By Sylvan Kamens & Rabbi Jack Riemer
At the rising sun and at its going down; We remember them.
At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter; We remember them.
At the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring; We remember them.
At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of summer; We remember them.
At the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of the autumn; We remember them.
At the beginning of the year and when it ends; We remember them.
As long as we live, they too will live, for they are now a part of us as We remember them.
When we are weary and in need of strength; We remember them.
When we are lost and sick at heart; We remember them.
When we have decisions that are difficult to make; We remember them.
When we have joy we crave to share; We remember them.
When we have achievements that are based on theirs; We remember them.
For as long as we live, they too will live, for they are now a part of us as, We remember them.
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“We Remember Them” is perhaps one of the most famous readings found in in the Jewish liturgy. Its thoughtful and insightful words have transcended beyond Jewish liturgy and have entered the hearts and minds of Jews and non-Jews alike. The words remind us how important the idea of remembrance is to our sacred tradition. Each holy day that we celebrate and observe includes the concept of remembrance — to recall and internalize its meaning. Four times a year we observe Yizkor, a memorial service based on the notion that our souls live on through those whom we love. Every worship service concludes with the recitation of the Kaddish praise as a means to honor those whom have parted from us physically, but live on in our actions and in our own love for others and ourselves. On each Shabbat we are challenged to remember and observe. In the Amidah we too ask God to remember, to remember our ancestors whom God trusted, advised, and guarded.