Shemini Atzeret/Yizkor: One Small Act




Rarely are we blessed to see the long term impact of one small act by one small person. We live in the present, and our myopic vision can only see the here and now, not the big picture. As the 19th century philosopher Soren Kierkegaard wrote: “We can only understand life backwards, but we must live it forwards.”This is particularly true when we experience loss or tragedy. Can we, in that moment, see the beautiful fruit that will eventually grow out of the seeds of sorrow?

This sermon relates a powerfully moving story about a man who lost his young wife – about the way he grieved with dignity and joy, about the way this man honored his wife and inspired his five orphaned children, and about the far reaching impact of his actions 20 years later.

This is a story that teaches us how to honor the souls of our loved ones. It demonstrates to us the enduring power of Yizkor, when we immortalize those we love who have passed on, by celebrating their lives into perpetuity.

And how we must do this is to make every action count … because you never know if you’ll get a chance to do it over. And on this score, we have some poignant advice from Steve Jobs who passed away two weeks ago.


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