I sit at my computer looking out the window at the falling rain, which poetically seems to me to be a reminder from G-d that I pause and shed tears today. A reminder to take a moment to think about the infinite amount of tears that have been shed for the 23,544 fallen soldiers and terror victims on this Yom Hazikaron, Day of Remembrance. Infinite, because the tears that were shed over those who lost their lives never dry up.
We are blessed to live in a time of miracles. For thousands of years our people shed tears in the hopes and prayers to return to our homeland. We are privileged to have witnessed that dream and promise fulfilled, but at a price of tears of a different kind.
On this Yom Hazikaron I longingly wait for the time when “U’macha Hashem dima me’al kol panim”…-ומחה ה’ דמעה מעל כל פנים,…Hashem will wipe away tears from every face.
Express Your Feelings with an Act
There are always further ways to express your feelings Jewishly; mainly, to elevate your thoughts with an action. Some feasible things you can do today:
1. Teshuvah: Repentance. An effective way to reverse any negative decrees. Think about a personality trait or habit that you might be able to curb, and take an actionable step towards making it happen. (For example, substitute one curse word you might say too often with a PG-13 alternative)
2. Tefillah: Prayer. Put a few moments aside tonight and give thanks for a few great things in your life. Need something a bit more structured as a guide? Try this short prayer of Tehillim, offered in Hebrew/English Transliteration.
3. Tzedakah: Charity. Our tradition says that giving charity provides one with merit strong enough to save one from death. Can’t think of a charity close to home? Why not something that strikes close to the heart of the day? Bet Halochem is an organization that provides for Disabled Israeli Soldiers, to show them appreciation for the care they provided all of us.
Rabbi Rafi Lipner