Rough or Nice?
[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.
T’s Lesson#1: We must remember that this world is only an illusion; we should not try to hold onto the garments which are our bodies (so as not have to experience ultimate pain when the garment is left behind). We must look for the smooth Mitzvos which will ensure a more pleasurable and seamless transition to the true existence in Olam Haba (the world to come).
The Presence to Meet
[29a top] R’ Levi: Whoever goes from Shul to the Beis Medrash and from Beis Medrash to Shul will merit to greet the Shechinah (G-d’s presence). Artscroll: This person who goes right from davening to learn and right back to Shul when the time for prayers arrives is not wasting any time and is devoted to learning and praying. That is why he merits Hashem’s presence (as he is constantly engaged in the service of G-d while Davening or learning).
T’s Lesson#2: We should try not to rush out after Davening, but instead try to dedicate time to serve Hashem. We should show that we too are engaged in the service of Hashem always, and hopefully merit to greet the presence of Hashem in the afterlife. We should try not to waste time on meaningless pursuits or time fillers, as these will not be considered time used to the service of Hashem.