hazzan Diana Brewer was ordained through the aleph ordination program. she leads prayer services regularly at the jewish community of amherst, and is on the staff of the davvenen leadership training institute.

Yom HaZikaron

Yom HaZikaron - Literally, Day of Memory. This is one of several names for Rosh HaShanah, just gone by a couple of days ago, bringing us officially into the Days of Awe. I am, indeed, in awe today.

I had the great gift of sitting with a dear friend today, whom I had not seen in over twenty years. In fact, we’ve barely been in contact at all. So much life has happened for both of us in the intervening time, and yet it was as though no time had passed, as can happen with deep friendships.

We shared some chapters that we had missed, and enjoyed sharing memories of times we’d spent together. Later in the afternoon, I was truly awestruck by the phenomenon of shared memories. It is hard to express the intensity with which this landed in me today. It was like making an exciting new discovery, and leaves me full of wonder. This led to some wonderful time spent flipping through my mental Roladex, scanning images of the myriad people with whom I share memories.

As we approach Yom Kippur, and you continue (or maybe begin) your annual soul accounting, I invite you to explore your store of shared memories, and feel the embrace of those with whom you share them. Take some time to engage with the aspect of Jewish tradition that is rather intensely focused on memory, and see where it takes you. This can be done by yourself, but I promise you won’t feel alone. May your journey be rich and wonder filled!

Akedah Sermon: Take 5780

Omer Day 49 מלכות שבמלכות Malchut SheBeMalchut