When tragedy strikes what do we say to God? In Parshat Shemini Aaron’s sons, Nadav and Avihu, die suddenly. Dr. David Frankel, senior lecturer in Bible at the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies, examines Aaron’s silent response and contrasts it with The Book of Job and the outrage Job expresses when faced with suffering. When is the time for silent submission and when is outraged protest appropriate?
Rabbi Dr. Reb Mimi Feigelson, Mashpiah Ruhanit (Spiritual Mentor) and senior lecturer of Rabbinics and Hasidic Thought at the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary, explores Jacob’s identity when he is on his deathbed. Jacob, also known as Israel, articulates his values as he dies and how he wants his descendants, the Children of Israel, to live.
In my book Ideology and Landscape, which is about reinterring Zionist leaders in the homeland, I devoted a chapter to the reburial of Baron Edmond de Rothschild in Ramat Hanadiv. He and his wife Ada (Adelheid) were reinterred there in April 1954 in an imposing public ceremony. An Israeli battleship brought the coffins from Marseille to Haifa, and from there they were transported to the majestic burial estate south of the Carmel.
After checking dozens of books we have learned that there are three customs related to dirt, grass and stones at the end of the burial service or after visiting a grave. We shall present them in chronological order with the sources and explanations we have found for each custom:
Asked by Rabbi Rachel Schwartz on the behalf of a pupil at a Hebrew school in the United States: Why is the kittel worn on the High Holy Days? When were Torah scrolls first dressed in white for the High Holy Days and what prompted this change?
From the story of a life on its last journey, from words of family members gathered around the grave, rises terrible pain but also a great light. Notes from Mt. Herzl
It is common practice today for a child to recite kaddish in memory of a parent for 11 months, even though the normal period of mourning is 12 months. How long should a child recite kaddish for a parent and why?
Chanukah, the Festival of Lights – when those colorful little candles illuminate the great darkness imposed by nature, when the days are short and the moon has waned – provides us with a good opportunity to recount the story of the growing, multifaceted Spiritual Care movement in Israel, which is bringing light and gladness to those in darkness and despondency.
For all these years I have conducted funerals and cut keriahaccording to Yoreh Deah, children on the left and spouses on the right. My mother blanched at this and we still did it for her on the right, but it has made me wonder: How far back can we trace this distinction? It feels like a statement that blood is thicker than contracts. Is this true? Or does the child need to have his/her heart exposed, in order to get in touch with their own feelings? Can you help me with this?