Are your clothes in 1 piece? One of the traditional Jewish responses of extreme grief or anguish is the tearing of their clothes. Yesterday was Good Friday. Jesus died on the cross. Are your clothes torn?
While they were able to put Jesus’ body in the tomb in time, nothing else happened. Everything just stopped. On top of their world being disrupted by Jesus’ death, now they had to wait to honor the body of their friend, master, brother, son. In our day and age, we don’t have this waiting period. We just get it done.
Today, people will have Easter egg hunts, parties, family gatherings, trips, and so on. This is not to knock such, after all, often they are a way we (as Christians) get to share the good news.
However, perhaps it is time for us to come up with a new tradition, a Sabbath unlike any other that we hold (if we actually observe any). It is probably too late for you this year but put this as something to think about. Perhaps we too busy preparing for Resurrection Sunday that we stop waiting. Why is this important, you may ask? It is a symptom of our lives and even our religious practices. Hurry up and get it done. When this is how we live our lives, how do we ever have the ability to wait for and on God?
In the movie, the Passion of the Christ, there is a raindrop from the sky, implying that God the Father mourns. Let us mourn with God the Father, and with all those who lived beside Jesus. Below is the Mourner’s Kaddish, a Jewish prayer usually spoken in Aramaic (not Hebrew, interestingly). While there may be no “leader” (L) to lead you the people (P), think of a congregation together saying this in an annual (for it is done annually in honor of those who have died) service.
L: May His great Name grow exalted and sanctified…
L: …in the world that He created as He willed. May He give reign to His kingship in your lifetimes and in your days, and in the lifetimes of the entire Family of Israel, swiftly and soon. Now say:
P: Amen. May His great Name be blessed forever and ever.
L: Blessed, praised, glorified, exalted, extolled, mighty, upraised, and lauded be the Name of the Holy One.
P: Blessed is He…
L: …praise and consolation that are uttered in the world. Now say:
L: May there be abundant peace from Heaven and life upon us and upon all Israel. Now say:
L: He Who makes peace in His heights, may He make peace, upon us and upon all Israel. Now say: