LifeCycle Events: Death, Burial, and Bereavement: The Soul After Death:
According to Jewish tradition, does the soul goto heaven immediately when someone dies?
The idea that the soul remains near the body for three days after a person
dies is mentioned in the Talmud Yerushalmi (Moed Katan 3:5): "For three
days the soul hovers over the body, thinking it may go back into it, but
when it sees that the appearance of the face has changed, it departs". The
codes (see Beis Yosef on Tur Yoreh Deah 380) cite this as the reason for
being more stringent about observing some of the laws of mourning during the
first three days.
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