Tag Archives: Judaism

The Judaic Tradition of Ethical Wills

Ethical wills have been part of Jewish heritage for generations

An ethical will — also known as a “legacy letter” — is a document that bequeaths not material goods, but ideas and values. For Jewish people, ethical wills are a recognized part of how their faith is passed on from … Continue reading

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Sealing a Gravesite with Stones: A Cross-Cultural Tradition

The ritual of leaving a small stone at a gravesite resonates across Jewish and Christian traditions

Leaving a small stone on a gravesite is a gesture recognizable from Hollywood film, which reflects a centuries-old practice found in both Jewish and pre-Christian European traditions. While the practice has historical and cultural origins, it has in recent years … Continue reading

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Book Review: “Cremation or Burial? A Jewish View” by Doron Kornbluth

A case advocating burial over the increasingly popular practice of cremation

Modern society tends to prefer cremation: it is perceived as cheaper than a burial, more environmentally sound, and, well, just more hip. To the contemporary person, “the idea of scattering ashes seems a eco-friendly alternative” to burial. The idea of … Continue reading

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The Jewish Mourning Tradition of Shiva

An exploration into the meaning and rituals of Shiva

When a practicing member of Judaism dies, the first stage of the mourning traditions is Shiva. The word “Shiva” means seven and originates from the beginning of the Torah, when Joseph mourned the loss of his father Jacob for seven … Continue reading

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Traditional Jewish Burial Rights

How non-orthodox Jews are reclaiming traditional Jewish burial rituals

It is hard to believe that it was just a few years ago when Hal Miller-Jacobs, a non-orthodox Jew, created “an inclusive Jewish burial society” for the Greater Boston area. The society has already made enormous strides for those in … Continue reading

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Marc Chagall: “The Death”

With Hanukkah upon us, we look to a painting by the celebrated Jewish artist Marc Chagall

In the spirit of Hannukah (and Thanksgivukkah, because that was pretty neat), we look to the painting The Death (1908) by Jewish artist Marc Chagall. Chagall was born Moishe Segal in the small town of Liozna, Russia in 1887. Life … Continue reading

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