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August 2012

07/31/2012 07:39:48 PM

Jul31

Mom used to come to Fort Wayne for Pesach.  Many of you met her.  She enjoyed Yom Tov and she enjoyed you.

It will now be almost two months since my mother died.  During this time period, so many of you have reached and given Penny and me comfort.  There were those of you who sent cards or an email of condolence.  There were those of you who contacted me by phone.  You gave me a gift of your friendship.

Then, there were those of you who came to minyan during the sholshim, the thirty days.  During this time, we experienced the deaths of Lauren Noyes' husband and Bee Siegel's brother.

Penny and I appreciate the commitment that you made.  Each of you travelled a distance to get to the synagogue; many of you came multiple times; some of you were there nearly all or for all of the minyanim.  I can't even begin to put into words our appreciation, and the feelings of love which we felt.  Traditionally, one does not have one's hair cut or shave during shloshim.  To me, the discomfort of not shaving, and the feel of being unkempt, were a constant reminder that I was in mourning.  I marked the end of the thirty days by having my hair cut and shaving.

No, this doesn't take away the feeling of mourning.  Of course not.  It does help me make a transition to the rest of the year of mourning for my mother, zichrona livracha, may her memory be for a blessing.  Ideally, it would be wonderful to have a minyan every day.  This occurs only in larger communities.  In these minyanim, the mourner can say kaddish daily.  So, what does a mourner do, when this isn't possible.

One then devotes learning in memory of his loved one, and tries to follow the teachings that were given by the deceased.

Every class that I will be giving this year, and all of the private study, will be dedicated by me in memory of my mother, Helen Kornspan.  Beyond this, I have learning from my mother, the importance of prayer, of maintaining a positive attitude, of enjoying friends and family, being kind and generous, and appreciating each day which Hashem gives us.

Then there is the huge teaching my Mom gave to me, to us.  Don't gossip about others, and never speak ill of anyone.  Concentrate and speak instead about the good you see in others and the joy you find in Simchas.  These are the practices that we should all try to incorporate in our lives.  May her memory be for a blessing.

B'shalom,

Rabbi

Tue, November 12 2019 14 Cheshvan 5780