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To Midwife A Soul, Guidelines for Performing Taharah

A Practical Taharah Manual with Chants by Rabbi Shefa Gold

By Richard A. Light

This manual is a guide for those who perform the holy ritual of taharah, preparation of Jewish deceased for burial.  Originally written for the Chevrah Kadisha of Northern New Mexico, a chevrah that includes six shuls that differ extensively in their levels of observance, this manual is intended for use by any community. It is for all Jews.

First published in 2000, and used extensively by many chevrot throughout North America, this expanded 6th Edition is specially formatted for ease of use in the taharah room as well as for education and teaching.  Music has long been known to enhance the beauty and kavanah of the ritual.  This manual is unique in that it includes the musical chanting notations of the Hebrew chant scholar, Rabbi Shefa Gold.  In addition, this edition includes two new liturgies in addition to the baseline liturgy published in 1626 in the Ma’avar Yabbok, namely: taharah ruchanit – a ritual for when we cannot be near the body of the deceased, and non-binary liturgy for gender equality.  This book is color-coded for ease of use  is an essential resource to those who help midwife souls from this world to the next.

This respected manual is widely used and respected throughout England, Canada, and the United States.

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