MEDITATION/KAVANNAH FOR YIZKORJewish tradition, in its wisdom, teaches us that between the world of the living and the world of the dead there is a window and not a wall. Unfortunately, our culture of scientific materialism teaches that dead is dead, and after death, the channels of communication between us and our loved ones who have died are forever ended – a brick wall! But, like the rituals of Shiva, Kaddish, and Yahrzeit, Yizkor opens windows to the unseen worlds of the dead. Yizkor creates a sacred space and time wherein we can open our hearts and minds to the possibility of a genuine inter-connection with beloved family members and friends who have left behind the world of the living. Yizkor is a window. Prepare to open that window… As you recite Yizkor prayers let your senses and imagination serve as the vehicle of inter-connection. For whom are you saying Yizkor today? Can you imagine that person’s face before your eyes? See their smile, visualize how they might be carrying their body standing next to you. Do you recall the sound of their voice? Hear their words as you stand in prayer. Feel their presence right in this moment. In your mind, in your heart, allow a conversation between the two of you to unfold. What needs to be communicated this year? What’s the message you need to hear today? What are the silent prayers of the heart? What remains unspoken? Speak. Listen. Take your time. There is no reason to hurry. This is a timeless moment. Let all the radiance of their love to be with you right now.
Adapted from: “Meditation for Yizkor” by Simcha Paull Raphael in Kol Haneshamah: Yamim Noraim, Wyncote, Pa.: Reconstructionist Press.YIZKOR VISION In the crisp autumn air I went to say Yizkor prayers today One of those holy days Four times a year We gather in community Mourners threaded by Memories of heart and mind A direct line To loved ones In the world beyond. Four times a year Ever since the Crusades When mega-death Demanded memorialization Jews have said Yizkor Remembrance To honor, remember, elevate Souls of dead loved ones. It was fascinating As I looked around the room The synagogue was packed Death, after all is said and done Is a popular attraction Yet to my surprise Through the vision of my eyes There was hardly An adult in the room Those saying Yizkor for parents I saw on their faces Pain and love Of little boys and girls Lost, lonely Crying for mommys and daddys Those remembering dead brothers and sisters They too were pained children A little brother Reaching for his older sister’s hand A little girl, standing next to her sister Both of them wondering why Their little brother died And even that man Saying Yizkor for his dead wife For a brief moment Looked like a lost child Unsure if someone Will ever be there To light the way So many children Being cleansed by their tears. In an instantaneous moment Of infinite time Something changed Reciting the “el maleh rachamim” In mournful dirge Suddenly the windows opened Souls ancient, eternal, transcendent Seemed to stream into the space Visible on everyone’s face Each lost child Seemed to be comforted Through soul’s presence Our prayers invited A heavenly congregation Of wondrous, watching, wise beings Ancestral guides Mommys, Daddys Bubbys, Zaydes from the other side Loved ones who walk with us Day and night Easing pain, loneliness and fright And somehow in the afterglow Of so many souls Beckoned and present As our praying moments Softly came to an end Each face, man, woman and child Looked a little older A little wiser Deepened in the interior channels Of heart and soul Walking with dignity The mourners path Of our ancient sages Deepened in knowing Death and loss Come what may Are truly and evermore Interwoven into The mystery and the enigma Of being alive Of being human.
FOR MLR – AN UNVEILING POEMHoly One of Being Be with us now In this time of transition When we mourn for the passing of the mourning Into another phase of Life. Bless us with the ability To see ourselves Let go of our holding of Mitchell Zayde Mitch MLR Mr. Modern Supply Let go of our Father, and Father-in-law Let go of our ever-beloved Husband Let go of our Grandfather Let go of our Brother Let go of our Uncle Let go of Mitch, benevolent friend of many, Businessman and leader Who cared deeply For family, friends, community, the Jewish people This energetic and powerful man This well-dressed man with the generous spirit Who lived the drama of Life with passion, flare and style. Held by so many with respect and love Let go of him Let go of him. Ah…. [Take a deep breathe and imagine sending him off on his journey] We do let go of him His soul is free to evolve to the highest being of humanity. To serve on yet another committee, this one in the higher realms Where his presence lives on Continuing to care for those whom he loves We bless him for our memories We keep them in our hearts We bless him for all we have shared And send him on his journey with love. Holy One of Being Join as One those of us who are left on earth Let us feel courage along with our lingering pain Let us love one another in peace and with respect As he would wish it Let us celebrate life to honor the life he lived. Let us celebrate yet another party in his honor, as he would want us to do. Mitchell Robinson Mitch Zayde Mitch Mr. Robinson Michael Eliezer ben HaRav Avraham Yehuda v’Slovah Beloved you remain in our hearts Even in our times of yearning and mourning Beloved you are to each one of us here gathered in your honor Beloved you remain in our hearts Blessed Be the Name of the Holy One of Being Blessed Be the Name of the Holy One of Being Baruch Shem Kevod Malchuto L’Olam Vaed. Tehei Nishmato Tzrura B’zror HaChayyim May his soul be welcomed into the Source of Life itself. Tehei Nishmato Tzrura B’zror HaChayyim