jewish +/- irani

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Ethical Will

by Rabbi Yissocher Frand

Recently, I saw a collection of ethical wills in book form. The anthology covers a span of generations, some are almost contemporary and others are from quite long ago. They have one thing in common: They are amazing documents.
One person writes, "I sit here in the still of the night, with the lamp on my desk spilling a small island of light in the silent gloom, and I do not know what to write. I had decided to write a letter to my family to be read after my passing, but I realize now that we are really not much of a family. We do not talk much to each other, and we do not have very much in common. I think I will have to write one letter to my wife and separate letters to each of my children."
Awful, isn't it? This person thought everything was going along normally in his family. And then he sat down to write an ethical will and realized that he could not address them as a group because they were not a group. They were strangers to each other. How heartbreaking. How tragic. Read more...


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