web analytics
May 28, 2015 / 10 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Three Approaches To Remembering: A Meditation


In these three explanations, Reb Levi Yitzchak also provides teachings that can serve as three approaches to the recitation and concept of Yizkor.

There are those who view the Jewish past as “ancient” history, with few lessons or consequences for the present or the future. For them, the past is “complete.” It is gone. It does not “linger.” For them, spirit of Judaism is a lost in ancient winds, lacking any relevance or contemporary mode of expression. Their Jewish past is over and done, having ceased with the passing of parents and grandparents. For them, the completion of the past holds no sway on the present nor promise or hope for the future.

Then there are those Jews who find a more meaningful, if incomplete, method of remembering the past, of reciting Yizkor. They can recall a past that still “lives” in warm and tender feelings and sentiments. But it remains in the past. They refuse to allow the past. no matter how warmly recalled, to impact their present or future. These Jews respect the past, may even study and analyze it; they may research and publish studies about the world of our fathers and shtetl life – the world of yesterday. These are the Jews who recite Yizkor recalling the siyyum but who never utter hadran ha’lach – “I shall return to you.”

For them, the past is sealed. It exists without the anxieties of kasha alai peridatchem – without the inspiration to carry on the legacy of those who taught us to count.

The only genuine method of reciting Yizkor compels us to do more than simply remember. It empowers us to be able to translate our memories, emotions and love of the past into new realities. Solomon exclaimed, “Why awaken or rouse the love, unless you are willing to create a new vessel to contain it?” Recalling the past has meaning only when one is able to translate the ahavah into a new chefetz.

The hard tears we cry as we remember tell us clearly that our present is only possible because of the past, and that any future must likewise be connected with the present. Remembering those who came before us, with their love and devotion, must simultaneously include an acknowledgement that their past is not only our present, but also the future for the next generation.

The past is complete, the future our hope.

We only linger in the present as we balance between the two.

About the Author: Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Safran is an educator, author and lecturer. He can be reached at e1948s@aol.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Three Approaches To Remembering: A Meditation”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
FIFA president Sepp (Joseph) Blatter and PM Benjamin Netanayhu
Netanyahu Warns FIFA: Palestinian Threats Will Destroy International Sport
Latest Indepth Stories

As for the president’s new, softer tone vis-à-vis Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israel, this is most likely being driven by the results of the recent Israeli election.

What especially appeals to us is his grand – some critics would say extravagant –view of what the borders of Israel should look like.

There was something else of great importance in play – something we would have liked to see him take into account before deciding to stand with the boycotters.

Front-Page-052915

The establishment of Hebrew University was a cause much beloved to Einstein who in 1923, during what would be his only trip to Eretz Yisrael, delivered the university’s inaugural lecture on Har Hatzofim (Mt. Scopus) and, discussing the theory of relativity, spoke the first few sentences of his address in Hebrew.

The Golden Square wanted Germany to destroy the British and Jewish presence in their country. The Third Reich craved what was beneath the ground – oil.

Ida Nudel’s account of how the Soviet’s persecuted and punished her was far worse than imagined

Swim4Sadna is an annual event benefiting Sadna, an integrative special-ed community in Gush Etzion

Prof. Wistrich, was THE foremost historian of anti-Semitism; committed spokesman & advocate of Jewry

Jewish Voices for Peace’s 2015 Haggadah is a blatant anti-Israel screed crying, “L’chayim to BDS!”

On his shloshim, I want to discuss a term I’ve heard countless times about Rav Aharon: Gedol HaDor

After obsequious claims of devotion to Israel, Obama took to criticizing Israel on peace process

Mr. Obama, Israeli voters have democratically chosen to apply Israeli sovereignty over Judea&Samaria

Netanyahu so disdains Shaked’s appointment he completely ignored her after the swearing-in ceremony

Ronen Shamir’s just the latest tenured Leftist convicted of sexual misconduct with his own student

More Articles from Rabbi Eliyahu Safran
Rabbi Eliyahu Safran

Lag B’Omer became the “Scholar’s Festival” reminding all that derech eretz kadmah l’Torah-

Rabbi Eliyahu Safran

The only way to become humble is honesty about our experiences; it’s the only path to true humility

Too rarely appreciated for its symbolic weight; it can represent freedom and independence.

Jews cover the head not as ID but because wearing it makes concrete to ourselves our devotion to God

It’s easier to take Jews out of galus than to take galus out of Jews – Chassidic master

What is its message of the dreidel?” The complexity and hidden nature of history and miracles.

It is difficult to remain faithful in galut, the ultimate Rorschach test for all Jewish generations

Racheli Frankel: “I didn’t think they were thrown just anywhere. The tears of Hebron embraced them”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/three-approaches-to-remembering-a-meditation/2009/05/27/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: