I usually begin a series on life cycle events with Jewish funerals and mourning practices so that we will go from sorrow to joy, instead of the other direction. Today was “let’s talk about funerals” day.
There are two basic tasks that we have to perform at the end of a life: we have to care for the dead, and comfort the mourners. Caring for the dead involves respect for the person who has died: keeping the body safe, handling it gently and respectfully, and laying it to rest. Comforting mourners is done with our presence: they move through a process of grief, but Jewish tradition makes sure that they do not have to make that passage alone.
We had two handouts today that contain the important concepts from today’s lesson:
Several of you had to miss class due to Thanksgiving travel or illness. Let me know if you have questions about the material in the handouts, and be sure to read the pages in Settings of Silver.
Class will NOT meet next Sunday. See you in two weeks!
— Rabbi Ruth Adar