This past Pesach was the first time that I, along with my brother, recited  Yizkor for my father a’h. While the text of Yizkor is moving, the idea behind it is that we should donate to a charity in memory of a loved on, as a merit for their soul (I donated to my shul and also to an organization dedicated towards Jewish self-growth).

Being able to say Kaddish daily, in all honesty, helps keep me thinking about my father.  Minyan attendance has always been a struggle for me, but I’m hanging in there.  For those who have moved past period of aveilus, I can see how saying Yizkor, helps them keep the memory of a loved one “alive”.

For me, I’ve found that dedicating a mussar chevrusa in my father’s memory has also been comforting. It’s a measurable way that I know I’m doing something.  Just last week, someone donated a gift certificate to a Jewish book store to me, with the intent that I should purchase a Pirkei Avos (Ethics of the Fathers) to learn in memory of my father. I was touched by this gesture especially because the person who made the donation has asked remained anonymous. 

I’m sure that whatever charity dontated, mitzvos performed, or learning that one does in zechus of a neshama allows one to connect with the memories of those who has gone on to the Olam HaEmes.

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