Today marks the last day of my father’s Kaddish. Michoel the son of Mordechai.
“May His great Name grow exalted and sanctified….”
For eleven months, three times a day, my father’s three sons, my brothers, committed to uttering these words. Inside the gates of reality. Inside the world that is of flesh and bones. Inside this existence bound by time and physical space and
“...in the world that He created as He willed….”
Words are power for they bear witness to the reality of creation. Words identify creation. “And he said let there be light, and so there was light.” Words. Small words designed to build worlds. “He is on life support, your father is going to die today.” Words, which altered my life forever. Words, which brought myriads of pain. Small words designed to build huge unknowing unthinkable worlds.
My father’s creation was one that will never depart from me or the hundreds and thousands of lives he touched. Although he was not a King, he was a man who lead his life with great humility like Moses, with wisdom like King Solomon, with fair judgment like King David.
“May He give reign to His kingship in your lifetimes and in your days,”
For when his life left me I wondered… will the vibrations of his soul be felt by those who have been left behind? On the days I mourned with tears and raw emotion, was that because my body reacted to what my soul instinctively knew? That his soul was transcending higher, to greater worlds built on more than words?
“And in the lifetimes of the entire Family of Israel, swiftly and soon…”
Will I quickly see him again in a new world, one with no pain, with no despair, with peace?
His flesh and warm embrace is no longer in my midst. Yet the power of his deeds, the influence of his healing hand, the acceptance of his nodding brow still remains inside the many creations that choose to accept such greatness, and for this reason….
“May His great Name be blessed forever and ever,”
For by saying these words about the ultimate creator:
“Blessed, praised, glorified, exalted, extolled, mighty, upraised, and lauded be the Name of the Holy One Blessed is He..”
We the creation praise our creator. In essence the Creator also praises the greatness of His own creation, possibly making them one and the same for if these words indeed praise creation itself, and my father was to me
“Beyond any blessing and song, praise and consolation that are uttered in the world…”
It is clear we have more power than we give our selves credit for to withstand loss, to withstand this silence, this void. For we are built in G-d’s image, therefore our image is naught. For somewhere in the cosmos lies the ultimate truth that His Majesty and I are truly one not bound by time, not bound by space, not bound by this constricted reality. Then if this is indeed true therefore, I will have no choice but to
“Now say Amen…”
Upon the closure of this holy day that will leave as quickly as it has landed upon me, I pray-
“May there be abundant peace from Heaven and life upon us and upon all Israel.”
For by participating in this ritual of expression with grace and dignity, without postponment or suspension, the tears that followed my goodbyes that were said too abruptly in a cold white room familiar with the smells of disinfectant and oxygen and the noncaustic stench of death that swarmed this ICU space, a space I never imagined I would have walked into to say a final goodbye. A space I did not imagine on that warm summer unassuming July morning, would hold my seven siblings crying in shock and despondency only nine traveling hours later. Yet, still, despite my heartbreak, I remain grateful for those last moments. Fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes to say goodbye, to sum up love and affection, like an appendage I was born with. Fifteen minutes without warning, without knowing and yet…
“Yisgadal Vayiskadash Shmei Rabbah…..”
It is the last day of my father’s Kaddish. Michoel the son of Mordechai.
“Now I say Amen.”
For I know, that although this pain stabs my heart with all my being- it is
“He Who makes peace in His heights, may He make peace, upon us and upon all Israel. Now I will forever say Amen.”
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