Memory, Caring and Cancer

Agni by Bala Sivakumar. Used under Creative Commons License.
Agni by Bala Sivakumar. Used under Creative Commons License.

As the end of Passover approaches and we remember those we loved and cared for, a few thoughts. The end of the festival is one of the three Yizkor moments, along with Yom Kippur, that we observe during the Jewish year. The Pilgrimage Festivals (Passover, Shavuot and Sukkoth) all conclude with a final day in which we pause to remember. Those memorial candles are lit now as we recognize the tradition of memory.
But we also remember and celebrate the people who give care to those who may be ill and also pause to support those who may be dealing with serious illness. This was brought home to me this past weekend at a family gathering. One of the people being feted is dealing with cancer. As we all sat down at our tables for dinner, we noticed a small piece of paper entitled “What Cancer Cannot Do”. The paper listed a series of items that cancer cannot accomplish. In a spirit of healing and shalom that ends the festival I decided to reprint the items listed here. It is from an unknown author. The subtitle is “Cancer is so Limited:
* It cannot cripple love
* It cannot shatter hope
* It cannot corrode faith
* It cannot eat away peace
* It cannot destroy confidence
* It cannot kill friendship
* It cannot shut out memories
* It cannot silence courage
* It cannot steal eternal life
* It cannot conquer the Spirit.”

May you all be blessed with shalom.
Rabbi Richard F Address

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