I've heard, at a reunion,a brilliant talk on memrory.Zakhor,remember, is mentioned in its imperative form , five times in the Torah, and three times in other Biblical sources. But, under another form as the imperative one, we find this injunction nor less than forty-five times, which four in the Torah.
To forget, all its contrary, can, sometimes, be a source of merit, of Mitzvah, of benediction. For example to forget the cobs in a field ( Devarim - Words - XXIV,19).
But Zakhor, remember, can be sterile if not followed by acts. For example, if in Devarim ( 34,7) it is recommended to us to remember ancient times, this may well be oppased to a quotation of IsaÏe, XLI,18, that recommends us "not to remember ancient times if you don't create new ones" ( AL tizkheru rishonot, himeni oseh hadasha).
This is one of the benefits of our tradition, of our teaching, that of not to content oneself to live in the past but to project in the future. Not only live on the credits of our ancestors , but to establish ours.Not to be only heritar but also a continuator.*One of the verses;" the long sobs of the Autumn violins", the famous poem of Verlaine, tells us; "I remember the old days and I weep". Certainly it is easy to cry when we establish a parallel between our fathers ' merits and ours. But may we oppose what isn't? Doesn't it come to us to compare oneselves to our Patrarchs, our Prophets, our Sages. Would it come to us to oppose or compare Maïmonide to Herzl, Moshe Rabbenou, Moses to Ben Gurion,Jacob Halevy to Israel Zangwill? And yet, in the respctive ground, each one of them has brought its sone to that immense wall that is Judaism. Each one of them , each one of us, is in mesure, if he wants, to elevate its part of the wall, is susceptible to bring an essential contribution to the flourishig culture that is ours.
We tend, for many years, to bring to practice this teaching of the Pirké Aboth:"No one asks you to finish the work But you musn't give it away".Each one of us, in its field, can and has to bring its sone; to remember old days in creating or in bringing in also something new.
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