This was the first year (unfortunately) that I said the Yizkor prayer for my mother. I said it at home, there was no way I was getting to the synagogue. I remember all the years that those of us who hadn't lost anyone would file out of the sanctuary and hang out in the lobby. A few minutes later someone would pop out and let us know that it was time to come back.
I always thought it must have been a big-time prayer - long and difficult to read. It wasn't. It was two paragraphs long. Truthfully, I was surprised.
It's interesting to me that so many people who aren't regular shul goers come to the synagogue special just to say those two paragraphs. I think that it must be about a need for connection to those we've lost. Even those who only come to shul every so often, I think, make a statement of belief when they come for Yizkor - speaking directly to G-d, asking the Almighty to watch out for their relatives.
I'm not saying that they should be limiting their time in shul to only when they can say Yizkor. In fact, I think they are losing out on building a relationship with G-d and with their community - but I do think that I have to re-evaluate what I used to think about those who do that.
Wishing everyone a healthy, happy New Year!
Time to get ready for Sukkot! Happy Sukkah building!