[25a top] R’ Shimon son of Elazar: If a person is in the room when someone passes away, the individual must rip a piece of his/her clothing (Kriah). This is compared to a Torah that gets burned (Heaven forbid), which one must also do Kriah for. Rashi: A Torah is compared to a person because the Torah is called Light and a Neshama (soul) is called the candle of a man. Marsha: The Neshama “lights up” the Guf (body). RambaN: Every soul in a body is like another letter on the parchment of a Torah, and when one goes missing it is as if a Torah is being burned in front of us.
E’s Lesson (based on R’ Tatz): Just as every single letter is integral to the Kosher status and proper functioning of a Torah, so too each and everyone of us has a special specific purpose and mission in this world. We are all individuals but must work together as a well oiled machine. We must each recognize that we are only tiny screws in a giant machine, but if one screw was lost or missing the entire unit would cease to function. We must feel great self-worth in helping to accomplish the greatest good in this world together, but always remember that we are extremely limited if we try to serve just our own selfish needs.