Sunday, June 7, 2015

#158 / Kaddish

Erik Schapiro (pictured) died on the first day of Hanukkah, December 16, 2014. A moving memorial service for Erik was held last Sunday, May 31, 2015, at Temple Beth El, in Aptos, California. At the end of the service last Sunday, Rabbi Gregg Meyer said Kaddish.  Click here to listen to this mourner's prayer in English. Click here to listen to the prayer in Hebrew, in the language in which Rabbi Meyer recited it for Erik at Temple Beth El. 

Kaddish is a prayer of mourning, but it is, above all, a prayer of life. 

A song from a different tradition speaks to the same truth: 

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead man naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion. 
And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan't crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.  
Dylan Thomas

Image Credits: 
(1) -
(2) - Personal Photo, Temple Beth El, Aptos, California

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