Dear Friends, 

I hope this letter finds you and your loved ones doing well. 

It hurts to write these words, but it is looking extremely unlikely that our beloved shul will be open for Shavuos. For many of you this means missing Yizkor twice this year and I cannot imagine how much that is weighing on you. There is no replacement for the experience of Yizkor; sitting, for many of you, in a seat that evokes so many warm memories, praying together, being inspired together, and then allowing yourself to recall those powerful memories of your loved ones. It is a most personal experience, and yet there is comfort in doing so in the warm embrace of community. 

While there is no replicating this experience, perhaps we can still feel connected to one another this Shavuos as we say Yizkor in our homes in the following fashion: We will be publishing a special Yizkor book for these unique times which we will deliver to your homes. In addition to the regular Yizkor prayers, this booklet will be filled with memories of your loved ones. This way we can connect to those we miss most and do so together as a community. 

To do this, we need your help. Please take a moment to share a response to one of the three questions. For each person you will be remembering this Yizkor: 1) What is the value they lived their life by and how did you see this exemplified? 2) What is your fondest memory of your loved one? 3) If they were here today, what wisdom do you think they would share regarding the pandemic we are living through? 

In addition, please write out the full name of your loved one, as well as their date of birth and passing. If you have a picture you can upload, please share as well. Please email your response/s to [email protected] no later than Thursday, May 21. 

May God bless us all with much strength and comfort. 

Looking forward to seeing you all as soon as possible,   
Yisrael Motzen

Rabbi, Ner Tamid Greenspring Valley Synagogue