Cup of Remembrance
Passover is also called zman cheruteinu, a time of our freedom. We recline like royalty, sing freedom songs, and eat delicacies. Yet, we end our holiday with Yizkor, prayers of remembrance. Our Judaism is filled with commemoration and joy at the same time. The same people that left Egypt were not the same people who entered the Promised Land. We recognize that to reach the height of freedom, we must honor those lives that came before us. Just seven days ago, we sat at our Seder tables and added seats for special guests. Yet, we also stared at the empty chairs of our loved ones, whose presence were felt. At the end of the Passover holiday, we do the same. We have the yolk of remembrance not because it is an unnecessary burden, but because it is a weight of meaning and connection. This year, my mother sent me a picture of her Seder table. It had the cup of Elijah. Next to it was another cup filled with wine. It was the cup of Eyal, my brother’s kiddush cup, which is now added to the table in his memory. We do not have to wait for Elijah to walk through the door to create meaning in our lives. Each one of us has a cup that we can add to our tables, representing lives that gave us that sweet taste like wine, and whose absences allow us to take the deep lessons they taught us and retell their stories.