Pesach, Eighth Day: Yizkor, the Memorial Prayers By Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Pesach, besides its major theme of Liberation from Slavery, also has the poignant coda of Yizkor, the Memorial Prayer. We Jews are famous Rememberers, and it reminds me of the Old Days, growing up in the apartment with my family, and the Sedarim that my parents used to hold. We had no innovations, no “Bags O’ Plagues” with plastic animals or fun figures of scepter-shaking Pharaoh or crook-wielding Moses. We put on no plays. No: as many of my congregants and contemporaries can recall, an old-time Seder Meal consisted of Grandpa or Papa plowing slowly through the Traditional Hagada in lugubrious Hebrew without translation, adding a song here and there, with the family trailing along, yawning, chatting, or hiding in the kitchen with Bubbie and Mama, to taste if the chicken soup had enough salt or pepper.

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