Mourning by Harold M. Schulweis
The Hebrew word for funeral is "levaish" - which means to escort, to accompany
It draws attention to those who come to the grave
to the family and friends
who do not abandon the deceased.
We who come are witnesses of the goodness and immortal remembrances
of a life lived.
We who come to the "levaish" are Levites,
loyal attendants who serve the mourners, who come with stories, anecdotes,
events recalled of the person now deceased but whose words and embraces
are part of our own life.
We Levites are the keepers of the sanctuary of the soul, the remembrances,
the living testimony that this person made a difference to us and ours.
We who escort the deceased to the resting place escort the mourners as well
to the graveside and back to the home and synagogue
to the land of the living we help light the candle
in honor of the deceased we help light the candles
to lead the bereaved out of the darkness into the sun,
into the promise into tomorrow.
* This document, or any portion thereof, may not be reproduced without the written permission of the author.