We are a people that remembers. This week, we will commemorate the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust on Yom HaShoah. The next week, we will remember on Yom HaZikaron, the fallen soldiers of Israel who gave their life to give us a life in the Jewish state.
And this Shabbat, on the eighth day of Passover, we will remember our own loved ones in the Yizkor service. In the El Maleh, the traditional memorial prayer recited each Yizkor, the Cantor chants, al kanfei hashechina, the image of our loved ones being heavenly protected by the analogy of a bird spreading its wings shielding its young from danger. While this prayer was originally composed for the martyrs of the Crusades, these words were eventually even incorporated into the wedding ceremony.
Tomorrow night, I will light a Yizkor candle. I will remember my grandparents whose names are carried on by my own children. And I will remember my brother, whose lessons I carry with me each day. One single candle burning as one, echad, as memories unite to create the tapestry of generations past, present, and future. As I light the candle, I will feel the warmth of their embrace, the protection of those sheltering wings, hear those voices I miss, and cherish the memories which endure for all time.
Time moves faster than we can imagine, but the memories of our righteous loved ones will be forever.