Today, I have the great privilege of serving as the cantorial soloist beside my beloved Rabbi Miriam in memory of dear Doris Lion.

I did not know Doris well, but in the times that we met and spoke, there was a special kinship there.  She often came to Shabbat when I was davening on Saturday mornings, and she would always come to me afterward to tell me how much she enjoyed the service and how much she wanted to sing.

In the hours before she passed, Rabbi Miriam was with her.  Sadly, I didn’t know that she was so ill, and I did not get to say goodbye.  But, Doris knew.  And she said goodbye to me when she asked Rabbi Miriam to ask me to chant the prayers at her memorial services, and also to sing “I Will Always Love You,” as I often do before the Mourner’s Kaddish at Ahavat Torah.

I also have the great privilege to chant the traditional Jewish prayer for Mercy, Eil Malei Rachamin. To speak her name in this prayer…. this privilege is so humbling.  To pray for mercy for her, for her family, in this sacred transition, from human life to what lies beyond human life. Words fail to express my gratitude for being allowed to serve in this capacity – that the gift of music can reach into these sacred moments…

I am praying that I will sing and chant, bringing joy to my friend Doris, and comfort to her family and friends.