Kavod v'Nichum and Gamliel Institute provide resources, education, and training along the Jewish end-of-life continuum: from visiting the sick and pre-planning, to care for the body after death, to providing comfort to the mourners.
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From the Study of Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis

Poetry and Meditations

Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis (z”l) served at Valley Beth Shalom from 1970 until his death in December 2014. He published two books of original religious poetry and meditations. Here are some selections.

In Sickness and Health

Based on Psalm 77

Healing Insights

Mi Shebeirach

Nature Pursues its Own Course

On the Miracle of Recovery

Post Operative Prayer

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Mourning

Alone Together

Bitter – Sweet: In the Memory of a Child

Comforting the Comforters

Consolation

Death and Free Choice

Eulogy for One Remembered

Fear of Death

For Those Beloved Who Survive Me

Graveside Reflections

Holding on and Letting go

How to Mourn

It is Never Too Late

Krieh – Tearing the Cloth

Life and Death

Returning from the Funeral

Sanctified Mourning

Sculpting Memory

Strange Envy

The Shiva Candle is Lit

Where is Grandma?

The Yahrzeit Glass

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Sermons and Articles

Adonai/Elohim – The two faces of God: Elohim and Adonai. Yom Kippur, 1991

Afterlife – You are what has been and you determine what will be. To create your own immortality, learn how to live in this life

An Akedah Lesson: Obedience & Conscience – An article in the November 2005 Bulletin of Congregation Berith Sholom

Conversation with the Angel of Death – Who shall live and who shall die – Are illness and death God’s punishment or the amorality of nature? Rosh Hashana, 1991

On Cremation – Judaism and the problem of cremation. Yizkor, April 4, 2003

The Death and Dying of Moses – A midrash: Moses did not go gently into that good night. He desperately wanted to see the Promised Land, but it was not to be.

Dying We Live – There are Jewish imperatives to employ for the difficult decision of choosing life or death for the terminally ill. Yom Kippur, 1995

– Reflections on Dying, Death and the Hereafter. 1998.

The Rabbi as a Sacred Goat – Selichot, 2003

Resurrection Through Organ Transplantation – Consider organ donation, it brings life to he who receives and she who gives.

In Search of Comfort – Honoring the Catholic Rescuers. Yom HaShoah Service, April 28, 2006

Self-revelation: Hiding and Seeking – Facing the hidden in ourselves–our mortality. Torah is a reflection of our own inner lives.

A Sense of Tragedy – Whoever refuses to acknowledge past tragedies and pain, searching only for life’s pleasures, robs himself of the greatest pleasure of all: the gratification and fulfillment which come from the joy of using to its fullest, all which is still his. Yizkor, 1997.

Shiva is for Forgiveness – Shivah is a time to honor memories, whether good or bad. Passover Yizkor, 1996.

The Synagogue as a Therapeutic Community – How VBS’s volunteer programs create a synagogue which extends itself to heal the members of its community.

Synagogue & Hospital: A Tale of Two Sanctuaries – From the sanctuary of the hospital Rabbi Schulweis contemplates the sanctuary of Judaism. Judaism emphasizes the importance of making life meaningful on earth; other religions choose to stress salvation. Rosh Hashana 2002.

The Two Faces of God – Choose carefully; before you try to change the world, change yourself.

Was God In the Earthquake – God’s role in natural disasters, in this case the earthquake, is examined by considering the Jewish understanding of the two aspects of God, Elohim and Adonai; the God of Nature and the God of Humanity.

The Wounded Healer – Rabbi Schulweis, having recently recovered from an illness himself, gives guidelines for visiting the sick.

Yitzhak Rabin: Memorial Service – A memorial service for the assassinated Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin.

Yom Kippur with Morrie – The richness and depth of the Jewish tradition is lost to Morrie’s children. . .and often to our children as well. Yom Kippur, 2000.

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