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[Prayer] at the Grave of a Brother or Sister, by Rabbi Moritz Mayer (1866)

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Full of loving recollections I draw nigh unto the grave of my beloved (brother/sister) whose memory can never cease. Oh! that thou has departed from me, that thou hast been taken from me, with whom I was united by the most tender bond of blood and love. My spirit wanders back to the days of our childhood which we passed together, in joy and sorrow, with the most fervent devotion and attachment, when, faithfully clinging to each other, we entered upon the paths of life, and strove towards our aim, and endured together, with the most sincere mutual sympathy, all sufferings and trials. Verily! life was of value to us because we enjoyed it together. And though now and then differences of opinion and intentions would separate us, how quickly would we again extend our hands to each other, and forget all! All at once thou wast taken from me, relentless death tore thee from my arms. Thy picture stands before me and fills me with unutterable woe and longing. Alas! thou shalt never return unto me, and I must wait for the time when we shall be re-united. Then thy spirit as once my hand, will seize mine, and lead me up, and show me the way unto purer light, unto higher joys. Lord! may my (brother’s/sister’s) spirit have attained to eternal peace, that (his/her) heart, satisfied by Thy river of love, be filled with the highest clearness and cheered by the highest salvation! Peace be unto this consecrated spot that contains these remains. Amen.

“At the Grave of a Brother or Sister” is one of thirty prayers appearing in Rabbi Moritz Mayer’s collection of tehinot, Hours of Devotion (1866), of uncertain provenance and which he may have written. –Aharon Varady

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