The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 21 November 2009 / 3 Kislev 5770

A Graveside Wish

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

A touching story circulated in Jerusalem soon after the recent passing of Rabbi Shlomo Lorincz, of blessed memory. This distinguished activist, who served for many years as the representative of the Torah community in the Israeli Knesset, was an accomplished Torah scholar who studied in his later years together with a neighbor in the Kiryat Mattersdorf neighborhood of Jerusalem.

This neighbor was Rabbi Simcha Wasserman, of blessed memory, a highly respected Torah educator. When Rabbi Wasserman passed away more than a decade ago Rabbi Lorincz instructed his family to purchase a burial plot next to that of his beloved learning partner. Since Rabbi Wasserman left behind no children, the Lorincz family was instructed that whenever psalms would be recited at his graveside, a psalm should also be recited at the neighboring grave even if it was not on the yahrzeit anniversary of Rabbi Wasserman's death when such psalms are traditionally recited by his survivors.

The family of the deceased traditionally comes to his grave at the end of their shiva mourning period. But that day was Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan when such a visit is not made. The first opportunity to do so was on the second day of Cheshvan which turned out to be the yahrzeit of Rabbi Wasserman.

A graveside wish that Heaven fulfilled in such a touching way.

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