THE YIZKOR CANDLE by Jacqueline Becker as it appears in MSK anthology

 

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     It was time to light the Yizkor, or memorial candle.  We traditionally light it during the week of shiva, or mourning.  We light it at sundown just before we light the four major holiday candles.  We also light it on the anniversary of the death of a close member the family.  The candle represents the soul.  Yizkor is the command verb to remember.  It would translate into:  “He SHALL remember.”  Remembering is imperative in our religion.  The candle is meant to burn a full 24 hours. 

    When our department took our supervisor out to celebrate her retirement, we went to a small, lovely Mexican restaurant.  It was late afternoon and the staff began to light the candles on our table.  My colleague-friend, Debbi, looked at me and I looked back at her.  We were the only ones who understood.  We burst out in laughter.  We could not hold back as the tears streamed down our cheeks.     To be continued tomorrow…

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