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Jewish Journal

Plan Ahead

Fred A. Helms

6 days ago

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As we confront our mortality at this time of year (the High Holidays), I would like to suggest a service you can perform that can alleviate suffering, prevent or ameliorate remorse and... read on

  • Learning to Comfort, Learning to Do

    Dr. Dan Fendel

    2 weeks ago

    As I’ve read the recent entries on this blog, I’ve been struck that something like this would never have existed a generation ago. And I don’t mean the social media aspect but the subject matter: the topic of death was not out in the open until recently.

    Death in general, and the... read on

  • Feeling the Soul Depart

    Deborah Brown

    3 weeks ago

    During the first Taharah in which I participated, I was given the job of holding the meitah's/deceased woman’s head. I had such a powerful feeling of an energy coming through me and a sense of my own head being held, feeling that the energy went out of me and into the hands that I... read on

  • Long waiting times & poor care in the V.A.

    Dr. Michael Slater

    September 3, 2014 | 6:00 am

    This is something different for Expired and Inspired. At the same time,this will not be another story about healthcare.  Rather, it will be about VA bureaucracy and respect for veterans at the end of life.

    My childhood best friend’s father died recently.  As Steven put it, his... read on

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  • Losing to Gain: The Central Paradox of Death Rituals - The Break that Binds

    Isaac Pollak

    August 27, 2014 | 6:00 am

    Central to religious practice, rituals may often seem intentionally obtuse, to the point of irrationality. This, in fact may be their very purpose. By devising rituals that at times seem to make little or no sense to the uninitiated, those who learn to perform the rituals - if not... read on

  • Under a Tree in the Wilderness

    Zoe Ariana Van Raan

    August 20, 2014 | 6:00 am

    She killed herself under a tree in the wilderness, with the intention of not being found until well after the process of bodily death was complete. Days later I stood in front of her casket.

    In the final few months of her life she sought out a Jewish community and declared... read on

  • The Passing Of Leibel Fein

    By Rabbi Joe Blair

    August 17, 2014 | 5:55 am

    Baruch dayan haemet (blessed be the true judge).

    Earlier this week, the death of Leonard “Leibel” Fein was announced. Much has been said about Leibel Fein, and his many accomplishments, by many who knew him, and can speak from personal experience of him. I am not one of those... read on

  • A Hospice Chaplain’s Tale

    Rabbi Karen B. Kaplan

    August 13, 2014 | 6:00 am

    A great way to stop a conversation cold with someone I am meeting for the first time is to let out that I was a hospice chaplain for seven years. It’s good to know that most readers of this blog would take this as a sublime conversation-starter instead.

    As I reflected with a... read on

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Death and funerals have long been taboo subjects. From preparing the deceased for burial to choosing a cemetery, many Jewish end-of-life rituals are unknown until experienced...

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