The Tombstone With Three Dates

One site I love to visit in Israel is David and Paula Ben Gurion’s tombs in the Negev.

Sitting with a group along some stone steps as we looked toward the tombs, our guide said, “The inscription on David Ben-Gurion’s tombstone has three dates on it – the date he was born, the date he died, and the date he made aliyah [immigrated to Israel]. Why does it have the date he made aliyah?”

Our guide was serious about prompting our reflection and gave many members of our group the chance to surmise. After everyone had had the opportunity to offer their interpretations, our guide offered his own:

Aliyah was the first step. It was the decisive turning point in the drama of his life. It was the decision he made that significantly impacted and made possible all the others. What will your first step be?” he asked, as we sat for a few moments of quiet reflection in that desert shade.

And so, I’ll now ask you: What might the extra date be on your tombstone?

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