Ok this year Shavuot and Yizkor happen to fall on Memorial day weekend. Even though I belong to a Modern Orthodox Shul I’m not much a literal interpretation of the bible kind of guy. Which explains why I am using a computer on Shabbat. I do go to Shul on Shabbat and I don’t drive or do transactions. Every since we started doing that, taking a day for community, family and not running around, I finally feel like I have real weekends.
I really enjoy the idea of Shavuot, which starts tonight at sunset. It is meant to mark the anniversary and renewal of acceptance of G-d’s gift of the Torah. One of the interesting things about this holiday is, you are suppose to stay up all night to study Torah. Last year was the first year I did it. I have to admit it was a lot of fun. It appeals to the amateur antropologist and philosopher in me. Plus it’s fun bonding with a bunch of good friends, staying up all night and learning, kind of like college where you are cramming a semesters worth of learning into an all nighter. As I said, I’m not a literal interoperation of the bible kind of guy. But I have never not believed in G-d, only man’s ability to understand. But I find the culture fascinating and I do believe religion is a legitimate way to connect to the Devine.
Monday morning is Yizkor, which is the day of remembrance. It is recited 4 times a year and is meant to remember and connect with a departed close relative, typically a parent. At Passover was the first I attended or at least knew what I was attending. Actually I didn’t know it at the time until the rabbi started to explain it and I teared up. I’m not sure why I didn’t know what it was, other than the fact we did not grow up observant and over the last couple years that we have made going to Shul a Shabbat tradition, we spend most of our time in the kids services. Ok and sometimes I find myself in the kitchen with the Scotch club. But the Yizkor at Passover touched my in a way I can’t fully explain, and for a brief moment I truly felt connected to my mom. So I promised myself I would never miss another one. So we will go to the Shul in the morning before the hit the pool, where I plan to spend the better part of the weekend when I’m not at shul or studying.
Have a safe and happy memorial day everyone! Love to hear about your plans, feel free to drop a comment.