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A Yizkor Reflection!

Friday, 4 October, 2019 - 9:14 am

If Teshuva means “repentance”, I officially give up, as “losing service” enough times leaves me believing a relationship with this “carrier” is impractical. How many times a day can we regret, feel remorse and try to be “born again”? If, on the other hand, Teshvua means returning, coming home, going back to my essence, then I’m all in, all in, as coming home is never tiring, it’s my home, my natural space. I share this going into the Shabbat of Teshuva, as It’s during these ten days from Rosh Hashana through Yom Kippur that we try to remember who we really are.

Never forget.

My own Teshuva process includes the Yizkor memorialization of those who taught me such valuable life lessons, some that I forget, and others I choose to ignore and thus experience personal failure. I think of my beautiful mother Chana Leah (Chanchy) who cared, with every fiber of her being, for widows, orphans, broken families and children who were vulnerable. I think of my maternal grandparents Zayde Shimon and Bubbe Esther Goldman who epitomized Hachnosas Orchim, five-star hospitality to all, including people who were different and those who they didn’t know personally. I think of my paternal grandparents, Saba Mendel and Savta Chana Bruk, who had a cherished work ethic and earned every Shekel honestly, whether driving his truck for Carmel Mizrachi wine, her hours of teaching at the Jerusalem orphanage or her extracurricular activity of sowing clothing for her family. It forces me to ask myself: Could I learn a thing or two from them about being happier with less? Can I do more for those in our community that are struggling? Can I, perhaps, make our home more open and host more guests who need a place to put their head down?  

Remembering them, helps me remember who I am and where I need improvement.

Yet, this year, I will also say Yizkor for our family friend Georgette who survived the holocaust and passed away three months ago without a husband or children to say Yizkor for her. As our Bozeman Bubby, she taught me, Chavie and the kids so much about loving life and the prominence of New York Pastrami. She could’ve focused on all the trauma in her early life and all the missed opportunities in her later life, but she didn’t. Sure, she Kvetched as much as any healthy Jew, but she enjoyed a life of travel, immersion in nature and a love for animals and good friends. I’ll remember her, because she reminded me where I come from. She enriched our family immensely and the least I can do to say thank you is to say Yizkor for her.

Let’s remember to remember! And let’s do Teshuva, let’s go home, our Father is waiting anxiously for our arrival, even if it’s only a short visit!

May You guard our brethren in Israel and the world over from harm and send us Moshiach speedily. May You protect the armed forces of Israel and the United States wherever they may be. Shabbat Shalom! Chazak!!! L'Chaim!!!


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