While the cases above speak of rare and uncanny appearances of souls to people who are awake, the appearances of a soul in a dream is a far more common phenomenon. Furthermore, many times, the message which the dead bring is checked and found to be true. Here are two examples:
The veteran teacher Rabbi Chanoch Segel was murdered in the terrorist bombing of the #2 bus in Jerusalem on August 19, 2003. Rabbi Segel had been the teacher of the seventh grade class at the Talmud Torah Torat Emet in Bnei Brak for decades, a man of education in every sense of the word, a master teacher who taught his students the fundamentals of Torah and the skills of study. It was well known that he was extremely vigilant about protecting the property of others as well.
Several months after the bombing, Rabbi Segel appeared in a dream to several members of his family. That night will never be forgotten by one of them, who described it as follows: “Rabbi Segel stood next to the bookshelves in his home. In one hand was a note. Written on the note in large, clear handwriting was the number five. While presenting the note in the dream, the rabbi said to me: ‘The amount is worth fourteen shekels today. I owe this amount to a man named Wein.’”
The excited family member rushed to contact the rabbi’s widow and the two of them tried to determine Wein’s identity – but without success. The vision of the number five added a layer of mystery to the entire incident, as the number itself seemed to describe a very old debt in lire – the Israeli currency used decades ago, pre-dating both the “old” shekel and the currently used “new” shekel.
Ultimately, they succeeded in locating a family named Wein whose four sons had all studied at Torat Emet. The father of the boys was surprised by the call, and began checking with his sons, all of whom were now adults. His second oldest son immediately remembered an incident in seventh grade in which Rabbi Segel collected an extra payment of five Israeli lire from him by mistake.
The family members believe that Rabbi Segel, who had been very careful about the possessions and monies of others, had been granted permission by heaven to be revealed in a dream in order to take care of this small debt.
Testimony of Benny Brownian, Jerusalem, 2000
Another incident of a dead person appearing in a dream in order to cover a debt happened in Jerusalem in 2000, and was documented by those people involved, as reported in the Israeli newspaper BaKehillah:
The third day of the month of Tammuz 5760 (July 6, 2000).
I, the undersigned, verify with this letter the miraculous event that was witnessed by my customers. The important and righteous woman, Rebbetzin Debllinger, died and was laid to rest. After a number of weeks, her sister Lea Weisel saw her in a dream. The deceased began to speak to her like a normal, living person. Her sister was frightened and ran away, but [the deceased] chased after her and said: “Don’t be afraid. Do me a favor. I owe a debt to the owner of the ‘Shalom’ market on Malchei Yisrael Street (Jerusalem). Please pay my debt of 560 shekels. Her sister went to the market and paid the debt.
I verify that this story is true.
Owner of the market, Benny Brownian
I also verify with my signature below that this dream was true and that I paid the debt.
Adapted from The Coming Revolution by Rabbi Zamir Cohen