Noach Dzmura


Dying Real

By Noach Dzmura

Dying Real
In the Oscar-winning movie “Departures,” Yojiro Takita shows traditional Japanese customs for preparing bodies for casketing prior to cremation. The art is beautiful, precise and utterly respectful of the deceased. From the very first scene, however, the movie-going audience’s expectations of the “traditional” are ruffled. First, the film shows a contemporary Japanese society in which rather than family members, professionals hired by the funeral parlor prepare the body. Second, the lovely young woman being prepared for burial is revealed to have elements of male anatomy.Read More


Honor and Comfort

By Noach Dzmura

How one organization helps Jews honor and comfort the dead.Read More


Surrounded By Angels

By Noach Dzmura

Surrounded By Angels
Thousands of souls crowd the large, airy space, their attention riveted to the actions of four women leaning over a gurney at the center of the hall. In silence, the women tenderly disrobe the body lying under a sheet. Their reverence for the task shows in the beauty and economy of their hand movements, in their gentle touch and in their concern for the modesty of the meitah (the female deceased). The women unfurl a sheet. When held aloft, the cloth is revealed to be a hupah, a canopy under which a woman is married.Read More


Your Father Is Dead and My Pot Roast Is Ruined

By Noach Dzmura

Your Father Is Dead and My Pot Roast Is Ruined
There is a moment directly after a loved one’s death when thought and action cease. It’s an instant of dissociation from everything before the tragedy, and everything that will follow. The hit HBO television show “Six Feet Under” took advantage of that moment once a week for five seasons to educate viewers about death and preparation for burial in a dramatic and entertaining way. As I watched the first season of the show in 2001, it seemed to me that rather than selling products, these weekly lessons about dying were meant to enhance the viewer’s life. I am accustomed to thinking of television as an ethical wasteland, and of Torah — not television — as the weekly lessons meant to enhance my Jewish life. This show seemed to bridge the gap.Read More






    Find us on Facebook!
    • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
    • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
    • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
    • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
    • Is boredom un-Jewish?
    • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
    • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
    • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel: http://jd.fo/i4UDl
    • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
    • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
    • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
    • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
    • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
    • "There are two roads. We have repeatedly taken the one more traveled, and that has made all the difference." Dahlia Scheindlin looks at the roots of Israel's conflict with Gaza.
    • Shalom, Cooperstown! Cooperstown Jewish mayor Jeff Katz and Jeff Idelson, director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, work together to oversee induction weekend.
    • from-cache

    Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















    We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

    Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.