Today is my Mother, Helena Squicciarini’s yahrzeit. This is the anniversary of her death, last year. This fixation on death and the remembrance of loss may seem odd to those outside the family. That is, to those who do not practice Judaism, Messianic or otherwise. Yet it should not be the case for those in Messiah Yeshua. We should step back and examine the Scriptures in light of the commandments. The start of the Festival season in the spring is Pesach (Passover). The Lamb dies.

We know that the Lamb of G-d, Yeshua HaMashiach, gave His life on our behalf. Passover is His yahrzeit. The Father has commanded us to recognize and remember the loss of His Son. This is no macabre fixation on death. We remember – and honor – the King of Glory, and the loss of a loved One. This is fitting.

Today we mourn the loss of Greg Upham’s mother, Joyce Upham.

HaMakom yenachem et’chem b’toch shar avay’lay Tzion vee’Yerushalayim.

May the Omnipresent comfort you among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

We use the word HaMakom ― the Omnipresent (literally, ‘The Place’). It is one of the many names of HaShem, but not the one we normally use in blessings. Perhaps HaRachaman, the Merciful One, would be more appropriate?

God is everywhere, but a person who has lost a loved one – especially a parent – often feels that he or she has been estranged from G-d; that there is no god where he is. We say to the mourner, therefore, that HaMakom should comfort him. We pray that he be blessed by a renewed awareness of God’s presence, even in the grief-stricken place in which he now finds himself ― for that place, too, is HaMakom, the place of G-d.

The contemplation of HaMakom during a time of pain, and coming closer to Him, should comfort the mourner with the realization that their loved one’s physical death is only a part of the bigger picture. Just as their life was a part of G-d’s plan, so too is their passing from this world to await the resurrection. May Mashiach come soon and in our days!

Shalom, my friend,

Yosef ben Yosef