One of our wisest Jewish teachers, the Ba’al Shem Tov, taught:
Remembrance is the secret of redemption.
It means that the simple act of remembering someone restores that person’s value and meaning, and adds meaning and value to your own life. One-and-a-half million Jewish children were lost during the Holocaust before they had a chance to grow into Jewish adults, many before their own call to the Torah. This is an invitation to bring the memory of one of these children with you as you become Bar/Bat Mitzvah.
The Remember Us project is simple and does not add any extra time:
1) Your teacher will give you the name of a lost child, and whatever information we know about him or her or you can visit our website at www.remember-us.org to request a name.
2) Keep that child in your thoughts—however you like—as you prepare for your Bar/Bat Mitzvah.
3) When you do a mitzvah, do it b’shem—in the name of—the child whose memory you are carrying.
4) When you stand in front of the Torah, speak the name of your child, in whatever way you choose. After Bar/Bat Mitzvah, our tradition allows you to do the mitzvah of saying the Kaddish prayer for a family member or someone who you want to remember who has died. You will learn it as part of your Bar/Bat Mitzvah.
5) Become the Kaddish-sayer for the child whose memory you keep. Choose a good day to say the prayer and light a memorial candle. It could be Yom Hashoah (the day Jews everywhere remember the Holocaust), Yom Kippur, or the anniversary of your Bar/Bat Mitzvah.
Through these simple acts, done in the normal unfolding of your own life, you will be helping to redeem the life of a lost Jewish child.
Peace and a blessing, shalom u'vracha.
Congratulations, and thank you.