I found this past week at shul absolutely exhausting. As it was my mom’s yahrzeit, I looked to get there early (for me) and wanted to say as many of the memorial kaddishes (prayers for the deceased) as I could. I chanted two of the aliyot from the Torah. At my synagogue, we have members read different portions of the Torah, instead of paying someone to do it.
I read the fourth aliyah which was fairly lengthy (I have done longer, but it is a decent size reading. I also read the seventh aliyah. Under normal circumstances this would be fairly long but at my synagogue, they break this one down into four aliyot (as they do 10 instead of the traditional seven). As a result, it was not that long, but it still took some practice and review.
In addition, I received the Maftir Aliyah and read Haftorah. This is the second shortest Haftorah that exists. Still, I found myself exhausted after doing all of it. I am glad I did it, as I did it in my mother’s memory, but now I am glad it is over. I am still not fully back to myself, but I am close.
It is amazing the sense of obligation and responsibility (and I mean this in a positive way) one can have to parents even after they have died. My parents were very big on doing for people while they are alive so those individuals can appreciate it. I certainly tried to do that (I think I did a pretty good job but am sure I fell short at times). Still, the urge to do, that sense to responsibility still remains. Hopefully it will remain for many years and hopefully I will be able to pass it on to my son, not by what I say, but by what I do.