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    The melody lingers

    A remarkable feature of the Jewish calendar is the fact that the day before a festival has a special name, Erev Yom-Tov, because we begin sensing the atmosphere of the festival even before it has arrived.

    The day after the festival also has a name, Is’ru Chag, because the festival lingers for a while even when it is technically over.

    This week the Is’ru Chag is the day after Shavu’ot. It is like a steam train, which still glides along for a while even if the steam has been cut off.

    In Jewish life we experience this every week, when the end of Shabbat does not totally switch off the Shabbat atmosphere because we have a Melaveh Malkah.

    We can even apply this thought to the life of a human being. We know that no one lives forever and one day a person will die, though we pray that it will not happen until they are at least 120 years old. Those who survive a person who has died must feel their presence – not for just an hour or a day, but as long as we live.

    When anything happens we ought to ask, “How would x (the person who has died) handle this moment?”

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