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Rabbi Lyon's Blog - 10_5_7
05/07/2010 02:57 PM Posted by:

From the Desk of Rabbi David Lyon

by David Lyon

5-7-2010

On Sunday, we’ll celebrate Mother’s Day. I don’t know who invented it, and I didn’t search the Internet for the answer. But, Mother’s Day is consistent with Jewish expectations that we should honor our mothers (Exodus 20, the Fifth Commandment). For me, it’s not only a commandment, it’s also a pleasure.

Many words have been written to describe the role of our mothers. Many poems and songs have been composed to express deep feelings about our mothers, too. Kahlil Gibran reflects:

The mother is everything. She is our consolation
in sorrow, our hope in misery and our strength in
weakness. She is the source of love, mercy,
sympathy and forgiveness. Those who lose their
mother, lose a pure soul who blesses and guards
them constantly.

In certain instances, I’ve used Gibran’s message to console one whose mother has gone from life. He captures what is true about mothers at their best. They provide unconditional human resources that balance life’s harshest experiences. When mothers are gone we can feel adrift. Gibran doesn’t veil the truth. He helps us grasp it. He uses words like “lose” to capture the real emptiness we might feel. Even so, Judaism teaches us, “A jewel that is lost remains a jewel forever.” This wisdom helps us retrieve what is lost by cherishing it for its everlasting value and meaning.

On Mother’s Day, we honor our mothers who are jewels to us. To me, it’s sad to learn about relationships where mothers and children don’t share much love. It seems to me that childhood doesn’t have to summarize the whole relationship. It’s more likely that we were not at our best as children, and that our mother didn’t have all the skills she needed under what might have been trying circumstances. Now, as adults, it can be time to set aside the past and build something new. A phone call or a card would be the first step.

Best of all are the relationships that are filled with love. I remember the adoring story of a son who truly blessed his mother with time and friendship. In her best times, the whole family came around to share many special moments. The grandchildren knew her and looked forward to her visits. In her worst times, her son was there to comfort and, in some cases, nurse her. It was a natural expression of love shared; it enriched the whole family when they observed one generation serving the other, and how a son can truly honor his parent.

Mother’s Day might make you feel very grateful for what you have or for what you had. Either way, it’s time to cherish a jewel that is yours to hold or to remember. “The mother is everything.” May it be said of you or your mother, “Blessed is she, and she has been a blessing.”

From my family to yours, Shabbat Shalom.

_________________________________________________

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