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An individual soul’s assigned task of Avodas Habirurim is completed when all the sparks associated with the soul have been refined.  After that, there is no purpose for the soul to be in the lowly body, the skin of the snake.  The holy sparks that were trapped in that skin have been refined, and all that remains is the shell, the klipos.  At that point, the soul can shed this skin.  This is what happened at the Giving of the Torah, when Hashem’s speech caused the souls of the Children of Israel to fly out of their bodies.  Explains the Rebbe, this phenomenon “is something which testifies to the fact that they arrived at the completion of the Avodah as a soul in a body (and therefore ‘their souls flew out’).”

What this all means is that a time arrives when the soul has completed its Avodah in the body and thus it has no further need to be in the “prison of the body” so therefore it can leave—which appears to our eyes as death or histalkus.  (As mentioned earlier, the ultimate intent is indeed a soul in a body—but not the lowly body of this world.  Instead, the intent is the pure and holy body of the Resurrection of the Dead.)

There is an expression of our sages that is brought in many of the Lag B’Omer Chassidic discourses: hai alma d’azlinan minei—which means “this world which from which we go”.  The intention (as explained in the discourses) is that the only purpose of the soul in this world is to “go” from this world, to achieve a higher level after having completed the task of refinement, Avodas Habirurim.  When the Avodah is done, there is no longer any purpose in remaining here.  The ultimate state of eternal life in a body is something infinitely loftier, as will be explained.

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