Preparing for Death

Death & Mourning 101

Much attention is paid to treating the dead with respect and to comforting mourners.

Dying

Jewish tradition invites us to think about our mortality long before our own deaths.

Preparing for Death

Some hasidic rebbes taught their disciples not only how to live, but also how to die.

Ethical Wills

On the Jewish custom of leaving a written spiritual legacy for one's children.

Viddui (Confession)

Traditional and liberal possibilities for this little-known practice.

Burial

Practical Aspects

From planning, to funeral, to shiva and the year that follows.

Funeral FAQs

Addressing common questions about Jewish funeral customs.

Graveside Service

Mourners, friends, and relatives accompany the deceased to the grave and help with the burial.

Stones on Graves

What do the stones symbolize? Where does the custom come from?

Planning a Funeral

A practical guide to preparations for Jewish burial and mourning.

Shiva

Bereavement Phases

Jewish mourning customs reflect the natural course of grief and recovery following the death of a loved one.

Shiva

Shiva is observed in the home as an intensive mourning period for close relatives.

Shiva Customs

The entire physical environment of the mourner acknowledges the immediacy of death.

How to Make a Shiva Call

Visiting a shiva requires total sensitivity to the needs of the mourner.

Ending Shiva

Getting up and walking around the block marks the end of a week of mourning.

Grieving

Death Teaches About Life

Death does not contradict life; it teaches us about the meaning of human existence.

Kaddish

Mourner's Kaddish is recited on a daily or weekly basis after the death of a close relative.

Yahrzeit

Customs to observe on the anniversary of a death.

Year of Mourning

Showing respect to one's parents, even after they die.

Jewish Tombstone Customs

All are equal in death.