Thursday, October 27, 2005


There are certain acts that are simply ... well, you know ... selfless! Acts that are done with no thought of payment or recognition! That in effect say ... 'I am doing this because it is the only decent and helpful thing I know to do'; it is at once a "kiddush Ha Shem" (sanctification of The Name) and a way of saying through one's actions that ... in doing this for you, I expect nothing and will accept nothing in return. It is the ultimate act of friendship.

I have such a friend.

Thursday, November 23, 2000 Thanksgiving Day, Ben's mom and I-together with a few family friends-met in the office of the funeral director to make the awful but painfully necessary arrangements to lay our son to final rest. The worst part of these arrangements was in having to purchase the casket. We chose one that was simply dignified-adorned with nothing more than a "magen David" a "star of David" (though it is better translated as "shield of David").

That Thanksgiving day was a dreadful one indeed. A quiet, calm and somber confusion. Countless things having to be accomplished. There was so little time before Friday. Many hands pitched in! A time when the angelic reflection of our souls brilliantly shone! A friend from shul prepared enough meals for me that lasted several days thereafter. A dear friend flew in from Canada. We were all so frenzied that I recall feeling emotionally suspended. An unreality that lasted until I heard the first shovelful of earth hitting the casket.

Each one comforting the next, quietly dreading the coming morning. No one was left alone. No one!

Ben was watched over by a "shomer"-literally a " watchman" who sat next to the casket all night while reading "Tehilim"-the Book of Psalms. The soul rising higher...

This particular shomer had known Ben, who he was, where he had lived, having on occasion conversed with him, seen him in shul next to me, discerned in Ben a fierce loyalty to family and friends, the kind of person for whom one prays that his soul have an "aliyah" -that it ascend to even greater heights.

Earlier that same day this shomer had sat by me whilst arrangements…

whose later act of selflessness that night comforted me-whose "tefilos"-prayers on behalf of my son, I am quite sure, reached the divine ear!

I have such a friend!
Thank you ... Harv!

*shomer ... watchman

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