Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.
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 email@example.com.
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Myth #1: It is easy to be a B’nai Noach. It is extraordinarily hard to be a B’nai Noach.
The question of anti-Semitism in Europe today is truly tied to the issue of immigration.
Polls indicate that the Palestinians are much more against a two state solution than the Israelis.
Emigration from Israel is at an all-time low, far lower than immigration to Israel from Europe.
Leon Klinghoffer’s daughters: “‘Klinghoffer’ is justified as ‘a work of art’…This is an outrage.”
Do you seriously think that as you kidnap our children we should medically treat and help yours?
Sometimes collective action against the heinous acts of the majority is not enough. The world should not only support the blockade of Gaza; it must enforce the dismantling of Hamas.
The Arab Spring has challenged Jordan with the task of gradual reform with regard to its monarchy.
Israel offered Syria the entire Golan Heights, only to find that the Syrians were demanding MORE!
Israeli hasbara too can be described at best as pathetic, at worst non existent.
A ‘good news’ story from the Nepal avalanche disaster to warm your heart. Take out your Kleenex.
Journalists see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as morality play: Israel=evil; Palestine=innocent
Warsaw Ghetto: At its height, the Nazis walled in some 500,000 Jews within the1.3 square mile area.
While police officers face dangers every day on the job, Jews also face danger in their daily lives.
Yes, God judges, but His judgment is that of a loving father who longs for his child’s quick return.
What defines kana’ut these days? Throwing rocks at passing cars on Shabbos? Burning an Israeli flag on Yom Ha’Atzmaut?
One who may leave his wife an agunah is not included in the general rule that we may not imprison on Shabbos.
“Fulfill my requests for good, grant my request, be mindful of us for deliverance and compassion…remember us for a good, long life…give us bread to eat, clothes to wear…”
Too often, as parents and teachers, we think it means talking at our children, delivering to them good and worthy content that they should simply hear and assimilate into their minds and hearts.
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