I have been to far too many funerals.

Maybe it’s a function of getting older and thus having met more people, and it’s probably also the nature of myMourners seem to care about one thing job, but both in my professional and personal capacity, it feels like I’ve experienced an endless cycle of tragedy, grieving, cemeteries and shivah visits.

What has struck me as I sit listening to memories and eulogies is that mourners seem to care about one thing. No matter what people did for a living or the way they passed away, all that everyone left behind wants to talk about is the way they acted toward others.

Some people die young; others at more advanced ages. Some pass away suddenly, while others suffer for years. Rich and poor people; newlyweds and great-grandparents; world travelers and homebodies; atheists, agnostics and believers; investors, wage slaves and home-makers—it doesn’t really matter, because all that people want to remember when you’ve gone is what you were like as a person and how much you did for others.

After you die, it really doesn’t matter anymore what marks you earned on your exams, but I can guarantee that the good times you shared with your schoolmates will live on beyond you. Where you went on your holidays is meaningless, but who’s standing next to you in the foreground of those touristy pictures suddenly means so much more. Your co-workers will miss you less for the value you brought to the firm than for the way you interacted with them during your downtime in the office.

In this week’s Parshah, we read, “Im kesef talveh et ami, et heoni imoch.” Translated literally, this is an instruction from the Torah to lend money toDo you think your money will accompany you on your journey from this world? the poor. However, I recently read a most ingenious homiletic interpretation of these words, attributed to Rabbi Yonasan Eibshutz. He noted that the word talveh,“lend” is etymologically related to the word leviya, “to accompany.” With this variant understanding, the verse reads as a challenge: Do you think your money will accompany you on your journey from this world? No, it’s the people who were with you and the poor people you supported who will be with you into eternity.

It’s not about your money, it’s about your mitzvahs. It is not how much you have, but how much you shared. You can’t take it with you, but you can make sure your loved ones will remember you fondly, and if they do, they’ll remain with you forever.