Sunday, April 04, 2010

One Pair of Socks

I really liked the following story, so decided to share (taken from the Sephardi Hebrew Congregation of Cape Town's Communal Directory & Diary):

Edward Reichman died in Jerusalem after a long illness at the age of 80 years old. He was a real estate tycoon who had become a billionaire. When he passed away, he left a vast fortune worth billions of dollars. He left 2 wills directing that one be opened immediately and that the other one to be opened 30 days later. Among the instructions left in his first will was the request that he be buried with a certain pair of socks he owned. The Reichman children immediately brought the socks to the Chevra Kadisha (Wikipedia definition here), requesting that their father be buried in them. Of course the Chevra Kadisha refused, reminding the family that it is against Halacha (Jewish law). They pleaded explaining that their father was a very pious and learned man, and he obviously had a very good reason to make this request. The Chevra Kadisha remained firm in their refusal.

The family frantically summoned the Chevra Kadisha to the Beit Din (Wikipedia definition here) where the great Rav explained to them "Although your father left that request when he was in this world, now that he is in the world of truth, he surely understands that it is in his best interests to be buried without the socks."

Mr. Reichman was buried without his socks.

30 days later, the second will was opened and it read something like this: "My dear children, by now you must have buried me without my socks. I wanted you to truly understand that a man can have 1 billion dollars, but in the end, he can't even take along one pair of socks!"

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