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 shivaSeven-day mourning period following the funeral of a first-degree relative, during which time family members remain at home and receive visits of comfort. Other customs include abstinence from bathing and sex, covering mirrors, sitting lower than other visitors, and the lighting of a special memorial candle which burns for seven days., and the recitation of kaddishThe Aramaic memorial prayer for the dead. Mourners recite this prayer at every service, every day, in the presence of a minyan (prayer quorum) over the course of a year (for a parent) or thirty days (for a sibling or offspring). The prayer actually makes no mention of the dead, but rather prays for the sanctification and magnification of God’s name..
In this immersion, we will reflect and expand on our personal experiences of identity, using writing exercises and in-depth discussions to think about, challenge, discover, explore, and experiment with different ways to identify ourselves, to consider how those ways connect us to and separate us from others, and how they represent and misrepresent aspects of who we are.
Four sessions, starting June 15th
Subscribe for the latest rituals, online learning opportunities, and unique Judaica finds from our store.