June 06, 2009
Time to remember
Next week marks the first yahrzeit, the anniversary of my father's death last June. Although he died on June 21, 2008 (a week short of his 81st birthday) the Jewish calendar counts 28-day lunar months, so his yahrzeit will always be on 18 Sivan, which this year falls next Tuesday eve and Wednesday, June 9-10.
In our synagogue, we read the names of those who have a yahrzeit in the coming week on the Shabbat before the anniversary. My dad's name will be read today. I asked permission to lead Shabbat services again since my year of mourning has ended. Our rabbi said it was a marvelous idea to remember my dad by taking up my leadership role as a shlicha tzibur again, one who leads the community in prayer. (There is a custom that one doesn't lead Shabbat services while mourning a parent, if others are able to do so. One thing about Beth Shalom, we have plenty of trained volunteers!)
Yesterday I reviewed the musaf service to be sure I was still pronouncing all the Hebrew correctly, to decide which tunes I wanted to use, and to imagine myself standing up in front of the congregation and singing instead of sitting in my usual place. Rik will join me today.
I'm looking forward to rejoining the ranks of Shabbat shlichei tzibur and to remembering my dad in a way that made him proud.