To what can life be compared? To a bucket that is dropped in a pond. When it first enters the water, it is empty. But when it is drawn back up to the owner, it returns full. So too, when we enter the world, we have no mitzvot to our name. But when we return, we have a lifetime full of good thoughts, kind words, and noble deeds. (Kohellet Rabba)


"The ultimate foundation and pillar of wisdom is the realization that there is a first Being, without beginning or end, who brought everything into existence and continues to sustain it. This Being is G‑d." (Maimonides, Yesodei HaTorah 1:1)


"The sum of all evidence is this: Revere G‑d and keep His commandments; for this is the purpose of the life of man." (Ecclesiastes 12:13)


"G‑d has compassion like a father and comforts like a mother." (Pesikta Rabbati 139a)


"Every Jew is full of mitzvot like a pomegranate is full of seeds." (Beraishit Rabbah 32:10)


"The Holy One, Blessed be He, does not withhold reward from any creature, for any positive act." ( Talmud-Bava Kama 38)


Once upon a time, a wise man went to the docks to watch as ships entered and left the port. He noticed that, as one ship sailed out toward the open sea, all the people on the dock cheered and wished it well. Meanwhile, another ship entered the port and docked. By and large, the crowd ignored it.

The wise man addressed the people saying, "You are looking at things backwards! When a vessel leaves, you do not know what lays ahead or what its end will be. So there really is no reason to cheer. But when a vessel enters the harbor and arrives safely home, that is something to make you feel joy."

Life is that journey and we are the vessel. When a child is born, we celebrate. When a soul returns home, we mourn. Yet if we viewed life on earth the way the wise man viewed the ship, perhaps we too could say, "The vessel has gone on its journey, it has weathered the storms of life, it has finally entered the harbor and now it is safely home." (Midrash, Shemot Rabbah)