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Remembering Before Whom You Stand
by Rik Charbonneaux
11/02/2017 / Family
Remembering Before Whom You Stand
It was quiet in the Synagogue that morning when the young boy pointed to the words above the ark that contained the scrolls of the Torah. "Father, you and Rabbi Stanley have told me before what "Know Before Whom You Stand" means, but others say it means so much more. What would that be?" The father smiled at his son, briefly remembering when he had first asked a similar question of his own father. "Well," his father answered, " besides helping us to remember Whom we stand before when we worship, it also means that He wants your full attention and respect when you stand before His Presence. Do you remember reading of Moses at the burning bush when he hid his face from Him when told to take off his shoes before His Presence as it was holy ground?" To stand before Him in worship demands respect and obedience as He had saved our people, His chosen people, from the Egyptians and as He continues to bless us unto this day." Seeing that his little son understood somewhat, he then told him "You must also remember that when you leave the Synagogue, it is your responsibility to Him to make His Presence better known to your fellowmen through your positive example to others".
Later at home, the lad asked for his father's opinion on the differences in the people at the Synagogue as some were always kind and friendly to him, while others seemed to ignore him. "Like the world, our people are also diverse in manner and attitude. Some of them feel that they should always make time for and to remember the children, as they are the greatest gifts that He has given to us and that we will live on through them. Others feel that they have no time for any but themselves and their successes in life, with no thought about anything after death. I can only tell you to hold the memories of the nice ones nearest your heart and to remember to honor them when they are gone." "Father, what exactly does happens to our people when they die?" the little boy asked. "That is somewhat hard to say, Son, and probably a question that would be better answered for you by Rabbi Stanley, but I am pleased you have asked such a questions as there is something I want to tell you about. It is the remembering aspect of death that every father must talk with his children about when they are old enough to understand. I have told you about children being our greatest blessing from Him, but it is more than just through our lifetimes, as it is our belief that we will live on after death through our children. As many of us grow older, we begin asking ourselves just how will my children remember me and what will they do with what I have done? I know in my heart the answer for myself right now. I know that you are a good son and just as I have honored and remembered my father and his father, I know that you will remember and honor me after I am gone, and that you will care for and carry on in my business." The father knew that his firstborn had grasped this first of many conversations that would follow when he said: "Yes Father, I will remember and honor you."
Rik Charbonneaux is a retired NE Iowan who loves all of God's creatures.
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