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Tag: Shmirah

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  • A Taharah Thought for Thanksgiving

    By Rabbi Joe Blair

    2 weeks ago

    Tomorrow, November 24th, 2016, is Thanksgiving in the U.S. Lots of people will be gathering with loved ones, enjoying a favorite meal and special treats, chatting about events, possibly arguing about views of what the future holds. Some will be watching football (American, not the...

  • The Blessing of Being There

    March 2, 2016 | 4:01 am

    So often, when we think of Jewish Burial, we think of Taharah, the washing and dressing of the body. I would like us to consider that the other part of traditional practice, sitting shomer, siting as a guard, is equally as important and can have a profound effect on your community....

  • How’re We Doing?

    By Rabbi Joe Blair

    January 13, 2016 | 7:58 am

    Expired and Inspired debuted on June 9th 2014. There have been 88 posts in the thirty months since then up to this one. Almost every posting has been a gem (at least, in my humble opinion), a tiny jewel that served as a prism, focusing a beautiful light on to the topic it...

  • Expired and Inspired On the Road

    By Rabbi Joe Blair

    June 24, 2015 | 3:41 am

    Recently, for several weeks, I published this blog from ‘on the road’. The reason for the travel is related to the blog, and I thought it might be worthwhile to let readers know, because some of the upcoming entries in the weeks ahead will be as a result of that travel.

    If you...

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  • The Chevrah Kadisha Conference

    March 4, 2015 | 3:40 am

    Once a year, we attend a gathering of individuals from a range of Jewish backgrounds, with varying perspectives and practices, who come together in a spirit of kindness and compassion, intellectually curious, eager to learn from one another, and open to supporting and being...

  • Prayer for Shomerim

    February 18, 2015 | 3:24 am

    Prayer for the Shomerim*

    As you travel towards the funeral home,
    May you be blessed with patience.

    As you enter the chapel,
    May you be blessed with slowing.

    As you relieve your predecessor,
    May you be blessed with hugs and knowing silence.

    As you gather near the...

  • Soul Play

    October 1, 2014 | 5:00 am

    --- Parashat Yom Kippur: Leviticus 16:1-34, Numbers 29:7-11

     For many of us, death is “the unthinkable.” Yom Kippur is supposed to help us with this problem. It asks us once a year to spend a day without food, water and other elements of life, and to dress in one of the garments...

  • Honor Guard

    July 8, 2014 | 1:17 am

    This is a description that I wrote shortly after I had my first experience of shmirah, guarding or watching over someone who has died. The Jewish tradition is not to leave a person alone from the time of their death until the time of their burial. A shomer (male) or shomeret...

  • Guarding the Body of a Friend

    June 13, 2014 | 11:32 am

    I left for the airport as soon as I got the call. My friend Yosefa, a brilliant tattoo artist, educator, and fellow Kohenet, was on her deathbed, dying of a brain tumor. I booked the next flight from Philadelphia to Seattle in time to do shemirah, to guard her body and soul after...

  • Becoming Less Normal

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    May 29, 2013 | 8:00 am

    I’ve never really considered myself to be “normal.” What I mean by that is I’ve always felt different from most other people. It probably started with my toes. The second and third toe on each of my feet are joined about half way up. (They are not, I must clarify, webbed!) It...

  • On Guard in the West Bank

    By David Margolis

    January 7, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Is this me? Eight o'clock on a Tuesday evening, I'm strolling down the ordinary street of my town, carrying an M-16 rifle. Tonight, it's my turn again to do shmirah, guard duty, a chore required about once a month of every male resident here at Beit Yattir, the West Bank village...
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