Rabbi Sessler D’var Torah

From Jackie Slutske With Love

Dear friends, some eight days ago our synagogue lost a beloved and esteemed member of our community, the late Jackie Slutske. Prior to her death, Jackie wrote down her own spiritual legacy and life vision for her family and for all of us. It was read out loud at her funeral. It is an exquisite and heart-stirring poetic rendition of all that truly matters in life, and it is a must read for anyone who wants to lead a thoughtful and noble existence. Here it is below.

Don’t think of me when the last light from the sun is dying, although I appreciated many sunsets and hope you will take the time  to be still and let the beauty absorb into your life and your heart.

But rather remember me in the early morning when the dew has not yet dried,

When it is easy to hear the conversations of birds,

And when the rising sun sends its rays through the clouds to light up hopes for another day,

Remember me when the day is new and the creatures who dare to go out only in darkness are returning home to their families.

Remember me when strangers wish each other “Good Morning”

And dogs have their human companions all to themselves.

Remember me when there is something new to be learned and there is joy in the learning.

Remember me when you are sharing stories with the people you love best and making new connections that bind you closer.

Remember me when you are answering questions about the past, and sharing hopes for the future.

I will be there, listening and smiling, just beyond the place where you can see me.

I will be there when you enjoy a book that we once enjoyed together,

I will be there when the sun warms your face, and the moon is bright enough to read by.

I will be watching when you help someone else, and hoping that I set a good example.

I will be smiling when you say “hello” to a stranger you are passing, and bring a surprised smile to their face

I will be listening when you hum along with music when you are preparing a holiday meal.

Even though you will not feel it, I will be holding you when you need to be held,

And hoping that my love is reaching you across the great divide between us now.

I hope that you will remember what I always tried to keep close, in even the worst of circumstances, that “this too, shall pass”.

I hope that you will take some time each day to dwell on the people and things you have loved and that have made you happy and let the smile that comes to your face linger there for a while.

I hope that you will never see forgiveness as surrender, but as the generous act of love that it is.

I hope that you will always be able to find a silver lining in even the most difficult of circumstances, and that you will find a way to live appreciatively all your life.

I will be applauding when you use your creativity to make a better you and a better world, and I will be hoping that that world is a more peaceful and plentiful place for all the children growing up in it.

Know that all great things are accomplished one small step at a time. Be prepared to take that step even if it is terribly scary. I will be there holding your hand.

We take our place in the world for a while, and then we leave.

I will live as long as you remember me, and you will live in me forever.

I hope that I have brought light and laughterand love to all of you that I have loved,

Because you have been everything to me.

Jacqueline Slutske

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