Lessons from the grave

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4 Responses

  1. One Christian's perspective says:

    “We owe Randy Pausch and Tony Snow an immense debt of gratitude for their courage, eloquence and examples of how living well is the best preparation for death. The debt will be even greater if they spur Jews to examine their own tradition concerning death and dying.” – Jerusalem Post on August 21, 2008.

    While the story was sweet, encouraging and uplifting, I found myself pausing suddenly. Having been involved in a ministry at church that prepares and serves receptions for families mourning the loss of a loved one after a memorial service in the honor of the deceased, I have witnessed a variety of responses to death and dying and have found all to be unique, personal, sometimes uplifting and sometimes sad. Some of our dying members actually planned their own celebration of life and homegoing with great joy and anticipation while others too sick and sad, simply wanted to go home. I am just beginning to understand that death is an experience we will all suffer in a way unique to us – our emotional DNA, our circumstances – are we alone in this, how close we have become to G-d in the sweet moments of dying. Some church members who have had a long and rich walk with the L-RD just simply and quietly want to go home. Is there a preparation for death, one wonders ? There is a transition from living fully the life G-d has given us to His Glory to another place no one on earth has written about from actual experience. Everything about each one of is unique in G-d’s eyes. Death is G-d’s story of a greater reality of being in His presence. Moses climbed a mountain while in good health to be buried by G-d and experienced something too wonderful for words. The walk up the mountain prepared him .

  2. Harry Maryles says:

    If someone tells you there is wisdom among the Gentiles – believe him.(Eicha Rabba 2:13).

    I too was inspired by these two individuals.

  3. tzippi says:

    Re One Christian’s perspective: at the risk of sounding trite, the preparation for death is life.

  4. Ben Yehoshua says:

    Strange reading. I seem to remember having read something by Rabbi Wolbe where he disapproved of using non-Lewish psychologist insights or ideas of non-Jewish thinkers in teaching Torah.

    I am well aware that it has been done throughout the ages and, of course, it all depends to whom one addresses onself but, somehow, even an excellwent article like this, for all its inspiration and positive lessons, from the pen of a Charedi-Yeshivish writer like Jonathan Rosenblum, does not seem quite right. And, on the other hand, I probably agree, that it was good to have this article.

    This is just another example of the dichotomy that has to be faced in our ongoing strivings to balance our Torah im Derech Eretz.

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