[29a top] R’ Chanina: Death is as severe as knotted ropes being pulled through a hole. R’ Yochanan: Death is like boat cables being pulled. [Earlier we had learned that death is as easy and painless as plucking a hair from milk].
R’ Dessler: For the righteous, death can be like pulling a hair from milk, because a righteous person has little connection to the physical world, and happily accepts to lose his physical body. But, a wicked person (who gets caught up in and indulges in the pleasures of the world) will find it very difficult to leave the physical body behind.
Radbichai: The analogies can be viewed the opposite way as well. A Tzaddik craves this world as he knows that this is the only place that is soul is able to actualize the spiritual potential (once in the next world he is ‘set’ in his place), which is why it is very difficult for him to leave. But, since a Rasha only enjoys the materialistic physicalities, when he becomes too old and his body starts to decay, he cannot wait to leave all his troubles behind and rid himself of responsibility.
E’s Lesson: We should always view our time in this world as golden opportunities waiting to be taken. We must never just “kill time” or let Mitzvos slip away. We having amazing potential that we need to theorize and realize, and become the shining gems that Hashem knows we have the capability of being.