“We pray for them because they deserve to be remembered” (Adapted from Scribbles and Crumbs)
We are the believers in the great “OUR”, and the great “US, for example, “Our God…who commanded US”. This is part of the pattern found in 95% of all Jewish prayers. It is probably one of the reasons we are the most socially involved peoples the world has ever known. Often I have given you general ways to extend the we or us. Today. I want to propose a variation on a prayer that will increase our holiness, our sanctity and our preservation of life.
Sometimes the pure numbers of the deceased of tragedies overwhelm us. Such it is for the Holocaust with me. As the Talmud teaches “each person is a world unto his/herself”, every day when I see or hear the numbers of the Coved 19 victims, I feel the same. As I believe in an active Judaism, I thought, what can I do for those we know and those we don’t know? Our congregation has had its victims Coved-`9 as have many other congregations. But what of the nameless victims who died that we don’t know and perhaps don’t have someone to say Kaddish for them?
For years when I have performed funerals and unveilings and when Mourner’s Kaddish was about to be said, I have asked those present, even if they were not mourners of the person being remembered, to recite the Mourners’ Kaddish with us because on any given day we don’t have enough people to say the Kaddish for those who have died in the Holocaust, Israel’s wars, and America’s conflicts where people have given up their life for righteous behavior.
I would tell the assembled, “Say the prayer and like that old T-shirt, Let God sort it out”. The more anonymous the better. In this way, the prayer becomes more than itself. It becomes an act of Tzedakah, righteous giving.
I am pleased to share with you that we requested of the High Holiday congregation to do this as well and the response was outstanding. We will continue to request and I am sure be responded to positively as we say the Mourners’ Kaddish for those we know and those we don’t therefore showing love physically with our hearts and spiritually with all our souls.
Shana Tova u’Metuka,
(A Good and Sweet Year),