A Day For Naming

This weekend was Shavuot – the date where (allegedly) God gave Moses the 10 Commandments. It is one of the four holidays in the Jewish calendar when we say Yizkor (a service of remembrance for loved ones who have died). The service was intimate, with just the right number of people participating that our brilliant and inspiring Rabbi could go around and ask each of us to name the person/people we were saying Yizkor for. Each one of us stood, said the name(s) of our loved ones who are no longer here, and remained standing. It was almost too much. And it was just enough. I tried capturing it in a poem:


My mother
My father
My grandfather
My friend

My father
My grandparents
My friend
My wife

My daughter
My mother
My grandfather
My uncle

My aunt
My cousin
My best friend
My father-in-law

My mother-in-law
My parents
So many cousins
Too many to mention.

The list grows longer
One day it will be us
Our children will stand
Recite our names

Crying as we now cry
Memories flooding them
Sighing with longing
For those gone before

May all their memories
Be for a blessing
As ours will be
When it is our time.

About armsakimbobook

I'm a mother, a lawyer, a feminist, a writer, a potter, and an inveterate and unapologetic New Yorker. My book, Arms Akimbo: A Journey of Healing, tells of my journey of healing over a number of years, learning to live a full life after I was molested by my father at a very young age. I live in Maynard, MA, with my wife and and our two moose-cats, Samson and Hercules. My daughter used to live with me part-time, but she's all grown up now and in her junior year of college, which I can't quite fathom, since she was born about five minutes ago...
This entry was posted in Blessings, Jewish, Judaism, Poems, Prayer Poems and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A Day For Naming

  1. Beautiful poem, Audrey.

    Liked by 1 person

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