Rabbi Earl A. Grollman has a fine book on death and grieving, entitled Talking About Death: A Dialogue Between Parent and Child (Boston: Beacon Press, 1970), in which he tells a famous rabbinic story: “A king once owned a large, beautiful, pure diamond of which he was justifiably proud. It had no equal anywhere. One day the diamond sustained a deep scratch. The king called in the most skilled diamond cutters and offered them a great reward if they could remove the imperfection from the treasured jewel. None could repair the blemish. The king was sorely distressed. After some time, a gifted lapidary came to the king and promised to make the rare diamond even more beautiful than it had been before the mishap. The king was impressed by his confidence and entrusted his precious stone to his care. The man kept his word. With superb artistry he engraved a lovely rosebud around the imperfection and he used the scratch to make…
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