Thursday, December 14, 2006
Kibud Av and a Drive-by L’Chaim – Dad’s Yahrzeit
Today, 23 Kislev, is my father’s 14th yahrzeit. I am fortunate enough to have enough Shuls [synagogues] and minyanim [prayer services] in my Yerushalayim neighborhood that it’s usually quite easy to “get the Amud” on a yahrzeit, to lead the prayers for that day, as is the Jewish custom. In addition, the Chassidic custom [as opposed to some others, who fast] is to “shtel Tikkun”, to provide some light refreshments, usually after Shacharis [the morning prayers] in Shul.
So, I served some cake and cookies, along with some fruit juice, brandy, and liqueur after the 7:30 minyan this morning. As the 8:30 minyan was still davening when I was leaving the Shul, I poured a few “L’Chaims” [shots of brandy] for some friends I saw there. Then it happened.
As I was walking towards my car to go home, and to my shiur [learning session], I noticed another friend walking out of Shul. Knowing exactly where he lived, I thought, “I’ll meet him when I come around the block with my car, and offer him a…drive-by L’Chaim! So I pulled around, honked the horn, and when he noticed me, I motioned to him to come over to the car. I then poured him a L’Chaim so that he could toast “l’ilui Nishmas” – to the elevation of the soul – of my father.
But no, things didn’t stop there. I then went to my shiur, where again we partook of cookies and a L'Chaim toast. When the shiur was over, as I walked the short distance to my home, I saw a close friend who happens to live nearby, walking in the street. I offered him a L’Chaim, which he gladly accepted. Before I could head down the stairs to my home, I saw another neighbor, again in the street, and offered him a L’Chaim! Aren’t yahrzeits wonderful?
L’Chaim, Dad, and may your Neshama have a wonderful Aliya!
[Part Two to come, IY”H]