The second thing Rabbi Riemer encouraged his congregants to say more often is “I love you”. To make his point Rabbi Telushkin narrates the following story:
Once, a man stood at the grave of his wife following her funeral. After
some time had passed the Rabbi who conducted the service gently tried to coax
the grieving widower back to his car.
“You don’t understand, Rabbi,” the man wept. “I loved her.”
“I know you loved her,” the rabbi responded, “but you really should go home
now and try to rest.
“But I loved her, Rabbi” the man continued. “I loved her…and once, I almost
Of course this is exaggerated and meant to make us smile. However Rabbi Telushkin reminds us that it is important to utter these simple words every now and again to the people who are dear to us.
I once read of someone who always made sure he and his wife had not quarelled – or had made ammends if they had argued – before he left his home. He emphasized that we never know what the future had in store and he didn’t want to feel sorry for the rest of life in case anything happened to her.
This struck me as a very sound piece of advice and one that we can extend to parents, children and close friends.