Talking About Death: Jewish Customs to Care for Loved Ones At the End of Life
A Presentation by Rabbi Linda Holtzman
Confronting death and dying is difficult, and many of us avoid it. We prefer not to think about it, discuss it with others, or do pre-planning for our deaths or the deaths of our loved ones. We live in a society that does not encourage us to confront our mortality, and it leaves us little space to process the reality that at some point we will all die.
Judaism encourages us to do just the opposite. Many rituals are designed to help us embrace the certainty that we will die and watch loved ones die, and they give us many opportunities to find holiness during times of distress and grief.
Rabbi Linda Holtzman, founder of a chevra kadisha (burial society) in Philadelphia and faculty member at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, will discuss Jewish customs around death and help us explore the rich traditions of Judaism. She will specifically explain the rituals of shmira (watching over the body) and tahara (ritual washing of the body). She will also address the psychological importance of accompanying a loved one through the dying process, being emotionally present after death occurs, and taking the time to properly mourn.
Please join us for this important community-wide conversation on death and dying.
Co-sponsored by Beth Israel Center, Congregation Shaarei Shamayim, Temple Beth El, Jewish Social Services, and the Madison Chevra Kadisha. This program is free and open to the entire community thanks to the generous support of the Madison Chevra Kadisha.
Sponsor: Congregation Shaarei Shamayim, Beth Israel Center, Temple Beth El, Jewish Social Services, and the Madison Chevra Kadisha