I would like to share some reflections I wrote about after officiating a funeral this past week.

“The thud heard on the coffin as the gravesite begins to be filled is always a stark reminder of the fragility of life. Jewish tradition has those gathered at the gravesite assisting in this precious Mitzvah, doing one final act of kindness for the departed.

It often takes a short while to complete.

We stand watching as the gravesite fills up, time almost standing still for those few moments. All the errands and stresses of daily life disappear, albeit for a short period, as we reflect on the things that actually matter in life.

Observing the bereaved family, tears rolling down their faces, coming to terms with their loss. Pondering the end of one’s own physical existence, noticing that the body, which now lies beneath the earth, is no more. A sense of futility may arise.

There is, however, much hope and comfort.

Yes, a void has now been created. Yes, there is a finality to it all. But there are beautiful things that remain. The experiences of life – those can never be lost. The love shared. The laughter enjoyed with others. The kindness bestowed to those in need. Our good deeds and values will always remain with those we influenced and touched in our life time. These also travel along with the soul. Let’s create more experiences. Let the thud awaken us to remember what actually counts at the end of the day…”

Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom and a restful weekend!

Rabbi Daniel Rabin

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