DAY 495: The Purpose of Memory (Anticipating Our Reunion Weekend)

November 7, 2013
By bethmordecai
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DAY 495: The Purpose of Memory (Anticipating Our Reunion Weekend)

Cherish zikkaron, cherish memory — memory is the engine that drives our people forward because it binds our past together (Rosh Hashanah 5773 Day 2 Sermon — Living the Inner Life of the Holidays)  


Dear Hevreh, 

During the bar mitzvah celebration this past Sunday, a number of people remarked how the sanctuary housed a deep spiritual presence of Jewish memory. Even though many of the attendees never stepped foot in our sanctuary before Sunday, they felt as if they were returning to where they came from.  
Memory, especially Jewish memory, is a powerful tool that binds us together as a people. Whether it’s committing ourselves to never forget the atrocities done to our people or to simply enjoy our favorite Jewish “soul” food, powerful Jewish experiences seem to be steeped in the context of our people’s history.
Yet while it’s comforting to be embraced by the warmth of memory, the purpose of Jewish memory is not to remain in the past. As our siddur teaches us, hadeish yamenu k‘kedem — God, renew our days like the days of old [were renewed]. Our history and tradition has much wisdom to teach us so we can make our days full of meaning and joy like we experienced in our past. In other words, the purpose of remembering the joys of the past is to help build a promising future.
The reason I’m focusing on memory today is because tonight, a group of dedicated Beth Mordecai members, leaders, and supporters throughout Beth Mordecai’s history will be meeting in New York to talk through and discuss our plans for the Reunion Weekend on March 14-16. While part the weekend will include various opportunities to reminisce and share stories of the past, the vision of the weekend is to “create a woldwide network of Beth Mordecai affiliated Jews who are connected with each other and with the congregation and its leadership for the purpose of facilitating a  prosperous and thriving Beth Mordecai Community.” By embracing the powerful Jewish memory infused in our congregation and built into the walls of the sanctuary, we will “renew our days” so that the future of Beth Mordecai will be as bright as ever.
Can’t wait to let you know how the meeting goes!
Kol Tuv,
Rabbi Ari Saks


Category : Bar Mitzvah Rabbi's Journal Reunion Weekend Rosh Hashanah
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