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

“For the first time / I will miss / The Hanukkah lights”
nine candles lit against black background
“Teach us to spin apart the light in this dark.”
person holding lit tea light candle near rows of other lit tea lights
“because you breathed / because you dreamed”
coral colored stone with the word remember on it with line of stones in the background in various shades of coral and beige
“i am the rock that burst open”
headstone with hebrew writing and stones on top
“We are here / To find the cracks / At the edges of possibilities”
mountains sunrise fog clouds
“We can envision this world and beyond as havens of peace”
landscape of pink-tinted mountains with person standing and sky above with one cloud on the right side
“Whatever is being born / In the darkened seed / Of Mar Heshvan / Is welcomed”
autumn forest with path between trees and waning light
“Blessed burning of yahrzeit candle’
lit candle, thick and white, next to white petal on wood table against black background
“My mother was at peace, so I could be at peace.”
closeup of elderly woman's hands being held by younger person's hands, both light-skinned
“Blessed are those who couldn’t take the pain of living anymore”
person in silhouette looking out at foggy blue pink sky with tree in background

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