A Step-by-Step Guide for Honoring the Dead and Empowering the Living
When someone dies, there are so many questionsfrom what to do in the moment of grief, to dealing with the practical details of the funeral, to spiritual concerns about the meaning of life and death. This indispensable guide to Jewish mourning and comfort provides traditional and modern insights into every aspect of loss. In a new, easy-to-use format, this classic resource is full of wise advice to help you cope with death and comfort others when they are bereaved.
Dr. Ron Wolfson takes you step by step through the mourning process, including the specifics of funeral preparations, preparing the home and family to sit shiva, and visiting the grave. Special sections deal with helping young children grieve, mourning the death of an infant or child, and more.
Wolfson captures the poignant stories of people in all stages of grievingchildren, spouses, parents, rabbis, friends, non-Jewsand provides new strategies for reinvigorating and transforming the Jewish ways we mourn, grieve, remember, and carry on with our lives after the death of a loved one.
About the Author
Dr. Ron Wolfson, visionary educator and inspirational speaker, is Fingerhut Professor of Education at American Jewish University in Los Angeles and a cofounder of Synagogue 3000. He is author of Relational Judaism: Using the Power of Relationships to Transform the Jewish Community; The Seven Questions You're Asked in Heaven: Reviewing and Renewing Your Life on Earth; Be Like God: God's To-Do List for Kids; God's To-Do List: 103 Ways to Be an Angel and Do God's Work on Earth; Hanukkah, Passover and Shabbat, all Federation of Jewish Men's Clubs Art of Jewish Living family guides to spiritual celebrations; The Spirituality of Welcoming: How to Transform Your Congregation into a Sacred Community; A Time to Mourn, a Time to Comfort: A Guide to Jewish Bereavement and Comfort and, with Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, What You Will See Inside a Synagogue (all Jewish Lights), a book for children ages 6 and up. He contributed to May God Remember: Memory and Memorializing in JudaismYizkor, Who by Fire, Who by WaterUn'taneh Tokef, All These VowsKol Nidre and We Have Sinned: Sin and Confession in JudaismAshamnu and Al Chet (all Jewish Lights).
Table of Contents
Foreword by Rabbi David J. Wolpe Introduction Acknowledgments for the Second Edition Acknowledgments for the First Edition How to Read This Book Biographies of the Voices in This Book The Art of Jewish Mourning and Comforting PART 1 : FACING DEATH The Process of Dying Visiting the Dying Talking with the Dying Caregiving PART 2: A DEATH IN THE FAMILY Medical Issues and Jewish Law Advance Directives for Health Care The Vidui Confessional What Happens When a Person Dies? Special Cases Neonatal Death Miscarriage The Death of a Child AIDS-Related Deaths PART 3: THE ART OF JEWISH MOURNING Grief-Work and the Experience of Jewish Mourning The Phases of Jewish Bereavement PART 4: FROM THE DEATH TO THE FUNERAL For Mourners "What Do I Do Now?" Making Funeral Arrangements Helping Grieving Children Preparing for Shiva For Comforters When a Friend Experiences a DeathThe Art of Jewish Comforting What Can You Do? Close Friends Friends PART 5: THE FUNERAL For Mourners The Service How to Write and Deliver a Eulogy The Kaddish The Mourner's Kaddish Questions about the Funeral Sephardic Burial Customs Special Cases For Comforters How to Attend a Funeral PART 6: SHIVA For Mourners Shiva How Long Is Shiva? The Observance of Shiva The Open HouseorWho's the Host? Who's the Guest? Seudat Ha-havra'ahThe Meal of Condolence Prayer Services during Shiva Questions about Shiva Services Sephardic Customs during Shiva Children during Shiva Dealing with the Aftermath "Getting Up" from Shiva "Sitting Shiva" out of Town For Comforters How to Make a Shiva Call "What Do I Say?" "Don't Take My Grief Away" Hearing with a Heart What You Can Say Sharing Memories Additional Reflections for Mourners How to Talk to Comforters Family Time Planning for the Future PART 7: "WHAT CAN I WRITE?" For Comforters How to Write a Condolence Letter For Mourners How to Respond to Comforters' Letters PART 8: SHLOSHIM TO YIZKOR For Mourners Shloshim Questions about Shloshim Saying Kaddish Gravestones and Unveilings Visiting the Grave Memorial Tablets Yahrtzeit Yizkor Naming Children Excessive Grief Exhumation Remembering the Deceased Starting Over Being Single Again For Comforters Remembering the Living The Community and the Bereaved PART 9: HOW TO PREPARE FOR YOUR OWN DEATH Before Funeral Arrangements An Ethical Will A Living Will Estate Instructions Distribution of Personal Items PART : AFTERLIFE What Happens after We Die? Epilogue APPENDICES Estate Instructions Estate Planning Checklist Glossary Selected Bibliography