This is seven days of passionate mourning during which time community members see to it that the mourner can focus on their grief.
In times of grief, poetry is therapeutic, helping the mourner to move through the stages of grief and loss.
Members of the synagogue and other supporters visit the mourner at his home during this period and provide meals so the immediate family does not have to provide for themselves.
The reality that we cannot take the pain from one who grieves is conveyed in this poem, along with the offer to comfort and hold the hand of the mourner.
Any one of these can pass on its sacred quality to other persons and objects (as a corpse defiles the mourner and his clothes), nay to actions, places and times as well (as a corpse will likewise cause work to be tabooed, ground to be set apart, a holy season to be observed).