Sign In Forgot Password
My title

Rabbi's Week In Review - 12/13/2021

12/13/2021 04:48:53 PM


With the completion this week of the Book of Genesis/Bereishit, we read about the deaths of both Jacob and Joseph. Jacob, upon his insistence, is carried back to Hebron to be buried with his forebears. Joseph makes a similar demand, which will occur later on.

I have thought  this week about mourning and burial practice in Judaism. It is the time of year when I observe yahrzeits for my mother and father, and Fay’s father. Also this past week, I received news of the death of Lorianne Williams, the wife of my dear friend the Rev. Dr. Rodney Williams. Her death came after a long fight with cancer.

Mostly, I have been thinking about place. It was important to Jacob and Joseph that they be buried in the home of their ancestors. They drew a line of connectedness to those who preceded them and that death did not terminate. Observing the yahrzeit of those we love is one way for us to connect with an important legacy and to remember, with gratitude, from whence we came.  

I always feel a sense of comfort (read: not dread) whenever I go to Mt. Carmel to visit my parents’ graveside. The act of being present in that space makes me feel connected to them, and reminds me of the many lessons taught to me by them.  

Our cemeteries reflect our history and our legacy — the shoulders upon which we stand. May the memories of all our loved ones who are no longer with us always be for a blessing, and may we always be grateful for that blessing. 

Fri, August 12 2022 15 Av 5782