Translation by Yehoshua Siskin
Today in Israel is Memorial Day for fallen soldiers and victims of terror. A grieving brother who wishes to remain anonymous wrote me as follows:
"When we leave the cemetery we observe two customs. It's one moment before we get into a hot car that was standing in the sun, one moment before looking at our cell phones, one moment before getting back to the world.
The first custom is to place a stone on the grave. A stone symbolizes building. It symbolizes our taking the legacy and the spirit of the one who passed away and building the world in his light. A flower fades but a stone endures.
But there is one more custom: On leaving the cemetery, we wash our hands. We take a vessel and fill it with "living" water that symbolizes blossoming and growth. We pour the water over our hands that represent creative work.
I once went on a group tour of Mount Herzl and happened to meet Miriam Peretz there. She lost two sons to war and, turning to our group, spoke as follows : 'Stones and living water are not just meant as customs. They incorporate a perspective that we must take with us as we venture forth from this holy day.'
In the memory of my brother, in the memory of them all."