True Self- Sacrifice

True Self- Sacrifice
The following is a translation of a letter received by our offices

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 too old!"

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.

Thank you,

B. Kirshnzaft  

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