Yizkor

Hakurba Synagogue in Jerusalem Israel (end of 20th century)

Habakkuk Synagogue in Jerusalem Israel (end of 20th century)

It’s a weird week, religion-wise. I held a Seder on Monday, the first night of Passover (Pesach). My SO, daughter and son-in-law were there. I did the service with a different translation/edit of the Seder from last year (and from previous years when my mother was alive), and I’m not sure if I liked it (it covered more than last year’s Concise version, but still left much to be desired.) The older version I used to do drives me crazy, as it’s almost a straight translation, and bores me to tears with it repetition and droning quality. Anyways, this year’s Seder is done, and I’ll continue my search for a version that really does suit me, an interpretation that has deeper meaning.

This coming Monday heralds the last day of Passover, and also is one of the four times of the year we are supposed to have a Yizkor memorial service. I will be doing this for my mother, who passed away in October 2012, and for my father, who died in 1999. I am sad to say: I never went to a Yizkor service for him, then. I am doing this, now, in both their names, as well as for my grand parents, uncles, aunts and cousins who are no longer with us.

What makes it a weird week is that it also is running consecutively with Easter week celebrations. I’ve wished many of my friends (and my SO) well during this time, and I will be going to Easter service with my SO. Then, Monday, the Yizkor service. From one to the other…but, for me, it all fits. It’s a complete spiritual journey I’m on. I’m not turning my back on my heritage. I’m opening up to what so many others who surround me have: faith in a higher power. I’m still not sure where I stand in all that, and I think it will be a long ongoing process for me.

I’ll be saying a special Yizkor mediation, one that was sent to me by Rabbi Pam, one that deals with the mixed emotional feelings I have with my parents. I hope that it will give me the cathartic release I’m looking for, and the start to move on.

My friend Rich sent this in an email, from The Rabbi’s Study, Congregation Beth Emek in Pleasanton, CA:

Dear Chaver (Member),   

On Monday morning, the seventh day of Passover, we will gather to worship at 10:30 and our prayers will include a brief Yizkor service. There are four Yizkor services during the year – on Yom Kippur, Simchat Torah, the 7th day of Pesach and Shavuot. Our celebration will be festive and lighthearted with a lovely luncheon for all who attend, but when we pray during Yizkor our happiness will be of a much different nature…melancholic, thoughtful and reflective. We will acknowledge our loved ones who have died and their presence will be felt.

 One might think that once the body disappears love would vanish too, but love continues after death. Jewish philosophers have taught that what is real is that which lies between two human beings. We may have bodies that exist as separate entities but the essence of life is the in-between – the relationship. Two poles exist but the love that connects them is the true essence of life and that relationship – between two souls – knows no physical limitations. Death is a veil that separates two bodies but love, knowing no boundaries, joins one soul to the other.

Our God is good. Would our loving God allow our cherished bonds to break? Every soul glows forever in relationship.

 On Monday during Yizkor we will recall our loved ones who have entered eternity – our fathers, our mothers, our spouses, our grandparents and cousins, and cherished friends, as well. And we will know that they are with us still, for God has created a pathway between their world and ours…by the memories we cherish and love that never ends.

Monday morning…10:30… Festival service and Yizkor.

L’shalom,

Rabbi David Katz

I wish you and yours a Good Pesach (Passover), a Happy Easter, and for those who celebrate other things, or nothing at all, a good and healthy time to come.

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About StuHN

I am a creative individual with many areas of passion: Professional Storyteller; NYS Certified Drama Specialist/Educator; Professional Development Coordinator & Facilitator; Workshop Leader; sometime Puppeteer; Playwright; Director; Performer; Teaching Artist; and sometimes more.

Posted on March 30, 2013, in Anger, Caring, counseling, Despair, Family, Friends, Grief, Healing, Inspiration, Love, Meditations, Mindfulness, Prayers, Psalms, Spiritual, Support, Therapy, Transformation and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Happy Passover and Easter to you too. Hopefully the Monday service will give you some comfort and closure where your parents are concerned.

  2. Hope you had a good Pesach. I enjoy building up the traditions with the new generations. I wish you Long Life for your parents Yahreszeit.

    • Linda, my parents are now gone (guess you didn’t see that), but thank you for the thoughts. Yes, my Pesach was a good one. Hope yours was as well

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