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The First Yahrzeit

11/14/2019 07:38:56 AM


Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

Heal us, God, and we shall be healed.  Help us and save us, for You are our glory.  Grant perfect healing for all of our afflictions, for You are the faithful and merciful God of healing.  Praised are You God, Healer of His people Israel. [Siddur Sim Shalom, p. 5]

I don’t think that the author of this bracha, recited thrice daily in the Amida, could have anticipated my intentions when I recite it.  The type of healing I pray for is deeper and more profound than the afflictions referenced above.  I don’t think we will ever be able to utilize the past participle of “healed”. I pray that we will be on a positive trajectory in the healing process, that when viewed from a distance, the collective dots that mark each of our daily challenges move upward toward the infinity that is called “healed”.

We are on the cusp of the first yahrtzeit for the eleven martyrs, commemorated this coming Shabbat of the 18th of Heshvan.  It has been a challenging period, with A New Martyrology on Yom Kippur, a public commemoration on October 27, and now the first yahrtzeit. We are trauma-weary.  How do we climb out of the depths?

We do so by engaging with mitzvot, finding an act or deed that uplifts us and those that it embraces, glorifies God’s name, teaches others what being Jewish is about, and honors the memory of our slain.  The memories of October 27 will not go away, but we can temper them with mitzvot, for that is what we have always been about - Tikkun Olam - repairing the world, making it better.  Now we must dive in deeper than we were on October 26, call upon the reserves that each of us possess, and get to work.  Indeed, there is much to do. What shall your legacy be?

May the memories of the eleven martyrs always be for a blessing.

Joyce Fienberg

Richard Gottfried

Rose Mallinger

Jerry Rabinowitz

Cecil Rosenthal

David Rosenthal

Bernice Simon

Sylvan Simon

Daniel Stein

Melvin Wax

Irving Younger

Wed, August 5 2020 15 Av 5780