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Zichronot: Still Alive

A group of Jewish children with a teacher in Samarkand, (in modern Uzbekistan), ca. 1910. (Prokudin-Gorskii Collection/LOC) My Cheder teachers dressed differently, but they look very similar to the rabbi in this picture. Dress up the children in a 1960’s wardrobe, and they will look just like the kids with whom I went to school. We study the same texts. We teach the same observances. We could travel back in time and feel perfectly comfortable at a Shabbat table or synagogue service, in 1910 Samarkand, Uzbekistan. The people in the photograph are very much still alive in so many ways. I can’t begin to count how many times a day I feel that many people who have passed on from this world are still alive. I can’t say the Grace After Meals without thinking of how my grandfather would take a lifetime concentrating on each word. He is constantly pushing me now, as much as he did when a physical presence, to review my studies, review again, and then, again. He speaks to me each time I open a Holy book I once studied with him. My father is a living presence as well. He challenges me to think, to carefully read the text, to conceptualize, to articulate clear principles, and to pay careful attention to every word I speak, every action and every thought. He taught me that Maimonides’ voice is as alive now as it was almost 900 years ago. My rebbi from 1967, Rabbi Wurzberger zt”l, who died in middle of the school year, is a live presence when I read Rashi’s commentary on the Talmud. He taught me to feel that Rashi’s voice is alive. Mr Epstein z”l, who took over for Rabbi Wurzberger, and died the same year, reminds me every time I begin to pray that I must stand with respect for a private audience with the King. The list goes on and on. I live Zichronot all year. The voices of the past are alive and vibrant. Something changes during Zichronot on Rosh Hashanah; I feel as if I am able to speak back to all those voices who give me life during the year. I am able to say, “Look what I am doing with what you taught!” “See that I connect with you across time!” I complete the circuit, and find an entirely new level of meaning in my life. Author Info: Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.


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