Mourning by Harold M. Schulweis
Why rend the clothes?
So strange to a tradition
not to break or to destroy
It is for the sake of anger
against the unfairness of the world
anger against him or her, God or self?
Is tearing the cloth to give outer expression
tattered soul within?
Or is it a parallelism
the death of a person like the burning of a Sefer Torah
for which tearing the clothes is performed?
The burial of a human like the burial of a Torah
A human being is like a Sefer Torah
Studied, it has wisdom to impart
Lived, it has goodness to convey.
Rend the garments for the "Torah-mensch"
Each of us a letter in
the Torah scroll
Together our lives are intertwined
Our common fate and faith
our common destiny
find us like the stitches of the parchment
when any of us is lost
The holy text is torn.
In memory we are mended.
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