Tag Archive | "MEMORIES"

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Memories, markers and monuments

Posted on 22 August 2019 by LeslieM

At the time of this writing I’m sitting in an airport lounge waiting to board a delayed return flight from New York to Florida. I’m also reflecting on the reason for this trip: the passing of a dear friend and mentor whose life was celebrated in an impressive three-day event. Christian minister and pastor Rev. Dr. A.G. Quarrie was an influencer who caused many people from different generations and different countries to converge on Bronx, NY to show respect for his leadership and to offer comfort for his family. We shared our memories of his friendship and example, and spoke of the great void that now exists with his departure. With numerous tributes and commendations, punctuated with moving gospel songs and powerful homilies, the combined services were a fitting marker to a life well lived. His impact and legacy will live on in the lives of those whom he touched in a powerful way.
I’m also looking ahead to the upcoming dedication of the memorial park on the site of the Old Colored Cemetery in Deerfield Beach. (See more on the event, pg. 4). Once slated for residential development, the site was preserved through the vigorous outcry from members of the community who knew the significance of the land. Thanks to the determination of our community’s leaders, monies to purchase the land and create a memorial park were secured, and the site will serve as a monument to an undeniable past that should never be forgotten. There will also be a statue in honor of the late Branhilda Richardson-Knowles, who served as a midwife for many of the community’s citizens of color who were born in homes rather than hospitals due to social conditions at the time.
As I write this, I’m sitting in an airport that is undergoing major reconstruction to modernize and update the facilities and travel experience for the millions of travelers that pass through its terminals each year. You can only imagine the congestion and confusion that exists as motorists and travelers attempt to navigate the maze of steel, construction equipment, and re-routed traffic, that make entering and exiting the airport an adventure in and of itself. Pictures of the finished product look impressive, but the experience is unnerving and frustrating. Sometimes, in our rush to give birth to the future we produce undeniable birth pangs in the present.
I’m of the opinion that history should be noted and, in some cases, preserved through markers and monuments. Far too many in our day have no appreciation for the past and either take too much for granted or seek to erase the realities of what once was in order to create what they desire. History can be denied but it cannot be undone. Like sounds which once released cannot be reclaimed, neither can the experiences of the past be retracted and refurbished. What’s done is done, and we can only appreciate and celebrate, or contemplate and educate ourselves concerning the good and bad of history. There is something to be learned from all of the past.
As the ancient Israelites made their journey towards the land of promise, they were instructed to set up markers and memorials to their experiences of God’s presence among them. In Exodus 17:14, Israel’s victory over the Amalekites in the valley of Rephidim was to be written and recorded for a memorial. In Exodus 28:29, Moses is given this directive, “So Aaron shall bear the names of the sons of Israel on the breastplate of judgment over his heart, when he goes into the holy place, as a memorial before the Lord continually.” And the successful crossing of the Jordan River during flood season was marked, in Joshua 3:17, by stones which were to serve as “a memorial to the children of Israel forever.” Through these markers future generations would gain knowledge of their history. As Marcus Garvey once said, “A people without knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.”
May we never forget the people, places and events that shaped us and positioned us for the present and future.

Bishop Patrick L. Kelly is the pastor of Cathedral Church of God, 365 S. Dixie Hwy., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. 954-427-0302.

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FLICKS: Sherlock Holmes and 2011 memories

Posted on 29 December 2011 by LeslieM

By Dave Montalbano


While the story and characters are as interesting as the first movie, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows does not hold up as well as the original film.  Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law and Kelly Reilly reprise their roles with relish. While Noomi Ropace (the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) adds dimension to author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s world, the attention deficit disorder editing distracts from the action sequences.

Still, Director Guy Ritchie deserves credit for providing an interesting film that will satisfy both modern audiences and diehard fans. Like the first film, the organic musical score is a highlight. During a mountain trek, one can hear the theme song from Two Mules for Sister Sarah, which creates a subconscious link between Sherlock Holmes and the American cowboy.

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CLERGY CORNER: Memories and Menorahs

Posted on 29 December 2011 by LeslieM

On TV, there was a show called Taxi and a character called Simka (a take on the Hebrew word, Simcha … meaning joy). When Simka got married, she  became Simka Gravas. The name Gravas reminds me of Gribenas and I couldn’t help but think of another ethnic delicacy that gave me even more joy … latkes. (Oddly enough, Simka’s husband name was Latka.)

My brother (Rabbi Sheldon Ezring) recently wrote a piece about how our mother used to stand in the kitchen, peeling potatoes and then take out a hand grater as she prepared them along with a batch of onions and eggs. Meanwhile, she would have oil heating in the pan. As I write this, I can hear the sizzling sound and smell the aroma that filled the entire house.

When my father got home from work, we would gather to light the candles on the Chanukiah along with proper blessings and singing of “Rock of Ages.” Then, dinner was served … more latkes.

After dinner, we would play Spin the Dreidel for a penny a spin. Growing up in the midwest, it was usually freezing outside, but as we celebrated Chanukah with the latkes, candles and singing, we felt the warm glow of being together, wrapped up in traditions of our faith.

The last lines of my brother’s writing taught me a valuable lesson I had missed all these years. My brother wrote, “Notice, I did not mention gifts. Gifts were rarely exchanged and of little importance.”

That has sadly changed. Gifts have taken away much sacred meaning of Chanukah and Christmas. Remember, we are not just lighting candles or decorating trees, eating latkes or drinking egg nog. We are creating memories …


Shalom My Friends,

Rabbi Craig H. Ezring


Rabbi Ezring is a Hospice Chaplain and Member of the National Association of Jewish Chaplains. He also provides Professional Pastoral Care Services to a number of health centers in Broward County.

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