On the last days of Passover, while helping lead a holiday festival retreat in the California desert, I saw my father for the first time in ten years.
Awakened by a loud, frightening knock on our hotel door at three in the morning, I jumped up to see him, grinning and enthusiastic in a familiar blue suit, unexpectedly arrived to celebrate the conclusion of the festival with us.
It was a dream, of course—my wonderful father died in 2009. But his presence seemed so vivid, it reminded me of the Yizkor (remembrance) prayer I’d say next day in his honor—a tradition Jews observe on four set occasions in the Calendar.
Ironically, that part of the services was precisely the moment the anti-Semitic killer burst into a synagogue in Poway and began firing. But as my late father always insisted—we know, ultimately, life is stronger than death.