THE DEEPEST LOVE
The cyclical concept of Jewish time could best be compared to a coiled spring – because it is cyclical, revolving around repeating themes, but always reaching upwards. We see this in Jewish history, we see it in the Jewish holiday cycle, and we see it in the day-to-day Jewish calendar.
This concept is especially apparent on Shemini Atzeret – an enigmatic one-day holiday mandated by the Torah, which expresses the Torah’s lessons of love most poignantly (and even romantically). Above all, it teaches us the secret of eternal love – one that never dies.
“Can we mortals actually connect to the immortal?” is one of the big questions we all have. This question acutely looms for those that are here on Shemini Atzeret to observe Yizkor – to remember a loved one or loved ones: Can we connect to the departed souls of our beloved, or do we remain forever apart?
Shemini Atzeret provides us with a powerful answer: We have the ability to never part from our loved ones. Your actual being here to observe Yizkor means their spirit lives on in you. And as you think about them, as you remember the example they set, think as well how you want to be remembered. How you want your spirit to live now and live on.
For such is the nature of Jewish time – that the actions of each generation become embedded in the ever-revolving, ever-escalating cycle that brings us closer and closer to a better, more perfect world, when we will literally feel the embrace of God, and eternally connect to the spirit of our loved ones.