Monday, June 15, 2009

M'chayei ha-meitim, chonen ha-daat, ha-rotzeh bi-t'shuvah

Here are some thoughts that I spoke about between Minchah and Maariv tonight:

One way that I interpret the blessing "m'chayei ha-meitim," blessing the One who gives life to the dead, is that the dead continue to live for as long as we remember them.

So what do I remember about my mother?

In the blessing "chonen ha-daat," we express our gratitude to the One who graciously gives knowledge. My mother was a great advocate of equal educational opportunities for girls at a time--the 1950's and 1960's--when such an attitude was not a given, perhaps even less of a given when it came to Jewish education. Plenty of women my own age never had the opportunity to get a Jewish education because that was considered to be for boys only, and they still struggle with reading Hebrew to this day. My sister and I were spared such nonsense, for which I have always been grateful.

We also praise HaShem ha-rotzeh b'tshuvah, for desiring repentance. My mother's growth in Jewish practice was the opposite of many people of her and her parents' generations--instead of keeping kosher while the kids were growing up, Mom waited until we were all grown and out of the house, and then she went kosher. But not only did she kasher her kitchen, she completely stopped eating non-kosher meat and, much to my shock, lobster--which had always been her favorite food--even when she was not at home. From the day she kashered her home, she never ate treif meat or shellfish again for the rest of her life. She was a heck of a role model for increasing one's observance later in life.


Blogger Jendeis said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Thinking of you...

Tue Jun 16, 11:19:00 AM 2009  
Blogger Tzipporah said...

May her memory be for a blessing. She sounds like a remarkable woman.

Tue Jun 16, 03:03:00 PM 2009  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Jendeis, thank you for thinking of me at this sad time.

Tzipporah, thanks. My mother was probably a tad ahead of her time in general, and tried to maintain her Jewish roots in particular.

Tue Jun 16, 04:41:00 PM 2009  

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