Together with family, many, many friends and colleagues from many states in the US as well as from abroad – we gathered on this Friday evening, Erev Shabbat, to pay tribute to and to celebrate the precious memory of my beloved husband Dwight Arnold Pryor.
Rabbi Howard Tochman, who had officiated at our amazingly joyous wedding ceremony at the Feast of Tabernacles celebration in October of 2000, prayed the Kaddish:
Let the glory of God be extolled, and God’s great name be hallowed
in the world whose creation God willed.
May God rule in our own day, in our own lives, and in the life of all Israel,
and let us say: Amen.
Let God’s great name be blessed for ever and ever.
Beyond all the praises, songs, and adorations that we can utter is the Holy One,
the Blessed One, whom yet we glorify, honor, and exalt.
And let us say: Amen.
For us and for all Israel, may the blessing of peace and the promise of life
be fulfilled, and let us say: Amen.
May the One who causes peace to reign in the high heavens,
let peace descend on us, on all Israel, and all the world,
and let us say: Amen.
God, our Father, called Dwight home on a Shabbat, the time He set apart and called “holy,” so it was fitting to begin the public honoring of his memory with the special ceremony of lighting the candles and welcoming the Shabbat.
Often during the dark and difficult times of life, such as the death of a loved one, we find ourselves needing to press into the pain and darkness in faith, with no clear light of understanding. We realize that the light of our earthly life is a finite flame. Like the candles of Shabbat, life is kindled; it burns; it shines; it radiates warmth and beauty, but then it fades and flickers and is no more.
How blessed a people we are to know that we do not need to despair at death, for according to the promises of God in His Word we are more than a memory vanishing in the darkness. Our spirit lives on in all its brightness and clarity through all eternity.
It also is a blessing to know that our life on earth gives life. The good, and truth, and loving-kindness we impart into the lives of others will never die. All the truth and wisdom that Dwight shared with so many in his teachings and friendly counsel will live on and continue to impart life to many more. As we kindled the Sabbath lights and saw them burn pure and radiant, we rejoiced that the memory of Dwight, treasured husband, son, father, grandfather, friend, teacher, and mentor would be for a blessing that would continue to brighten and inspire our lives.
Abba, Father, we thank You for the life of Your precious son Dwight, who has entered eternity and we trust that he now has found perfect rest and peace and boundless joy in Your sheltering Presence.
Together we pray the blessing of Your Shalom on each one here and on their families; the blessing of Your Shalom on this country of America, on the nations and all in government.
We pray the blessing of Your Shalom on Your holy city Jerusalem and on all Israel.
Be their Rock of strength and refuge, and their hedge of protection always.
For the glory of Your Name and Your Kingdom’s sake.