In late August, my wife and I flew to New York for an extended weekend. While at a family get-together in Long Island, I asked my son if he was available to drive us to New Brunswick, New Jersey, where my parents were buried. I had not been to the cemetery Ahead of us were lines of parked carsfor several years, and felt the need to visit. My parents have been deceased for over 45 years.

The next morning, I dressed casually in shorts and a T-shirt for the trek to rural New Jersey.

During every one of my previous visits, the cemetery had been quiet and empty, but not this time. Ahead of us were lines of parked cars and tables filled with beverages and cakes. The area was filled with black suited, bearded men and modestly dressed women.

The sound of singing—or was it praying?—was in the air. We drove a little further, until we saw a sign that we were at the Jewish Postal Workers section. Cane in hand, I navigated over the rocky terrain searching for my parents’ graves.

A man dressed in a black hat and coat approached me and asked, “Do you need any help?”

I told him that I was looking for the graves of Sally and Jacob Bruch. He yelled out to his comrades in Yiddish, a language I do not understand, and a handful of men arrived to join the search. “Here it is!” yelled a young man triumphantly, pointing to my parents’ gravestones.

As I made my way to my parents’ graves, I politely thanked everyone for their assistance. I thought that I was done with all these people, but that was not to be the case. The same man who made contact with me earlier approached with more questions: “Would you like a minyan? Would you like to say kaddish for your parents?”

When I visit my parents’ graves, I am usually at a loss, unsure what to say and what to do. Are there prayers I should be saying? Should I be reading Psalms, and if so, which ones? Do I have a chat with them? What do I say?

And so I said to this man, “I would very much appreciate having a minyan.”

The man shouted out to his friends, and I soon had more than enough men around me to say kaddish. My newly found religious advisor now suggested that he say the kaddish and I repeat it after him. I think I surprised him and the entire group when I answered, “If I can see a siddur, I’ll be okay.”

A siddur soon emerged, already opened to the kaddish prayer, and I had no trouble reciting it. After the last “Amen,” my minyan began to scatter.

Curious, I asked my new friend, “What group do you guys belong to?”

He explained that they were Spinka Chassidim. Their origins were from Romania, and they came to America after WWII. He explained that today was the yahrtzeit of their rebbe, who died 20 years ago in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

I thanked the man for all his help, and we wished each other well. I returned to the car where my wife was waiting"Would you like a minyan? patiently. I was quiet in the car, for I could not express how much this experience had meant to me.

In the many years that I have been attending the Lubavitch synagogue on Milwaukee’s East Side, I have often heard Rabbi Israel Shmotkin talk about how important it is to help a fellow Jew do a mitzvah. At the cemetery on that very warm summer day, it was I who was the recipient of kindnesses from other Jews. I am grateful that the Spinka chassidim were present, and provided me with what I needed—to have a meaningful Jewish experience at my parents’ graves.