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Yizkor and Memorial Day: An American Jewish Experience

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I don’t remember experiencing the juxtaposition that occurred today: there were so many strong emotions swirling through my head related to being a Jewish American praying in synagogue on Shavuot.

On Memorial Day.

No mall shopping. No barbecues either hosted or attending.  No parade watching or flag waving. No trips to the shore to inaugurate the summer’s sun.

But I did memorialize on this day–my parents z”l of blessed memory.

I said Kaddish for my father who earned a bronze star and purple heart in WWII as a new immigrant soldier–for my mother who came to this country for refuge after losing her parents and nine brothers and sisters in the holocaust — for the millions who perished in the Shoah, and for our valiant soldiers who risk their lives so I can have mine living in freedom.

These emotions were in the context of a holiday that celebrates the gift of Torah to the Jewish people.

On Memorial Day and at Yizkor, we remembered loved ones who died for a cause, and those who died for no cause.  And we hope and pray that through the message of Torah, the world will be a better place.

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