelman, “Journey of the Soul” considers what happens to the soul at birth and again at death. It ponders whether there is a better place after this one; whether our loved ones continue to connect with us; the Jewish understanding of reincarnation; and how to relate to an afterlife even if we’re not spiritual.  the program is designed to appeal to people at all levels of knowledge, including those without any prior experience or background in Jewish learning.  

Doctors and most mental health professionals may also earn continuing education credit by attending the course. Visit to complete an accreditation statement. 

“The discounted cost of $40 per person takes into account COVID-19, and the fact that so many people have faced illness, job loss, reduced incomes, and other challenges. While this is far below the regular price of the course, we ask you to please consider adding a donation of any size to help defray the course costs, if you are able to,” added Baitelman. “And feel free to try the first class for free with no commitment.”

The subtitle of Journey of the SoulHow to look at life, death, and the rest—in peace, is indicative of an approach to the topic which is at once serious, but also relaxed and sometimes even whimsical. “The topic of death and the afterlife is one that has always fascinated thinking people,” explained Rabbi Naftali Silberberg of JLI’s Brooklyn headquarters. “But particularly during these tumultuous times when, sadly, so many have lost loved ones to COVID, the need has become even more pressing for a course that presents the uplifting Jewish perspective on mortality, death, and the after-life.”

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