Tomorrow I will say Mourner’s Kaddish for my late friend Ed.
It is not his Hebrew Yahrtzeit (Hebrew anniversary of one’s death). That will not be for another two weeks according to the Hebrew calendar.
I do not think that Ed would mind. He was more spiritually Jewish (as I once told a reporter who asked which synagogue he belonged to).
Ed’s religion was the music he loved (some of it played and recorded by musicians on the record label that he owned), his photography, his writings, his love for his family and friends.
I first met Ed at the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers Newark where he worked for almost 4 decades.
He became the editor of my first book, coaxing, prodding, nagging and encouraging me as well as calming this very anxious first-time author — after my book was finally published.
We became good friends after my book was published.
To be Ed’s friend was very special. He always had your back.
His sudden passing 3 years ago tomorrow left an abyss for so many of us, for Ed was an integral part of our lives.
A week ago Sunday, I stood in the second floor exhibit gallery at the Jewish Museum of New Jersey in Newark. It was the last day of the Ed Berger Photo Exhibit.
There was no one else in the room. I walked around slowly looking at each photo.
I had seen these 30 photos numerous times over the past year (since I first conceived the idea of doing an exhibit of a small selection of the thousands of photos that Ed had shot over almost 50 years).
As I gazed at each of the photos for the last time at the exhibit I felt Ed’s spirit.
Tomorrow I will say Mourner’s Kaddish for my friend Ed with sadness and with gratitude.