Shema

Va-Etchanan - Unending Love

This Shabbat we begin the cycle of love; seven special Torah readings leading up to our New Year, Rosh
HaShannah, seven weeks in which we open to the experience of G-d’s love for us, and G-d’s yearning to have us draw closer.

This week we also commemorated the saddest day in the Jewish calendar, Tisha B’Av, which marks the destruction of the First and Second Temple, as well as other tragedies for the Jewish people.

CAJE Rapid Curriculum Response: Disaster and Trauma

This article originally appeared on the Caje website; our staff is now actively involved in developing and providing programs for NewCaje.

Judaism is rich in both practical humanitarian, psychological and spiritual wisdom about how to survive and respond to disasters of every kind. Here you will find important resources for both.

Goal #1: Pause to assess your own reaction to the disaster; this will help you prepare to be with students.

Opening the Dialogue with God in B’nai Mitzvah Preparation

The B-Mitzvah (R)evolution

by Rabbi Hanna Tiferet Siegel

An anxious pre-teen enters tentatively into my home for the first day of b’nai mitzvah training. We begin by chatting to learn the basics about each other. Listed below are some of the questions I ask and some of the responses I receive.

Understanding Jewish Approaches to Dying and Burial

Considerations before Dying

Writing and regularly updating a legal will, an ethical will, a living will, and power of attorney for finance and health care; be sure to specify in your living will your intention to fulfill the mitzvah of organ donation.

Acquiring the deed to your kever, grave

Genesis 3:19: “for you are dust and to dust you will return.” Jewish tradition views humanity as created from earth, so we are responsible for the rapid return of our body’s remaining nutrients to the earth to support the cycle of all living things. Most traditionally, this is done within 24 hours. It is customary to pre-arrange a grave for yourself; many do this in late mid-life. Organizing a family plot with a pre-paid perpetual care contract reduces stress on future generations and creates a genealogical cluster of grave markers that may become meaningful to those who come long after you.