As Purim approaches, thousands of Israeli children and families grapple with poverty
Title: Living A Year Of Kaddish, A Memoir
Author: Ari. L. Goldman
Publisher: Schocken Books,
New York, N.Y.
Do we say the Kaddish to honor our lost ones, to satisfy our own innate yearnings, or to teach the next generation?
Ari Goldman, author of The Search for G-d at Harvard (and formerly religion columnist at The New York Times), invited us along on his search for himself during the year that he fulfilled his obligation of publicly mourning for his father.
Like most of us who forget to search our souls for the true meanings of our relationships with our parents until it is too late, Goldman bares his soul and helps us realize what a powerful tool of continuity is our custom of saying the Kaddish with a minyan.
Mourning our beloved is an intensely private experience for each person, but Jewish law prescribes public mourning for each man by saying Kaddish (with no obligation, but no restriction either, for each woman).
Goldman found this an opportunity to reconnect with community, and himself became quite a builder of community, including active participation and office-holding in a prominent West-Side New York synagogue, Cong. Ramath Orah. There he found a shul that, at first, barely scraped together weekday minyanim, but eventually became a home for quite a large congregation who enjoyed the sense of community with each other.
The memoir also unearths an ugly side of inhospitality and prejudice, of “Jew vs. Jew” attitudes of some of the people that Goldman met along his journey of self-discovery, but he also discovers beauty and shared companionship from many who go to great lengths to be there to answer “Amen” to Ari’s Kaddish.
Many of our great minds have left us inspired with their efforts to assemble a matzevah to their loved ones. Mozart wrote his marvelous “Requiem,” Handel his “Messiah,” Leonard Bernstein his “Kaddish” and “Cichester Psalms,” each in their attempt to show us, by example, the depths of their emotions.
I, for one, can’t remember what I ate for breakfast yesterday, but thank goodness Ari Goldman keeps good notes to offer us insight into his experiences. Reciting the Kaddish together with a minyan is a uniquely Jewish experience that assists the community’s efforts to help the individual grieve and cope with their loss. It forces retrospection and causes us to pray that we merit becoming a living memorial to our forbears.
Each of us, in our time, will unfortunately live a year of our own Kaddish. Ari’s memoir of his year, following the demise of his beloved father, is an excellent example to be shared with friends and family - even friends who may not be Jewish.
About the Author:
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
Bottles of wine accompany the Pesach storytelling – each glass of wine represents the four expressions used by G-d in describing the redemption of the Jewish people from Egypt.
There is a point that many parenting books miss: children do more for us than we do for them.
Brigitte was a nine-year-old girl when Islamic militants launched an assault on a Lebanese military base and destroyed her home.
The husband needs to make some changes!
Purim is a fantastic time for fantasies, so I hope you won’t mind my fantasizing about how easy life would be if kids would prefer healthy cuisine over sweets. Imagine waking up to the call of “Mommy, when will my oatmeal be ready?”… As you rush to ladle out the hot unsweetened cereal, you rub […]
‘Double Gold’ awarded to 2012 Yarden Heights wine & 2011 Yarden Merlot Kela Single Vineyard.
One should not give the money before Purim morning or after sunset.
The mishloach manos of times gone by were sometimes simple and sometimes elaborate, but the main focus was on the preparation of the delicious food they contained.
One of the earliest special Purims we have on record was celebrated by the Jews of Granada and Shmuel HaNagid, the eleventh-century rav, poet, soldier and statesman, and one of the most influential Jews in Muslim Spain.
Jews, wake up! Stop educating the world and start educating yourselves.
The lessons conform to the sensitivities and needs of the Orthodox community…
The program took on special significance as it marked not only the first anniversary of Rebbetzin Kudan’s levayah but also the 27th yahrzeit of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson, a”h.
It’s almost pointless to try to summarize all of the fascinating information that Holzer’s research unearthed.
Goldsmith himself went on his own “voyage of discovery” to the places where his grandfather and uncle landed and were sent.
Green was an American volunteer in Israel’s 1948 War of Independence, but something happened In Israel that has haunted him ever since.
Witnessed by Theodore Herzl, who was a journalist for a Viennese newspaper covering the trial, the cause célèbre became the spark that eventually caused the rise of the State of Israel in modern times.
These eleven nursing home residents and their accompanying staff from the Connecticut nursing home could represent any of us or our own loved ones…
There are three kinds of travelers: there are tourists, there are businesspeople, and then there are historians like Ben G. Frank.
The last kind doesn’t simply go from here to there. They try to relive history and find the real meaning behind what they experience.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/review-living-a-year-of-kaddish-a-memoir/2003/10/24/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: