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My words at Ezra's HaKamat Ha-Matzeva This Morning

08/19/2016 02:50:51 PM


Hakamat Ha-Matzeva for Ezra Schwartz Z”TL

R. Noah Cheses

15th Av 5776

Family and friends, we gather this morning to remember and honor Ezra’s life. We are here to cry and to laugh a little. We are here, just nine months later, to recapture the connections.

The Hebrew term for an unveiling is Hakamat HaMatzeva, which literally means establishing a monument. The purpose of us being here right now is to establish the permanence of Ezra in our hearts. We are here to acknowledge that Ezra is still with us as his echo remains in our thoughts and feelings. Although Ezra is no longer physically here, his spirit, his goodness his contagious smile, remain part of who we are and what we will become.

We are here because we know that our memories of Ezra, are not dimmed by the weeks and months that have passed. The passage of time enshrines those memories made with Ezra all the deeper in our hearts.

(After the words of memory were shared)

We have heard from so many people, this morning, who love Ezra. We have heard about a boy, a young man who was full and even overflowing with a simchat ha-chayim with a joy for living life together with his friends. We have heard about a boy, a young man who had a special smirk that spoke volumes. We have heard about a boy, a young man who like a delicate flower was plucked before coming to full bloom. We have heard about a boy, a young man who wanted so badly to give back and leave the world a better place, than it was when he arrived. As we stand here this morning, we know that Ezra succeeded in this goal. He did indeed leave this world a better place that it was when he arrived just two decades ago.

There could not be a more befitting time on the Jewish calander for us to come together for Ezra’s Hakamat HaMatzeva. Today is erev Shabbat nachamu, a Shabbat that is meant to give us comfort. As we enter the sheva d’nechemta the seven weeks of Haftorah readings from our prophets-- intended to provide comfort and hope --after the devastation of Tisha b’Av and destruction of the Beit HaMikdash, we throw our hands up to you Hashem and we beg—we need your nechama! We need your comfort!

We need to hear the sweet words of your prophet Yeshayahu Nachamu Nachamu Ami Yomar Elokechem over and over again. We need your comfort! We need to feel your warm hand on our frail shoulders. We need you to help us turn sorrow into song. We need you to help us turn memories into deeds of caring and love. 

Sun, December 3 2023 20 Kislev 5784