Memory

Do you ever wonder, what is memory? Why do we seek to remember, to hold in reverence the things that have past and gone on when we live in a brief, transient present? I can never forget the voices of the victims expressing their anguish, fear, and hopelessness that resound through every writing, diary, letter, postcard, painting, and melody that emerged from the Holocaust. I do not want to forget, but to remember. I feel deeply that if I remember them, they have not died forgotten at the hands of merciless savages, but they are still alive in memory. Perhaps, it is our intrinsic desire to not lose that which has been taken away. We want to revive, to relive and to share with others. We do not wish for anything to be lost in vain for we know the value of the one life we are given. We know the treasure in every soul, in every life- the precious, unique purpose of every husband, mother, orphan, daughter, friend, widow, pastor, teacher, mentor, and each individual. It is the hidden realization of the light each soul has to shine. It reminds me in Judaism of the lighting of the Yahrzeit candle to remember those who have passed on. Perhaps, when we burn the candle, it represents the brief life of the human before it is soon extinguished, the beauty & warmth that he or she brings to the ones brought near, and the eternal soul that will never be quenched, as the heat from the candle that will never be destroyed. “Thus says God the Lord, He that created the heavens and stretched them out; He that spread forth the earth, and that which comes out of it; He that gives breath unto people upon it; and spirit to them that walk therein: I the Lord have called you in righteousness and will hold your hand, and will keep you, and give you for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and those that sit in darkness out of the prison house. I am Adonai: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another.” Isaiah 42:5-7