This is a translated portion of the prayer that we say when we light the memorial
lamp or candle on certain Jewish holidays and on birthdays and anniversaries in
memory of dear ones who have passed away. I lit the Yahrzeit glass today in memory
of my precious Daddy who died on April 2, 1949:
"Lord, what is man, that Thou takest knowledge of him; or the son of man,
that Thou makest account of Him! Man is like unto a vanity; his days are as a
shadow that passeth away. In the morning he flourisheth, and groweth up; in the
evening he is cut down and withereth. Thou turnest man to contrition, and sayest:
'Return, ye children of men!' O that they were wise, that they would consider their
latter end! For when man dieth, he shall carry nothing away; his glory shall not
descend after him. Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright; for the end of
that man is peace. The Lord redeemeth the souls of His servants; and none of them
that trust in Him shall be forsaken.
"O Lord, full of compassion, Thou who dwellest in high; grant perfect rest
beneath the sheltering wings of Thy presence, among the holy and the pure, who
shine as the brightness of the firmament unto the souls of our dearly beloved here
inscribed who have ascended unto eternity.
"Almighty and Eternal Father, in adversity as in joy, Thou, our source of life,
art ever with us. As we recall with affection those whom Thou hast summoned unto
Thee, we thank Thee for the example of their lives, for our sweet companionship with
them, for the cherished memories and the undying inspiration they leave behind. In
Tribute to our departed who are bound with Thee in the bond of everlasting life, may
our lives be consecrated to thy service. Comfort, we pray Thee, all who mourn. Though
they may not comprehend Thy purpose, keep steadfast their trust in Thy wisdom."
You taught me everything I needed to know in order to be the person
that I am today. You taught me about nature: the animals, trees and flowers
that you loved so much. You were an intellect: you taught me about the
magnificent world of books and wonderful music. You taught me to live by
the Golden Rule; never to lie, to steal, or to intentionally hurt another
human being. I never learned to be prejudiced, because you taught me to
love all human beings, no matter what color they were or how different
their religious beliefs were from ours. There's just one phrase to describe
the lesson I learned from you, Daddy: YOU TAUGHT ME HOW TO LOVE. AND I
PROMISE YOU, AS GOD IS MY WITNESS, I WILL NEVER FORGET THIS LESSON AND I
WILL NEVER FORGET YOU.
I found the following piece which I wrote when I lit two Yahrzeit
glasses on Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement) in 1983:
Two dancing flames
Melting wax in memory glasses
Mamela and Daddy
Bound in the bond of eternal life.
A grey-sky day and silent mist
Yom Kippur rain falls
Beckoning the past years
Shadows with rainbows everlasting.
Daddy left first
Taking with him singing childhood
You instilled in me the Golden Rule.
Mama last May
Taking with her dancing grown days
From you I discovered the purpose.
April 2, 2010