Perhaps because of Judaism’s emphasis on life, Jewish death rituals are often beautiful, stark, and wise. They are a gift we can give to the world — and offer mourning without myth.
When Henrik Eger attended a shiva for the first time, he expected to find a family in mourning. Instead he found young Jews watching porn in the basement.
Shiva used to be a strictly choreographed week of mourning. Many families now wrap things up in three days, with catered deli food, some smiles and little solemn prayer.
During her interview with the family of Newtown rampage victim Noah Pozner’s family, Naomi Zeveloff was stunned by the stark descriptions provided by his mother.
Noah Pozner’s family spent a week sitting shiva for the Newtown rampage victim.
In Genesis, when Jacob sees Joseph’s coat covered in blood, and thinks that his precious son is dead, he tears his clothes and begins to mourn. The act of tearing, keriah, is encoded in Jewish law as part of the ritual of mourning —whether expressing personal grief for a loved one or a national grief for the people’s destruction.
When it comes to the Jewish family behind Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey, the real circus is taking place outside the big top.
For Indian Jewish shivas, bagels won’t cut it. Fragrant rice and chicken will.
On a recent Friday afternoon, here in Phnom Penh, my husband, Jeremy, and I went to visit the family of one of his former employees, Mak Lavin. Jeremy started an NGO called Digital Divide Data (DDD) that is based here, so, as I wrote in my last dispatch, we and our two young children are spending the month in Cambodia.