Posts Tagged: death

Knowing When it’s Time: A Response to Rabbi Rosalind Gold



La-kol z’man; v’eit l’khol khefetz takhat ha-shamayim…eit s’fod v’eit r’kod… (To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven…a time to mourn and a time to dance…) These words from Ecclesiastes 3, so familiar and widely affirmed to us in liturgy and in song, are nonetheless ignored in the common […]

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Remembrances of Larry Kaufman



Dear Larry, As a regular reader—and writer of comments—on my blog (and plenty of others, too), you know all too well that I have a penchant for writing to people who are unlikely to answer by way of the USPS, Gmail or AOL. No doubt you’ve read many a note to my late mother and […]

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Please, Please, Have This Vital Conversation



I do not know of any colleague who has not, at one time or another, sat with a family as a loved one neared the end of life. It can be a heart-wrenching, spiritual, troublesome, anxious and fulfilling encounter — all at the same time. Sadly, too many families find themselves alone and adrift in […]

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Rabbi David Hartman’s Torah of Pluralism



Two thousand years ago, a rabbi recalled the breadth and depth of what his teacher had given him. Yohanan ben Zakkai remembered his teacher Hillel saying: If all the heavens were parchments and all the trees quills and all the seas were ink, it would still be impossible to write down even a part of […]

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Mayor Mish-Mash: Remembering Ed Koch



The New York Times published an interesting story this week on late NYC Mayor Ed Koch, a Jew. Apparently the mayor’s rabbi, Arthur Schneier of Park East Synagogue (Modern Orthodox), tried to take His Honor cemetery shopping, but Koch was bound and determined to be buried in Manhattan, and so he will spend eternity in […]

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Machpelah – Why (or if) it Matters



Our parashah the last week of the secular year was Va-y’chi, whose major components are Jacob’s blessings, first of Manasseh and Ephraim, and then of his own sons, but especially the concerns of both Joseph and Jacob that they not be buried in Egypt. This preoccupation with the place of burial particularly haunted me, because […]

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Newtown: The Selma of Our Generation



by Harold S. Geller Just a week after the unspeakable mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, I traveled to Newtown, CT, to help organize a musical evening of remembrance and healing in support of the community. This event took place at Congregation Adath Israel, Newtown’s Conservative synagogue, and featured artists and cantors from throughout […]

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Responding to the Tragedy in Newtown, CT



Although it has been several days since the horrific events in Newtown, CT, our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the families and community members whose losses seem to be more than we can contemplate. Even before the healing begins, we know that it will be a long time until the raw, open wounds […]

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Coming Together After Tragedy



Our prayers and hearts are with those whose lives have been so tragically altered by the school shooting today in Newtown, CT. In our tradition, immediately following a death we know that no words of comfort can yet be heard, so we offer instead our presence and our empathy as we honor and try to […]

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Cemetery Restoration: One Congregation’s Story



by Max J. Goodman It was October of 2010. I was standing in Bradford, Pennsylvania’s Beth Israel Cemetery at the base of my parents’ headstone. The wind was swirling, the temperature was falling, snow was coming.  I looked up at the dead tree leaning ominously over the headstone and thought, “Why doesn’t someone cut down […]

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Strength from Sadness in a Community of Engaged Teens



In preparation for the Campaign for Youth Engagement‘s launch at Biennial 2011, over 1,000 teens, educators, rabbis, youth workers, cantors, administrators, and lay leaders were involved in grassroots conversations about what engages teens and what does not. One theme clearly stood out: building meaningful relationships and a dynamic and engaged Jewish community is essential for […]

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The Secret to Life After Death



by Rabbi Evan Moffic “At times,” wrote Hans Zinnsser “the dead are closer to us than the living, and the wisdom and affection of the past stretch blessing hands over our lives, projecting a guardian care out of the shadows and helping us over hard places.” Last month we were are reminded of this truth […]

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How Will You Be Remembered?



by Brad Meltzer During the High Holy Days, we are often asked to think about the content of our character. Have you stopped to think about how you will be remembered when you die? What will people say about you? What will they think? Were you good? Bad? Did you matter? Scary questions, right? They’re […]

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Sitting Shiva in the Sand



by Kim Phillips Originally posted on November 10, 2010 at Kim’s Little Blog. My mother died, and she wasn’t Jewish.  I am, and sometime after I converted, it occurred to me to wonder, “Do I sit shiva if my mom passes away?” The word shiva comes from the Hebrew word for “seven” and refers to […]

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