Yizkor 5780

October 10, 2019

I have always been a curious person. I can tell you many stories of my childhood. On many occasions these stories started because of my curiosity. I am always trying to see what is behind the sign of “Do Not Trespass” or the door that says, “Employees Only”.

What’s hidden behind these doors? Why can’t a normal human being, like me, enter?

Going to private places has a lot of appeal. Knowing the backstage of a stadium, the locker rooms, the dressing room where your favorite singer takes a break, who doesn’t want to be there?

Maybe that is the reason why I always wanted to visit every single restroom when I was little. Just to see the backstage.

I vividly remember when my mother Z”L took me to her office, where she worked for the tax department. After spending some time with her, she offered to take me to see one of the first computers that arrived to Argentina. I was so excited. She told me we would use a secret passage that would take us to a huge room. There we found, on top of a wooden platform, a huge computer. It was big and heavy. Being inside that secret room, made me feel so special.

When you work 24/7, better, 24/6 in a synagogue, you learn many things congregants don’t know. You know where the best coffee in the building is, where you can find food when it is needed, where are the hidden places. You get to experience things other people don’t usually experience.

I am behind the door that says, “Employees Only”.

Last year something happened at Beth El that you may not know.

During a Religious School class, by accident, one of the kids pushed a chair against the stained glass of the Zahler Social Hall. A small piece of the glass broke.

The maintenance people made sure no one would notice, but those who are usually at the building, knew.

I was able to see it and at that moment, I knew I had my Yizkor sermon ready.

That morning, I saw how the sun came in through the stained glass in a different way. Something was broken and a new type of light came in.

The light that the glass was receiving was the same light it received everyday, but when part of the glass broke, it wasn’t dark. It was a different type of light.

When we lose someone we love, when our life is broken, we see a different light, we experience different colors in our life, but not darkness.

Because when something breaks, it allows a new light to enter in our lives. When part of the glass breaks, a special light enters our inner rooms.

Many of us can look back and find out, now, at this time of reflection, that not everything was dark and gloomy.

Many of us can appreciate that different light that made us more mature, made us stronger and wiser.

Many of us can reflect back and see that light coming into our lives. With sadness for the broken parts, with hope for continuity.

Today is the time to remember how many times those we loved opened the secret doors of their lives and let us in behind what others could not see.

Maybe others were not able to see how big your dad’s heart was?

It was you, and maybe only you, who were able to understand what a great human being your mom was.

Perhaps you, and only you, know who they were, because they let you in the secret paths.

Who else if not you?

We remember them because they let us in, in their lives.

Today is the day when we also appreciate what we did. We opened our own lives, and we let them in behind the door that says, “Employees Only”.

Today is the day to trespass all these doors. Death cannot close the doors. Light still comes inside, in a different way, yes, but light still comes in.

If you are not there yet, please try to appreciate that new and different light in your life, the light of memories.

I have always loved the passage when we take out the Torah that says, “Ana Avda Dekusha Brichu”. I am a servant of the “Kadosh Baruch hu”.

There is only one boss and we are Gd’s employees.

Yizkor is a special moment, and it is for employees only.

I invite you to open that door and discover together the blessing of the new light, the light of remembrance.