Tomorrow is World AIDS Day. We take time as a community to remember our many friends and family members who have died from AIDS/HIV disease.
Jewish tradition teaches us to revere the memory of our loved ones and to honor their lives in two ways: giving tzedakah in their memory and by living our lives with high ideals in their honor.
World AIDS Day also reminds us that AIDS is still here. There is not yet a cure or a vaccination for AIDS. We have a responsibility to continue our care for our friends and neighbors who have AIDS/HIV and to keep the pressure upon our government in partnership with social service agencies to keep significant resources available to help those who have HIV disease and to educate and work for the prevention of the disease.
World AIDS Day also reminds us that AIDS is a global issue that touches every nation and every continent. We cannot bury our heads in the sand and ignore the staggering numbers of people worldwide who are affected by HIV/AIDS.
Tonight, I hope that you will light a candle of memorial, a yarzeit candle, in memory of our loved ones and as you do so say the following words:
As I light this yarzeit candle, I bring to mind my dear ones who have died of AIDS _____________(insert their name(s)) here). Bless their memory and let their souls be a rest and peace under Your Divine protection. May this candle serve as an inspiration of hope and healing in my (our lives). I pledge to give tzedakah in his/her memory. As this yarzeit light burns pure and bright, so may the memory of our dear ones brighten and purify our lives. Amen.
Ner Adonai Nishmat Adam, Hofes Kol Hadrei Vaten:
The human spirit is the light of God, (A light) penetrating one's most intimate being.