The Celebrate Israel Festival on May 31 at Pier 94, slated to be the largest gathering to date of Israeli-Americans in New York.
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.
When I complain, she tells me it is retail therapy.
Tal Dimenstein has been selected to present her ELI Talk about Appreciation during this year’s conference in Chicago.
Birobidzhan railway station sign is the world’s only one spelling the town’s name in Yiddish letters
She’s seen as a poster child for The Jewish Home’s efforts to reach beyond its Orthodox base.
Girls don’t usually learn Gemara. Everyone knows that.
Mordechai and his men shared a strong mutual loyalty.
“Can I wear tefillin in the bathroom?” That was the question US Private Nuchim Lebensohn wrote to Mike Tress, president of the Agudath Israel Youth Council, in a letter dated November 18, 1942. Lebensohn was not your typical young American GI. Polish by birth, he was forty-three years old and married when he was drafted […]
To what extent is your child displaying defiance?
This therapist kept focusing on how “I could do better,” never on how we could make the marriage work.
Mistrust that has lingered after the fiasco in Ferguson, Missouri, has edged the issue forward.
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: