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 The genocide of millions of European Jews--as well as other ethnic, religious and minority groups--by the Nazis during World War II. The tragic events of the Holocaust are now commemorated each year on Yom HaShoah; established in 1952 by the Israeli government. Shoah (calamity) has become the term used to describe the systemic mass slaughter that occurred during World War II. before they had a chance to grow into Jewish adults, many before their own call to the The Five Books of Moses, and the foundation of all of Jewish life and lore. The Torah is considered the heart and soul of the Jewish people, and study of the Torah is a high mitzvah. The Torah itself a scroll that is hand lettered on parchment, elaborately dressed and decorated, and stored in a decorative ark. It is chanted aloud on Mondays, Thursdays, and Shabbat, according to a yearly cycle. Sometimes "Torah" is used as a colloquial term for Jewish learning and narrative in general.. This is an invitation to bring the memory of one of these children with you as you become Coming of age, one responsible for the commandments. At the age of thirteen for a boy and twelve for a girl, s/he obtains the age of Jewish majority and is obligated to all the commandments. Usually celebrated with an aliyah to the Torah and other festivities. In many communities both bar and bat mitzvah are celebrated at age 13. The plural of bar mitzvah is b'nei mitzvah. The plural of bat mitzvah is b'not 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 Lit. Commandment. It is traditionally held that there are 613 mitzvot (plural) in Judaism, both postive commandments (mandating actions) and negative commandments (prohibiting actions). Mitzvah has also become colloquially assumed to mean the idea of a “good deed.".
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 The Aramaic memorial prayer for the dead. Mourners recite this prayer at every service, every day, in the presence of a minyan (prayer quorum) over the course of a year (for a parent) or thirty days (for a sibling or offspring). The prayer actually makes no mention of the dead, but rather prays for the sanctification and magnification of God's name. 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), The holiest day of the Jewish year and the culmination of a season of self-reflection. Jews fast, abstain from other worldly pleasures, and gather in prayers that last throughout the day. Following Ne'ilah, the final prayers, during which Jews envision the Gates of Repentance closing, the shofar is sounded in one long blast to conclude the holy day. It is customary to begin building one's sukkah as soon as the day ends., 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.