Al Vorspan, a giant for social justice, died on February 17 at the age of 95. Like Amos, Micah, and Isaiah, Al was not afraid to speak truth to power.
Related Blog Posts on Death and Mourning
In the wake of the murder of 11 Jews at prayer, congregations and communities have gathered in sanctuaries and in parks and on street corners to mourn the victims.
My renewed strength will fuel me as I return to Parkland this week to serve my congregants and community, and for that I cannot thank Kutz enough.
At least 300 are dead and 125 injured after an attack on a Sufi mosque in the Northern Sinai on Friday, including at least 27 children.
I feel that it is time that we, as rabbis and as a Jewish community, begin to speak more about the environmental advantages of a traditional Jewish burial.
Without her, there are so many empty places, empty sights, so much emptiness. Yet I never thought of retreating into the emptiness; I know my dear Phyllis wanted me to embrace life.
Psalm 23 is traditionally recited during funerals, shiva visitations, and Yizkor ceremonies. Although this psalm talks about God, I think about it this morning and see it under a completely new light. Today, I think it talks about you.
Jews have blessings for almost every occasion. I recommend we recite one before emptying the contents of our parents’ home after they die.
If on Yom Kippur we rehearse our own death, then on Tishah B’Av (observed last month), we begin the annual process of preparing for death. The seven-week period from Tishah B’Av to Rosh HaShanah provides an opportunity to cultivate our souls, to reestablish our relationship with God, and to reconcile with ourselves and others. We transform the potentially passive experience of judgment into an active process of self-awareness, acceptance, engagement, and transformation.
I had always thought of Jewish cemeteries as solemn places – but that was before going to a hilloula (festivity) 30 years ago in the Moroccan town of Ouazzane on Lag BaOmer, the Jewish holiday that falls on the 33rd day between Pesach and Shavuot.