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Cemeteries with Invisible People

Rabbi Yehoshua Alt

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Rabbi Alt merited to learn under the tutelage of R’ Mordechai Friedlander Ztz”l for close to five years. He received Semicha from R’ Zalman Nechemia Goldberg Ztz”l. Rabbi Alt has written on numerous topics for various websites and publications and is the author of the Sefer, Fascinating Insights: Torah Perspectives On Unique Topics. His writings inspire people across the spectrum of Jewish observance to live with the vibrancy and beauty of Torah. He lives with his wife and family in a suburb of Yerushalayim where he studies, writes, and teaches. The author is passionate about teaching Jews of all levels of observance.

Cemeteries with Invisible People

In the Bracha said before entering a cemetery, we say מספר כלכם, Hashem can count the number of bodies in the cemetery. The Ksav Sofer asks that we too can count the number of bodies there. If so, what is it that we are attributing to Hashem?


We have seen throughout history righteous people that have died young.[1] What would be a possible reason for this?


There are those that accomplish in a few hours what it takes others days and weeks to accomplish. The Yerushalmi[2] records the eulogy of R’ Zeira on R’ Bun bar R’ Chiya who died at a young age. He concludes that R’ Bun exerted himself in Torah study for 28 years, learning more than the amount of a talmid vasik (conscientious student) would fail to learn in a century. So one who accomplishes a great amount can fulfill his mission in this world sooner and thus can die earlier. This is one reason righteous people can die young.


There are those individuals who accomplish an extraordinary amount in their life which comes out to the equivalent of what many other people together achieve in their lifetime. As a result, these individuals are considered to be more than one person. Only Hashem knows how to count that.


In a similar vein, there are those who affected many people by what they did in this world—the chessed they did, sefarim they authored, etc. Consequently, they have a part in the lives of many people. Hashem is the one who knows how to count that!

[1] Some examples are the Arizal (1534-1572), the Ramchal (1707-1746) R’ Nachman of Breslov (1772-1810) and R’ Meir Shapiro (1887-1933).

[2] Brachos 2:8.

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