As you enter the temple for the High Holy Days, wear something of a loved one who has passed – a pin, a scarf, a necklace or bring a small picture in your pocket. it will make their light shine again.
Indeed, the possessions of those who are long gone hold tremendous sentimental value. Some of my mother’s jewelry, a pair of my grandfather’s eyeglasses (circa 1920), and my grandmother’s candlesticks-schlepped from the old country – are among my most treasured belongings. They are physical reminders of my past and a tangible connection to those on whose shoulders I now stand.
These possessions, too are reminders of the devine sparks that dwelled within the people who owned them. The sparks are most evident to me when I remember the ways my mishpacha interacted with the world-at-large and what it is they wished. most for future generations.
This year, a few of my mother’s silver bracelets draped on my wrist during the High Holy season will remind me- as they always do-of her love, her values, and her well-lived life. Perhaps most importantly, the strands of silver will prompt me to behave in ways that release my own divine sparks into the world. In so doing, I will, I believe, help her light continue to shine.