Preserving Memories in a Time of ‘Cancel Culture’
Illustration: Childhood Memory (Image Credit: Efrat Lynn © 2020)
Low pressure to our southeast continues to intensify, and high temperatures associated with it will peak on Thursday which is the 9th of Av. Temperatures will reach dangerous levels, and this is especially so for people fasting on Thursday. People fasting can easily dehydrate — and possibly suffer from hyperthermia — if they are not extremely careful. Temperatures should be in the mid to upper 30s C/80s-90s F inland, in the low to mid 30s C/80s F in the coastal plain, and in the low 40s C/100s F in the Jordan Valley. Eilat takes top heat honors, with temperatures in the mid to upper 40s C/110+ F all week.
In our last blog, we were hopeful that the heatwave would break Wednesday night, but for the last few days it's been apparent that the heat wave will not break until Friday. Because there is going to be low humidity, it's very important to stay inside and out of the heat as much as possible.
Summer may feel like it has finally arrived, but the longer range forecast is actually showing milder temperatures as we move into the first and second weeks of August.
It's definitely a bad week for it to be so hot, and a sad period of time for the Jewish people. There have been many tragedies during this period. Both Temples — yes, they existed, Mr. Abbas — were destroyed during this time and this date in Jewish history was chosen by others to implement their evil practices.
Unfortunately, these can also be times of personal tragedy. Our town has the difficult task of saying goodbye to one of our residents, Rabbi Dr. Mordecai Reich. He was a person known and loved by many for both his insight and kindness expressed to all that he met. He fought hard against his prolonged illness, and yet still found the time to write Divrei Torah to his family each Shabbat eve.
Before his passing, his children did him the honor and kindness of making his writings into a book. His kindness and love must now be sought in the words that he wrote. Yet, I can't help but think that a person so special can't just disappear, that one day in the future his family will see his kind and loving personality within Sima and Mordecai's grandchildren.
I'm not really the person to write or deal with loss. I find it very hard to throw anything away — let alone to say goodbye to anyone. I'm not even one to get rid of an old sock or undershirt until I'm not sure which side is the ‘right’ side or which hole is for my head. I still have papers stretching back years and pictures or drawings my kids made — stored away in boxes.
Yet, I often wonder if these memories stored away are easy to find. And, if one cannot retrieve or even remember those instances in life that had meaning or brought happiness, then what does one really have?
That's why it's so important to at least put your memories in order and make available to your children those that you want to pass on. It can be something written, an old photo album (with names to go along), or even a picture or childhood drawing that gives grounding to the past and present value and meaning to those who participate in these memories. To be quite frank, it's really important to know where you've come from because without them you'll never know where you need to go. Hence, that's why "Cancel Culture" is for dummies.
I wish that I could offer more than words to the Reich family, and more than encouragement for a future filled with times of happiness. I can't make these things happen, but I am at least confident that Mordecai and Sima have brought to this world the possibility that these will come to pass.
Dr. Lynn is a lecturer at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Earth Sciences Department. He is also CEO of Weather It Is, LTD, a company that specializes in reducing weather risk. Click here to read more of this writer’s work in The Jerusalem Herald.