Jewish Rites of Death
Stories of Beauty and Transformation
Richard A. Light & Rabbi Jack Riemer
This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.
Death is the ultimate transformative experience. For Jewish communities, the ways this is dealt with—shaped by millennia of custom and belief—do more than routinely follow a set of prescribed practices; they provide an opening to a series of traditions compelling in their profound beauty and power. In Jewish Rites of Death, Rick Light presents both a practical, informative guide to these practices and a compendium in which local volunteers who bring the blessings of these traditions to both the deceased and the bereaved write of the immeasurable enhancement their own lives have gained from them as well. As the personal stories of author and his contributors make clear, the prayers, the physical actions in preparing the dead for burial, and the intentions of the heart involved in Jewish death rituals open a unique window on the fine line a soul passes over between this world and the next. Those choosing to involve themselves with the crossing of this boundary tell in Jewish Rites of Death of feelings, thoughts, inspiration—and maybe even a little wisdom—that result from their shared experiences. Jewish tradition teaches that death is not taboo or hidden; it is simply part of the cycle of events that constitute a life. In its deepest sense, this book offers basic and eternal truths on what it really means to be human.