Rabbi Aaron made the following remarks at UofT’s Remembrance Day ceremony on Monday November 11, 2013:
In Judaism, it is customary to append the Hebrew phrase “zeikher livrakhah”—“May his or her memory be a blessing”—after saying the name of someone who has died. Through these few words, we affirm that not only was the person’s life a blessing, but even our memory of her or his life continues to be a blessing for us.
On Remembrance Day, we, as a national community, commemorate those whose lives were a blessing for the world, those who fought and died to keep it free and safe. Zikhronam livrakhah—remembering them is our blessing.
I’ll now recite a brief memorial prayer in Hebrew and then English:
O God, full of compassion, Who dwells on high, grant perfect rest in Your sheltering Presence, in the lofty levels among the holy and the pure who shine bright as the sky, for the souls of all those soldiers and innocent civilians who went on to their world in Canada’s wars. May their resting place be in the Garden of Eden. Thus may the Compassionate One shelter them in God’s sheltering Presence for eternity, and may God bind their souls in the bond of life. The Eternal is their inheritance, and may they repose in peace on their resting places. And let us say: Amen.