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On the Sabbath my dead husband comes to take me to the

memorial service for his soul, a service to be held in the syn-

agogue. I don't have a car and there are no busses running to-

day, nor do I have money for a taxi. The thorns at the roadside

do not sway to any breeze, the bathers at the sea are surprised

to see the black flag atop the lifeguard's booth and don't re-

turn to shore, and we drive and drive. He says nothing. Pale

and thin, he's come from the land of the dead. We keep on

driving. The synagogue where his parents pray is far away, thus

we travel by car, thus we cross the boundary of the Sabbath,

we desecrate the Sabbath. What cancels what? To go through

with the memorial service, or honor the Sabbath by resting?

But what rest can there be on the Sabbath when the wars

are at each of the One Hundred Gates, and we can't get to

the sea?

      Don't worry, he says to me. The Yeshiva boys prayed at the

Cave of Machpelah on the Sabbath, while I worked on the Sab-

bath for the sake of my people. The Yeshiva boys live, while I

and Zvika and Ofer are dead, and you are afraid of desecrating the

Sabbath? Interpreters of the law arise in every generation.

Perhaps the nation has been redeemed, but we have no rabbi

and no redeemer.

Click here for a Wikipedia page (in Hebrew) about Rachel's life and work.