Wednesday, April 4, 2018

A Year of Mourning - Dreams of My Father

Never before have I dreamed of my father. But, as we approached Pesach, twice I woke with thoughts of Daddy from dreams the night before. Too soon the images faded leaving the dreams unknown, but the images remain. Daddy- strong and healthy. Before illness and frustration took his vibrance.

Pesach was not our holiday. My parents stopped coming to our sedarim long ago. We were too busy, they said. There were too many days of Yom Tov and Shabbat for which to prepare. Too much shopping to do. There was no time to spend together. Thanksgiving and Purim. Those were better days, filled with fun and celebration. For those days we had time off from work without other distractions. It made seders easier. I didn’t miss my father at seder. My brother and I could laugh over the things Daddy would say, remarks about what was nonsense and what he liked, without missing his presence. But now, as my first yizkor without him looms my stomach clenches. At t’fillot the first night of Pesach I found myself in tears. Thoughts of a colleague, Rabbi Charni Selch-Rudnick, had come up. Rabbi Selch, a vibrant, dynamic rabbi, died of complications from the flu on March 5, 2018. Charni was not a close friend, but one could not know her and not be touched by her - by her passion, by her energy. Though greatly saddened and shocked, I had not cried when I heard the news of her death, but Friday I cried.

Now, almost on the eve of Yizkor, in a new position where I am the rabbi, the role model, I know that I will be crying. I will be crying for my father and my colleague. I’ll be crying for those left behind and those who will never know them. I’ll be crying not just as myself, but as the rabbi and the role model. Because we all need to know it’s alright to cry.

Moadim l’simcha (Hagim, uzmanim l’sasson).

It’s Alright to Cry