Look back to look forward.

We need our past to get to our future.

In 10th grade I had a Jewish History teacher who began the first lesson of the year with a parable; a man was walking on the way when he came to a fork in the road. Not knowing which way to go, he searched for a street sign which would give him direction. The sign, however, lay on the ground. Picking it up and implanting it in the ground would be useless to him unless he could identify one of the directions. The only way to use the sign properly would be to know from whence he came so that he could use his past to direct his future. 

This week we read the short Parsha of Zachor. Remember. Remember what Amelek did to you on the way. Remember where you come from so that you can confidently move forward. You cannot move forward in life without using your past; who we are is a conglomeration of where we come from, the choices we make, and what we choose to bring with us from the past into our future. 

Losing someone teaches this lesson with a special depth. While Azi is no longer with us, he very much influences our future based on our memories and experiences with him. Moving forward without him is only possible if his loss is used to catapult us forward. May we all be zoche to use our past as a stepping stone for our future, both individually and collectively as a nation.