VISITING THE CEMETERY during the month of Elul is rooted in Jewish tradition. It helps connect us to the themes of renewal, repentance, reflection, and growth through memories of our loved ones. It helps us reconnect, remember, and go forward on our journey toward a fresh New Year. This tradition reminds us of the individuals on whose shoulders we now stand and helps us honor their memories, but it also prompts us to think about our own lives and the legacies we will leave to others.
Visiting our beloved family and community members' memorial markers to see what is inscribed and add our own small stones of remembrance helps add meaning to the High Holy Day season. The words written on these stones - even if they are just names and dates - remind us of what our loved ones stood for, what values they cherished, and remind us of their love and the legacy they left us.*
Recent plantings and beautification projects have made Beit Olamim more accessible and created a serene place to reflect on the meaning of the new year. L'Shanah Tovah Tikatevu – may you be inscribed for a good, sweet, peaceful, healthy, and meaningful 5781!
*Source: Rabbi Daniel B. Syme, The Jewish Home: A Guide for Jewish Living (URJ Press, 2004)
Article by Terrie Goren. Jewish Burial Association of Madison (JBAM) is a beneficiary organization of the Jewish Federation of Madison. JBAM is the volunteer organization that manages Beit Olamim, Madison's only Jewish Cemetery, located at 7302 Mineral Point Road in Sunset Memorial Gardens. JBAM's mission is to provide for the burial needs of the greater Madison Jewish community.