Jewish Rites of Death: Stories of Beauty and Transformation

Jewish Rites of Death: Stories of Beauty and Transformation

by Richard A. Light

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781938288579
Publisher: Terra Nova Books
Publication date: 08/23/2016
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Richard A. Light has been teaching spiritual development in various ways for more than thirty years, and has been studying and practicing meditation for more than forty years. He is a leader in the community of those who prepare Jewish bodies for burial, has published three books on the subject, and for eighteen years was president of a local Chevrah Kadisha he started in 1996. He is a vice president of the North American Kavod v’Nichum (Honor and Comfort), and continues to teach and raise awareness about Jewish death and burial practices at the local, state, and national levels.

Read an Excerpt

Have you ever done something holy, or felt that what you did was very close to what we know is holy? For most of us, this doesn

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Foreword xiii

Glossary of Hebrew Terms xv

Preface: Some Thoughts on What It Means to Be Human xxi

Introduction 3

The Jewish Way of Death 5

The Continuum of Life 7

Aging and Diminishment 9

Mother at 90 Zev Shariken 10

My Mother's Glasses Zev Shanken 11

Accompanying the Dying 13

Crossing Bridges Robert F. Benjamin 14

When the Veil Thins: The Space Between Karen Kaufman Milstein 17

Sitting on the Deck in the Afternoon Sun Richard A. Light 21

Accompanying the Dead 23

Guarding the Body of a Friend Ellie Barbarash 25

In Her Own Tongue Malke Frank 28

Why Do Shmirah David Zabarsky 29

Mourning and Grief 31

Now It's Our Turn Richard A. Light 33

Community Support 37

Reclaiming the Mourner's Path Rabbi Anne Brener 39

The Soul of the Matter 43

A Jewish View of Soul 45

Touching the Veil Between Worlds 48

Sacred Undertaking Richard A. Light 50

Midwifing a Soul 52

Taharah Experiences 53

The Greatest Mitzyah Mildred L. Covert 54

Facing Impermanence Rabbi Rachel Barenblat 57

Forever Changed Ilene Z. Rubenstein 62

Escorting the Dead Gloria Itman Blum 67

With Woman, With Life Tova Hinda Siegel 71

Caring for Those Who Have Died Anna Rayne-Levi 75

The Washer and the Washed: Bound in Sacred Duty Lynn Greenhough 78

Sometimes It's So Hard Richard A. Light 80

Synchronicity Laurie Dinerstein-Kurs 81

Iris, Cleansed Rebecca Jensen 84

My Traditional Jewish Burial Ritual Story Joyce Kendall Friedman 87

Under a Tree Zoe Ariana Van Raan 89

It Came That Day of Its Own Accord Richard A. Light 92

Setting Aside the Super Bowl, Just Once, for a Holy Act Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz 93

Mutually Supportive Death 96

To Enter the Liminal Space 101

An Overview of Taharah Ritual Procedures 102

The Power of Words-The Taharah Liturgy 106

Practical Considerations I: Planning for Death 112

Planning for Death: The Death Box 112

Ethical Wills 112

Wills and Advance Directives 113

Burial or Cremation? 113

Preneed Funeral Arrangements 114

Organ Donation 115

Does the Family Want a Traditional Jewish Burial? 115

Cemeteries and Burial Sites 115

Issues Around Status in Cemeteries 116

What to Expect From Funeral Homes 116

Caskets and Other Details 116

Information for the Funeral Home 116

Practical Considerations II: When Death Occurs 119

What to Do 119

Whom to Call 119

What If We Don't Have a Burial Plot? 120

Who Owns This Death? 120

The Role of the Rabbi or Synagogue 121

What If I'm Not Affiliated? 121

What Does It All Cost? 121

Kavod v'Nichum and the Gamliel Institute 124

Notes 127

For More Information 129

Web References and Organizations 129

Conferences 130

Books 130

About the Author and Photographer 131

Other Books Richard A. Light 132

Index 134

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