A gift that can never be repaid

I was moved by an unexpected event just a couple of days ago.

I attended the funeral of a gentleman that I barely knew, a man who had lived to the ripe old age of 97.  As you can imagine, when you live that long, there aren’t too many of your contemporaries hanging around who can make it to your funeral service.  So naturally, the service drew only a small crowd.

The gentleman was of Jewish faith and his funeral service was held accordingly – something which I had never seen nor been a part of before.

The moment in which I felt most touched was when we were asked to shovel earth onto the coffin in its final resting place.  The act of doing this is known as a mitzvah.  In this instance, burying someone in this way is considered to be a mitzvah of the highest order.  The rabbi explained that it was a gift that could never be repaid, since once you have passed away you are unable to repay any good deed carried out by your friends and family.

As I stepped forward to shovel earth onto this man’s coffin, I felt humbled, saddened and privileged to be able to offer something as simple as this to a man I barely knew.  A mitzvah of the highest order.

Giving a gift of simplicity, with no attachment to it being reciprocated, felt so amazingly pure.

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