Intermountain Jewish News

Banner
Saturday,
Sep 05th

When yizkor and Memorial Day coincide

E-mail Print PDF

For American Jews, this coming Monday, May 28, is a double holiday. In a rare coincidence, Memorial Day and the second day of Shavuot fall on the same day.

Over the years, Memorial Day devolved from a strictly patriotic holiday — originally called Decoration Day to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War — to a day of barbecues and swimming pool openings. Only after the post-9/11 resurgence of patriotism and the grievous losses in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars did the American public’s attention return to honoring the memories of those who have given their lives to defend our country.

In synagogues, the liturgy of the second day of Shavuot contains yizkor, the prayers that are recited by those who have lost or both of their parents or another close relative. (Reform congregations celebrate only one day of Shavuot, and yizkor is recited then.) Yizkor is recited four times a year: Yom Kippur, Shemini Atzeret, the last day of Passover and on Shavuot.

This Monday is a memorial day times two for American Jews. This unusual juxtaposition has not gone unnoticed by Denver’s rabbis and the Jewish War Veterans. Special commemorations and additional prayers are planned at 10 area synagogues, including the reading of the names of Colorado’s historic Jewish war dead, from the list compiled and maintained by the Intermountain Jewish News for decades.

The coincidence of Shavuot and Memorial Day has historical Jewish significance. In addition to commemorating the giving of the Torah, Shavuot is also the anniversary of the birth and death of King David, who is known for his prowess as a warrior.

Let Monday, May 28, 2012, be a day to honor both America and Jewish tradition. If you do not normally attend synagogue on the second day of Shavuot, do so this year. (You’re going to be home from work anyway.) In traditional synagogues, the custom is for those worshippers who are fortunate to have two living parents to leave the sanctuary after the rabbi’s homiletic remarks and general memorial prayers, before the recitation of the actual yizkor prayers.

If you have lost a parent, stay in the synagogue, listen to the words on behalf of our fallen heroes and say your private yizkor prayers for your loved ones.

If you are fortunate enough to be leaving the sanctuary, rather than using that time to chit chat in the lobby, take those few moments to reflect on the men and women — Jewish and non-Jewish

who gave their lives in all of America’s armed conflicts, and those who served in the military and died later in life. Think about them; think about those who are saying yizkor for them.

Strive to emerge from the initial sadness of yizkor and memorial reflection to celebrate the gift of the Torah to the Jewish people, and to appreciate the privilege of living as free people in the United States of America.

Copyright © 2012 by the Intermountain Jewish News

Last Updated ( Thursday, 24 May 2012 01:41 )  

IJN e-Edition

This is only a taste! Get full access to the IJN via our e-Edition, only $14.04 for IJN Print subscribers.

E-Edition subscribers get access to a complete digital replica of the IJN, which includes all special sections.

Get the IJN's free newsletter!

Cast Your Vote

Should the US support the nuclear deal negotiated between the P5+1 and Iran?
 

Shabbat Times

JTA News

For Biden and congresswoman ally, Iran deal tests Jewish bond

Ron Kampeas DNC head Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has said the vice president is “like mishpokhe,” but now she’s under pressure to back the White House on the Iran deal. ... [Link]

Ask Google: Who runs Hollywood? Answer: The Jews

Uriel Heilman Google says it is fixing a bug wherein users who type “Who runs Hollywood?” end up with the following search result: “the Jews.” ... [Link]

How much did Jeb Bush really do to rescue Ethiopian Jews?

Ron Kampeas How important was Jeb Bush’s call to his dad in the Operation Joshua saga? ... [Link]

Leading Jewish senator Ben Cardin opposes Iran deal

Ron Kampeas Cardin makes it harder to get to 41 senators needed to block a vote disapproving the deal. The presidential veto, however, is assured. ... [Link]

French Jews advised to avoid use of the term Zionism

Cnaan Liphshiz Stanley Greenberg, a prominent American political strategist from the United States, advised representatives of French Jewry to avoid mentioning Zionism when speaking to non-Jews. ... [Link]

Hasidic pilot hailed for ‘averting tragedy’ in N.J. crash landing

Uriel Heilman The Hasidic Coast Guard pilot who crash-landed in NJ originally had to fight the Coast Guard years ago for the right to wear his yarmulke. ... [Link]

Does Donald Trump know the difference between Hamas and Hezbollah?

Gabe Friedman When asked about the two militant groups, Trump said the difference does not matter to him yet. ... [Link]

Czech author of first women’s prayer book commemorated

Cnaan Liphshiz Czech and Israeli officials unveiled a plaque in memory of Fanny Neuda, a 19th-century scholar and wife of a rabbi from a town in the east of the Czech Republic. ... [Link]

Intermountain Jewish News • 1177 Grant Street • Denver, CO 80203 • 303 861 2234 • FAX 303 832 6942
email@ijn.com • larry@ijn.com • lori@ijn.com