Many Jews and their interfaith partners don’t know what to do when a death in the family occurs. It doesn’t have to be that way. These YouTube videos of talks I’ve given over the past year explain many Jewish traditions (and superstitions) regarding death, funerals, burial, and mourning.
My most recent talk, “Jewish Funeral Traditions on Film,” took place November 18, 2014, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event was held by the Jewish Community Center of Southern Nevada.
At the talk, topics included the rituals of tahara (washing and dressing of the body), shomer (watching the body before the funeral), and shivah (seven days of mourning), and how Jewish burial is naturally green burial.
Many of these concepts were illustrated with film clips. However, due to copyright restrictions on YouTube, this video does not feature the film clips presented in the talk. (I do have a license to legally present films in my talks. Contact me if you want to make arrangements for an in-person presentation with the film clips.) The next video below this one, however, is a complete lecture that covers much of the same territory.
A big thanks to the sponsors of this talk: Kraft-Sussman Funeral Services, King David Memorial Chapel & Cemetery, Jewish Family Service Agency, The Jewish Federation of Las Vegas, and Nathan Adelson Hospice.
This next presentation, “Jewish Funeral Traditions and Superstitions,” took place at the Greater Albuquerque Jewish Community Center’s annual A Taste of Honey educational event in February, 2014.
Jewish traditions related to death, funerals and mourning are rarely taught in Hebrew School. In this hour-long show-and-tell class, we looked at items used for funerals and discussed the historical, practical and ritual reasons for each. Items included burial shrouds (tachrichim), the keriah ribbon, a shivah candle, a water pitcher and more.
This talk is available on DVD for only $24.99 plus shipping. Order here!
At the 2015 A Taste of Honey event at the Greater Albuquerque JCC, taking place Sunday, February 1, I’ll be presenting on “Jews and Cremation.” The cremation rate in the United States is steadily climbing, and Jews are included in that rising rate. This session will examine the “why” of Jewish burial and cremation, the “how” of the cremation process, and the “what next” for those Jews considering cremation.
Here’s a short video overview of some of the issues I’ll be addressing. People will be able to register for the next A Taste of Honey event at the JCC’s website, www.JCCABQ.org.