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There are few things more painful than to watch a loved one slip away. Ask any caregiver, any spouse, child, sibling, or parent, and they will tell you that waiting for the other shoe to drop can suck the marrow from your bones.

In the past, when meeting with a family, a rabbi would say, "Tell me about the deceased." Nowadays he/she is more likely to ask, "Who will be speaking at the service?"

Jewish tradition teaches that human beings are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26). This is the underpinning of all of the rituals and customs that make up a Jewish funeral.

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