Blog

52http://www.beth-israel.org/blog/2011/06/Rabbi-Lyon%27s-Blog---06_10_2011
Rabbi Lyon's Blog - 06_10_2011
06/10/2011 08:43 AM Posted by:

From the Desk of Rabbi Lyon
June 10, 2011

              Over 21 years, I have celebrated births, baby namings, bar/bat mitzvahs, and I have mourned at funerals with my family and with you; but I have never been a mourner, myself, until my father died on June 2nd. After six weeks following a massive stroke, he was finally at peace. Surrounding my father's hospital bed every day, my siblings and our mother shared personal words and private thoughts. We recited Hebrew prayers and final words upon his death, “Baruch Dayan haEmet” Praised be the Judge of Truth. 

                There is no possible explanation I can fathom to explain why my father who always feared dying of a heart attack would be taken by a stroke. My parents had just returned from their winter stay in Scottsdale, had Passover Seder with my sister's family in Silver Spring, and were anticipating joining my family in Houston for Emma's bat mitzvah. It wasn't meant to be. My sister asked how our faithfulness could deny us what we wanted and needed desperately now? We sought reasonable answers. My father's lifetime of high blood pressure, though checked, included a regimen of Plavix, a drug that no doubt made the bleed worse than it should have been; a daily aspirin would have served him better over the years. Despite the surgeon's success in the operating room, my dad's recovery was doomed by underlying conditions. We depended on therapies and medications to give him a chance to recover. But, our efforts on his behalf could not undo what was obviously ordained for him. At 76 years-old, my dad could not overcome the destructive blow.

                 At the funeral, we sought spiritual consolation. My parents' rabbi, Isaac (Ike) Serotta, delivered a magnificent eulogy. He included the words of Job, “God has given; God has taken; Blessed be the Name of God.” Indeed, the incidents of birth and death are beyond our comprehension; they originate in that which is larger than you and me. But, the times between birth and death belong to us. Therein lies the blessing of my father's life. The obituary and eulogy summarized 76 years of his life in a perfect synopsis of the times we came to know and enjoy with him.

                 Shiva, the prescribed period of deepest mourning was important and necessary. It permitted my family to refrain from everything but grieving without guilt or feeling that we were neglecting our responsibilities. We talked about what my father meant to us and what we meant to him. We explored what the future would be for my mother and extended family. Thankfully, we extracted out of this period of misery the many joys of his life, most notably 54 years of marriage to our mother, his four children and their spouses, twelve grandchildren, and a fruitful career and meaningful retirement.

                   If I've learned anything as a mourner, it's the wisdom found in what our Sages taught so long ago: Live as if each day were your last. They didn't mean that we should live recklessly; rather, we should value each day by doing mitzvot, commandments. My parents were role models. They grew to be best friends, they volunteered in the local library and their beloved synagogue, and they devoted their travels to be with their children and grandchildren in all the places they live. Then, every Shabbat, my parents lit the Sabbath candles at home and included a prayer of thanks to God for their good health and the love they shared. My father's good health ended the night of April 24th, but the love they knew and the love he shared with his family is eternal.

                    As you remember those who are gone from life, take them into your heart and make them part of your life every day. I pray for myself and for you that memories of our loved ones will recall the blessing they once were and will always be.

                   From my family to yours, Shabbat Shalom.

Blog Search

Categories

Archives

201804April2
April 2018 (2)
201803March5
March 2018 (5)
201802February4
February 2018 (4)
201801January4
January 2018 (4)
201712December4
December 2017 (4)
201711November2
November 2017 (2)
201710October2
October 2017 (2)
201708August3
August 2017 (3)
201707July4
July 2017 (4)
201706June4
June 2017 (4)
201705May2
May 2017 (2)
201704April3
April 2017 (3)
201703March4
March 2017 (4)
201702February3
February 2017 (3)
201701January3
January 2017 (3)
201612December4
December 2016 (4)
201611November3
November 2016 (3)
201610October3
October 2016 (3)
201609September4
September 2016 (4)
201608August2
August 2016 (2)
201607July5
July 2016 (5)
201606June2
June 2016 (2)
201605May3
May 2016 (3)
201604April4
April 2016 (4)
201603March3
March 2016 (3)
201602February2
February 2016 (2)
201601January4
January 2016 (4)
201512December4
December 2015 (4)
201511November3
November 2015 (3)
201510October2
October 2015 (2)
201509September2
September 2015 (2)
201508August4
August 2015 (4)
201507July5
July 2015 (5)
201506June4
June 2015 (4)
201505May2
May 2015 (2)
201504April5
April 2015 (5)
201503March3
March 2015 (3)
201502February4
February 2015 (4)
201501January4
January 2015 (4)
201412December3
December 2014 (3)
201411November3
November 2014 (3)
201410October4
October 2014 (4)
201409September2
September 2014 (2)
201408August3
August 2014 (3)
201407July3
July 2014 (3)
201406June3
June 2014 (3)
201405May3
May 2014 (3)
201404April4
April 2014 (4)
201403March3
March 2014 (3)
201402February4
February 2014 (4)
201401January5
January 2014 (5)
201312December3
December 2013 (3)
201311November3
November 2013 (3)
201310October4
October 2013 (4)
201309September2
September 2013 (2)
201308August5
August 2013 (5)
201307July4
July 2013 (4)
201306June4
June 2013 (4)
201305May5
May 2013 (5)
201304April4
April 2013 (4)
201303March4
March 2013 (4)
201302February4
February 2013 (4)
201301January5
January 2013 (5)
201212December4
December 2012 (4)
201211November5
November 2012 (5)
201210October4
October 2012 (4)
201209September2
September 2012 (2)
201208August5
August 2012 (5)
201207July4
July 2012 (4)
201206June3
June 2012 (3)
201205May5
May 2012 (5)
201204April4
April 2012 (4)
201203March5
March 2012 (5)
201202February4
February 2012 (4)
201201January4
January 2012 (4)
201112December5
December 2011 (5)
201111November3
November 2011 (3)
201110October3
October 2011 (3)
201109September4
September 2011 (4)
201108August4
August 2011 (4)
201107July3
July 2011 (3)
201106June4
June 2011 (4)
201105May4
May 2011 (4)
201104April4
April 2011 (4)
201103March5
March 2011 (5)
201102February4
February 2011 (4)
201101January4
January 2011 (4)
201012December5
December 2010 (5)
201011November4
November 2010 (4)
201010October5
October 2010 (5)
201009September2
September 2010 (2)
201008August2
August 2010 (2)
201006June3
June 2010 (3)
201005May5
May 2010 (5)
201004April3
April 2010 (3)
Captavi QixSuite™ - Hosted Marketing Automation Software ©