By Lorrie Klemons
The Zohar states, “That which constitutes a real person is the soul, the rest being only garments which cover the inner essence. When people depart this earth, they put off their outer coverings and continue to live by virtue of the soul, which is immortal.”
How can we make sure that the souls of those departed are immortalized and continue to live? By reciting Kaddish for them on their yarzheit (anniversary of death). Through loving thoughts and memories. By visiting the cemetery to talk to those souls. By participating in community events created for such purpose.
On September 12, you will be able to make sure these souls are immortalized as you join Charlotte’s Jewish community during the Hebrew Cemetery Association‘s Annual Community Memorial Service. Whether you participate live at the cemetery or virtually from the comfort of your own home, you can perform the mitzvah of paying homage to the departed souls of loved ones, friends, acquaintances, and strangers. Some of you will attend to pay homage to loved ones or friends buried at the cemetery. Or you may attend to honor the memory of loved ones and friends buried elsewhere. Many will attend to honor and show respect to the souls of strangers who preceded them in eternal life.
What draws hundreds of people to attend a memorial service held at a cemetery on a Sunday morning? Those of us who have been living in Charlotte for a while recognize the uniqueness of our Jewish community. It is a community that acknowledges the goodness in people and celebrates the contributions that each Jew makes to our continued history. The continuity of our people rests on our traditions, our rituals, our past, our present, and our future. We are a people who remember. We remember our past, and we never forget those who influenced our lives in such great ways. Their traditions, their ideals, their love and devotion – we hold to them fast, and they cannot die or vanish from the face of the earth as long as we cherish those memories.
The men, women, and children buried at Charlotte’s Hebrew Cemetery contributed to shape our unique community. Many were the visionaries who planned for, created, and contributed to the wonderful Jewish community we all enjoy today. We are a people who remember, and thus we cannot forget our debt to all those who preceded us in eternal life, as each one of them accounts for our miraculous survival as a people. Their precious souls are to be celebrated by each one of us enjoying the world they left behind.
We can participate in that celebration by attending this year’s annual memorial service, by visiting the cemetery periodically during the year, and by being members of the Hebrew Cemetery Association. Your tax-deductible annual dues of $72 allows you to honor the souls of those who preceded you in eternal life by guaranteeing a dignified and sanctified final resting place for their immortal souls, as well as for your own, when the time comes.
The Charlotte Hebrew Cemetery Association is a nonprofit committee of Jewish volunteers and a full-time director who care about the sanctity and dignity of those who precede us in eternal life. We believe that the cemetery is a Beit Olim, a house of two worlds – a sacred domain in which the two worlds meet with a kiss: the world going out and the future coming in.
For more information about membership benefits, graves, prepaid funeral costs, endowment donations, and/or including the cemetery in your estate planning, contact the cemetery director, Sandra Goldman, at (704) 576-1859 or [email protected]. Visit the website of the Hebrew Cemetery Association of Charlotte at www.hebrewcemetery.org.
Annual Memorial Service
1801 Statesville Ave
Sunday, September 12
10:30 a.m., rain or shine
May all you all blessed with a sweet and healthy New Year. L’Shanah Tovah.