"And Yahveh said to Moses, Your days approach that you must die." Deuteronomy 31:14
Rabbi Shimon ben Halafta went to a circumcision, at which the father made an impressive feast. After serving
a very old bottle of wine to the guests, the father proudly proclaimed that he would age a portion of this wine for the future
joyful occasions of his son. Upon leaving the feast, the sage encountered the Angel of Death, who seemed to be in a "happy
mood." He questioned the Angel as to the source of his merriment. The Angel responded that he was laughing at the foolishness
of human beings. He explained that this man, who had promised to put away wine for the future, would actually be dead in less
than thirty days. The sage then asked the Angel to show him his own time of death. The Angel responded, "I have no power over
you or other righteous people like you. Yahveh delights in your good deeds and He, therefore, adds days to your originally
predetermined life-span," as it says in Proverbs 10:27, "the fear of Yahveh adds days."
We are placed on this earth to fulfill a purpose. When that mission has been completed, we should undertake
new spiritual endeavors, so that they may serve as a reason for our continued life. With this thought in mind, we might view
opportunities for new spiritual tasks as a special gift from Yahveh for prolonged life.