Editor's note: Koby Mandell was just thirteen on May 8th, 2001 (15 Iyar) when he and his friend Yosef Ishran cut school to go hiking. Their bodies were found the next day. The boys had been brutally stoned to death in a cave in the heart of the Judean desert. This week, May 7 2012 (15 Iyar), marks the yahrzeit of the two boys. May their memory be for a blessing.

Rabbi Dov Ber of Mezeritch, a disciple of the Baal Shem Tov (Israel ben Eliezer, the eighteenth century founder of Chassidism) taught that a "person needs to regard himself as if he were nothing. Forget yourself in every way...Only then will you be able to attain the ultimate preparation – which is the same as the world of consciousness, for there, everything is equal, life and death, sea and dry land." Yet we are created to be in relationship with G‑d, to be full partners. Every person is obligated to say, "The world was created for me" (Sanhedrin 37a.) So we also must think well of ourselves, recognize the divinity within us.

I want to value each moment given to me, for me and Koby We must be full and empty at the same time. Death, if you let it, teaches you how to do this.

A friend who is caring for a child who is an invalid and mentally impaired tells me: "Your love for Koby is a deeper love because you don't get anything from him. You still have a relationship. You have a relationship with his soul. Your love is less selfish because you are the one who keeps giving."

She's wrong about not getting anything from him. I do get something from him. I am full and empty. I lose the love, the joy, the security of an intact life. But I learned the beauty of surrender. I gain each moment, the ability to enter the moment because I want to value each moment given to me, for me and Koby.

Humility means that I recognize that one day even grieving will assume its proper proportion. In time, I will learn to give death its measure, and no more. Koby is more present in my life now than he has ever been. Not an hour goes by that he is not in my head and heart. Every morning I rise to his death and every evening I go to sleep with it. The trick is to forbid death to be more present than life, not to forsake my life and my other children for the memory of all that I have lost. I need to focus my love and attention on my children and husband who are here with me.

Humility can help me do that, let go of the pain.

The Jewish calendar can help me do so. Koby died during the seven-week period between Passover and Shavuot, the period of the Omer (meaning a measurement or small quantity). This period between the time of harvest and the first fruits is a period of vulnerability and anxiety because it is during this period that our quantity of food for the whole year is determined. It is also a time of calamity in Jewish history. Fourteen thousand of Rabbi Akiva's students were struck with a plague during the Omer. Even today, it is a period of mourning for the Jewish people. It is customary to observe certain mourning practices during this time, for example haircuts and weddings are not permitted until after Shavuot. An exception is made on the day of Lag B'Omer, the thirty-third day of the forty-nine day period of the Omer, since this day (when the plague ceased and the students of Rabbi Akiva stopped dying) is considered a joyous time.

Our tragedy occurred on the thirtieth day of the Omer count.

Humility is not a passive quality. Humility requires strengthEach week of this count in the Jewish tradition corresponds to an emotional quality. The week that Koby died was the week of hod, which means splendor. Kabbalists associate the word hod with the words "to thank," "to acknowledge," or "to admit." Hod indicates the ability to surrender to G‑d, to humble oneself in the face of G‑d's greatness and His plan. Humility is not a passive quality. Humility requires strength, an ability to stand before G‑d's greatness and surrender to it, not out of weakness but out of respect, recognition, and awe of all that G‑d is. Sometimes humility is like light moving through a projector. The light first has to be condensed in the darkness before it can be projected. Only then can we see the image, the story, the meaning.

When Rabbi Brovender spoke to bereaved parents at a family healing retreat run by our Foundation, he said that our experiences were hard to communicate. We had experienced the traumatic deaths of our children, but these deaths were also part of Jewish history, connecting us to the sweep of history. As such, the deaths of our children and our experiences had a kind of grandeur to them.

Perhaps the strength of humility is the ability to bow to the grandeur of what we have experienced - to be humble enough to see the majesty of G‑d's power in our lives, to be humble enough to see beyond our tears.