Death & Mourning

While Judaism places great emphasis on our lives in this world, death is an inevitable end for all of us. Often Jews who have been distant from traditional Jewish practice for their whole lives seek the comfort of traditional Judaism in the face of death. For mourners, whose lives are often turned upside down by death, the traditional practices of mourning can provide structure and comfort. Here you will find resources that address each aspect of the process of navigating death and mourning—from the moment of death, to the burial of the body, the tearing of clothes, the weeklong practice of shiva, and the recitation of kaddish.


Latest Rituals

“Now, your breath is within me. / And Kaddish is like a love letter.” 
a collage with the words of the Kaddish and pastel watercolors
“May the Shekhinah drive you home in her taxi…”
a heart shape created from pages of an open book
Elliott batTzedek shares an original interpretation of the Kaddish.
two hands reaching to the heavens
Rabbi Marina Yergin shares a new ritual for mourning.
Rabbi Yergin leans against her father.
“I offer instead / my presence…”
sunbeams coming through the fog in the forest
“In this place, this sacred place, in the Court of Justice, the Court of G-d, / we are all equal, and we are all a blessing.”
a gate through trees looking into the clouds
“Abraham sat all night with the body of his beloved that he bathed tenderly…”
a cave in Israel
An greeting for mourners orienting towards one another.
a person in shadow bent in grief
“We get to Kaddish, I just hit a wall…”
a person stands in a sunset, holding a candle
“Into what space do we turn on our winding ways / to the place of tears and grief?”
a person in shadow bent in grief

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Jewish Spiritual Autobiography

 Writing a spiritual autobiography helps you to discover how teachers, touchstones, symbols and stories have led you to make meaning and understand the sacred in your personal story. In this immersion, join Ritualwell’s Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer, a writer and spiritual director, to map out and narrate your most sacred life experiences. Four sessions starting May 16, 2024. 

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