Dear hive mind: on this Independence Day I am thinking, not about death (I think about that every day) but about Death. Specifically I am thinking of something His Holiness Neil Gaiman said in the preface to Death: The High Cost of Living about a Kabbalistic story that says the beauty of the Angel of Death sucks your soul out through your eyes. That sounds good, and I wouldn't dream of suggesting that Neil doesn't know his extrabiblical systems of thaumaturgy, but I can't find the text to which he refers or indeed any other references to it. The Talmud says that the Angel of Death has twelve wings and lots and lots of eyes, and that he kills you by letting a drop of gall fall into your mouth from the tip of his sword. He also says that "Only for the sake of the honor of mankind do I not tear off their necks as is done to slaughtered beasts," which is big of him, but again we see that the focus seems to be on the mouth and the throat, which makes sense, as that's where words come from and it is words that distinguish us from the dumb beasts. The dumb beasts all have eyes (Bela, for example, has eyes right at this moment) but they can't talk.
So does anyone know any good stories about this eye thing? (Besides the end of Indiana Jones, and I know you were thinking it, OK.) They don't have to be from Jewish tradition, though I would be interested to know what the heck Neil was talking about. Is there a tradition in which the soul exits the body through the eyes? I'm asking for a friend.