The following is a translation of a letter received by
To the Central Taharas Hamishpacha Office:
The following story I heard from a good friend and I felt the responsibility
to pass it on to you.
In the town of Emmanuel in Eretz Yisroel (Israel), there lived an
elderly couple, olim (immigrants) from Russia, who were childless. They
lived there for several years, quietly and alone, without any real contact with
other members of the community. Last year, the old man passed away. Except for
the small community, there weren't many who knew him and therefore at the
funeral there was only a minyan (ten men) present, with the help of the
Chevra Kaddisha (burial society).
At the time of burial, the wife of the departed asked that someone eulogize
her husband. Everyone remained quiet because none of them really knew him. The
wife said: "No one is speaking, so I will speak!" Everyone was very quiet as she
said the following words:
"Hirshel, when you go up in heaven and you are asked why you did not bring
children onto this earth, explain to them that in Russia there was no
mikvah. By the time we came to Eretz Yisroel, we were already
Everyone present cried. Even the Chevra Kaddisha, who are already
immune to death, also cried.
This story I heard from Matisyahu Kubalkin, a resident of Emmanuel. I am sure
that this mesiras nefesh (self-sacrifice) of so-called "simple" Jews
must be publicized in order to strengthen others in this area.