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Jewish Mourning

Redemption in the Present Tense

Daniel Raphael Silverstein | Posted 10.04.2014 | Religion
Daniel Raphael Silverstein

This week, Jews around the world are marking Tisha B'Av, a day of mourning for all that is broken in ourselves and in our world. Judaism generally pla...

The 90 Day Post-Mortem Mourning Report on Mom

Howard Barbanel | Posted 10.01.2014 | Religion
Howard Barbanel

Portrait of my late mother Alice Barbanel as a 21 year-old. I don't know where to put Mom. Not Mom in actuality, but her portrait. Mom passed away...

Tucking My Sister Into Bed

Peter Himmelman | Posted 07.08.2014 | Religion
Peter Himmelman

I climb to the top of the dirt pile, kick the blade of the shovel and drop the dry soil over the top of the casket. I feel as though I am covering my sister with a warm blanket, tucking her into bed one last time, as though this final act might atone for all the times I failed her.

A Life Beyond

Howard Meyer | Posted 04.02.2014 | Religion
Howard Meyer

What happens to your digital footprint when you die? Today, people's whole lives are documented, digitized and archived online. What is to ensure that people continue to remember and look for a person's memories years after they die?

Online 'Funeral Registry' Aids With Jewish Mourning

Religion News Service | Ann Marie Somma | Posted 10.25.2013 | Religion

SIMSBURY, Conn. (RNS) After burying her mother, Sharon Rosen found herself dealing with a problem: deli platter deliveries. A deluge of them, all ord...

Dealing With Tragedy and Loss

Steve Wiens | Posted 08.04.2013 | Religion
Steve Wiens

When we encounter others who are in pain, we do not know what to do. We do not know how to comfort them. And so we say things to make a really awkward moment less awkward. When we do that, we're actually trying to comfort ourselves, which is understandable, but not helpful.

Magnified And Sanctified: Women And Kaddish At The Western Wall

Judy Bolton-Fasman | Posted 06.08.2013 | Religion
Judy Bolton-Fasman

Last week, 15 narrow-minded men tried to outlaw women saying the Kaddish at the Western Wall. There was so much blowback that they rescinded their ban. I cannot imagine, I do not want to imagine, that we have returned to a time where being a woman is both demeaning and dangerous.

Count The Omer With Hope

Rabbi Joshua Stanton | Posted 06.02.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Joshua Stanton

The Omer need not be a time of sadness. The time between Passover and Shavuout can itself be transformational and full of hope.

How Do We Find Beauty in the Pain? Reflection on Sandy Hook

Dr. Michael Finkelstein | Posted 04.30.2013 | Healthy Living
Dr. Michael Finkelstein

It has now been more than two months since the inexplicably tragic massacre in Newtown, Conn. Anyone with a child in their life who they care for -- ...

A Jewish Shiva And The Hindu Shiva

Nanci Rose | Posted 03.17.2013 | Religion
Nanci Rose

As I ponder Shiva (a Hindu deity) in my unconventional shiva (Jewish mourning), I feel no worries over the mixing of traditions. I have chosen to creatively align with the positives of being my father's daughter.

National Tragedy, Personal Grief

Rabbi Yael Ridberg | Posted 02.25.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Yael Ridberg

I have officiated at many funerals, supporting families in their grief; I have experienced loss, I have been to untimely funerals and lived through national and international tragedies. Yet, it took this unspeakable massacre to really teach me.

The Price We Pay For Loving

Rev. Dr. Martha R. Jacobs | Posted 12.04.2012 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Martha R. Jacobs

This is the price we pay for loving others: the pain of the loss of their presence from our lives and the loss of their love, which they displayed in so many different ways throughout our mutually lived lives.

Theodicy In Contemporary Life: An Exploration Of The Book Of Lamentations

Joe Winkler | Posted 09.29.2012 | Religion
Joe Winkler

Lamentations, one of the five scrolls in the Jewish Bible, is a response to the destruction of the first Temple. Written in a dense, terse, poetically rich and complex five chapters, it has been a challenging text since its appearance.

Tisha B'Av: Making Mourning Traditions Meaningful

Ariel Gros-Werter | Posted 09.24.2012 | Religion
Ariel Gros-Werter

What happens to the significance and meaning of a tradition when affluence, technology and cultural change divorce it from its original meaning and place in our lives? For many modern-day Jews, old ways can feel stale.

Mourning Around The World

KidSpirit | Posted 07.27.2012 | Religion

Almost every religion or culture has its own traditions involving mourning. They all ultimately achieve the same thing, which is coming to terms with death.

Stories Of Loss And Chaos: The Ninth Of Av And The 10th Anniversary Of 9/11

Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster | Posted 10.08.2011 | Religion
Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster

Tisha B'Av has been a way for the Jewish community to confront and contain trauma through the telling of stories. But after 9/11, how can we have unity when we aren't clear what story we are telling?

Israel And The Three Weeks Of Jewish Mourning: Hope Amid Sadness, Confidence Amid Doubt

Rabbi Edward Bernstein | Posted 09.16.2011 | Religion
Rabbi Edward Bernstein

Tisha B'Av and the Three Weeks are a focal point of catharsis after which we can -- indeed, must -- get on with our lives to continue to build, dream and create a better world.

Don't Burn The Day: A Jewish Perspective Of Death

Rabbi Adam Jacobs | Posted 05.25.2011 | Religion
Rabbi Adam Jacobs

I had the unusual experience of being asked to officiate at two funerals. While never exactly enjoyable, I find that they are reflection opportunities bar none. Nothing is quite as sobering as witnessing that final brief journey from surface to deep six.

When Religious Institutions Fail: A Reflection for Tisha B'Av and Every Other Day

Brad Hirschfield | Posted 05.25.2011 | Religion
Brad Hirschfield

The integrity of our temples is guaranteed not by their walls, the armies that guard them, or the rituals performed within, but by the way in which we treat both those who worship in them and those who don't.

Tisha B'Av 2010: How Much Mourning Does Anybody Need?

Brad Hirschfield | Posted 05.25.2011 | Religion
Brad Hirschfield

How do we mourn a personal loss? How does a nation mourn a national tragedy? How much is enough? How much is too much? How does mourning help us to move on - to move back into life?