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Jewish Death Practices:
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A Plain Pine Box

in
$10

 

Scores of books have been published in the last forty years about aspects of Jewish traditions around death, funerals, burial, and mourning. Some explain practices from a halachic or historical perspective. Others help the mourner work through grief. The third type is about community building. It is about how we must prepare ourselves and our synagogues for kavod hamet (honor and care for the dead) and nichum avelim (comfort the bereaved). Such a book is A Plain Pine Box.

A Plain Pine Box is an elegant, simple book. We walk with Rabbi Goodman as he and his congregation learn about traditional Jewish practices and organize a Chevra Kadisha. We identify with the struggle between remaining true to Jewish principles and the economic and political pressures of the established Jewish community. Looking back we can smile at the success of the Chevra Kevod Hamet and marvel at the ability of one book to inspire so many. The gift of A Plain Pine Box is the way it interweaves the teachings of Jewish tradition with the reality of Jewish communal organizing. The genius of A Plain Pine Box is that its message is even more on point today, twenty-seven years after the Chevra Kevod Hamet was founded.

Table of Contents                                                          

THE CHEVRA KEVOD HAMET IS BORN 1
ACCEPTANCE AND RESISTANCE 21
THE MEDICAL ETHICS SEMINAR 54
CHEVRA KADISHA 69
THE CEMETERY 75
RITUALS OF BEREAVEMENT OR MEMORIAL COCKTAIL PARTIES AND SHIVA 81
FROM SHIVA ON 86
MARKING A SPECIAL ANNIVERSARY 89
EPILOGUE 94
Report of the Death and Mourning Practices Committee to the Board of Directors of Adath Jeshurun Congregation 97
Expression of Guidance 104
Statement on Funeral Practice of the Minnesota Rabbinical Association 107
Resolution of the Minnesota Rabbinical Association 109
Authorization for Autopsy 110
Chaverim Checklist 113
Instructions for Pallbearers 120

 


Price: $10