Yizkor – A Time to Remember
– By Gregg Wiston, President Temple Torat Emet of Boynton Beach.
We come to these moments each year to join together and remember our loved ones no longer physically with us. Yizkor touches the heart. It is Judaism’s answer to the request that we can spend just a few minutes with our deceased beloved. We long to be with our loved ones who have left this life and our tradition provides virtual visitations that occur more times during the year than only on Yom Kippur.
And this is what the Yizkor service does; through the service, Yizkor has the ability to keep our loved ones alive in our very being. When we honor the dead we are keeping their higher values and wisdom alive. We embody that which is most dear to us from those who still live in our minds and hearts. Ultimately, this contributes to Judaism’s goal of tikkun olam, to bring healing to a broken world.
Of course, we can choose to remember our loved ones every day if we want, so why do we need to come to the synagogue for something we can do while sitting in at home? Because our tradition teaches that prayers recited within the context of community have a greater impact. Most of us have had times where meditating, praying, or singing in a group has had a profound effect on our lives. Through this connection, Yizkor contributes to our true mission, to correct what is wrong in the universe and to make it better. As individuals and a community, may we all become better through Yizkor and may all of your memories of loved ones always be for a blessing.
Thank you to Gregg Wiston, President of Temple Torat Emet of Boynton Beach, for sharing these words of wisdom.
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