One aspect of saying kaddish is to remember and pay respect to a lost relative. Our tradition teaches that one can never fully appreciate all that a parent has done for a child. Thus, the period of mourning and restrictions for a parent, twelve months, is far longer than for any other loss. The Torah teaches that the role of one’s rebbe, teacher of Torah, is akin in many respects to, and in some respects greater than the role of a parent. Aaron HaCohen’s sons were considered children of Moshe Rabbeinu (Moses) because Moshe taught them Torah. The loss of one’s rebbe is therefore to be regarded as a great personal loss.
Today, the 9th day of Tammuz, is the yahrzeit of the holy Klausenberger Rebbe zy”a and the yahrzeit of Reb Dovid Lifshitz,zt”l, the Suvalker Rav, in whose shuir I was privileged to learn for two years. Both of these giants, each in different ways and at different times in my life had and continue to have a profound impact on me.
How much more mindful I am of their yahrzeits and the meaning of their lives to me during this period of mourning for my mother.