Having a Yahrzeit For My Lutheran Dad

By Tara Worthey Segal I formally converted to Judaism one month after I lost my father and two weeks before getting married. I hadn’t been raised with much religion. I was baptized Lutheran, but always joked that my parents did that more out of superstition than dogma. They didn’t do much to disabuse me of […]

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How to Pray with Two Faiths

Our family has had a hard few weeks. Every day we open the news to a different headline about hatred and anger. Sometimes it feels as if the whole world has gone bonkers. To top it off, my significant other, Adrian, recently received a phone call from Mexico informing him that his mother is ill. Her diabetes […]

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One Thing We Can’t Control

My Grandma Harriet died a few weeks ago, at the age of 95. She was beautiful, creative and could expertly apply her lipstick without a mirror. She was my favorite hug. She cooked up the yummiest tuna noodle casseroles and the tastiest matzah ball soup. She lived a long life full of family simchas (celebrations), […]

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Adaptation and Flexibility for Death and Mourning Customs

My Aunt just died. She had been sick, lived to be 88, and had a wonderful marriage of 62 years. One of the sweetest people I ever knew. Her dear husband is 96 and devastated. He is in excellent health and still drives. He keeps remarking, “who lives to be 96?” He bought a car […]

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The Power of Prayer – Helping Children through Anxiety and Stress

I couldn’t stop thinking about Connecticut, the 26 people killed, 20 of whom were children. My children are in elementary school. I was scared to tell them because I was afraid they’d never want to go to school, but with media everywhere and emotions so raw, they found out about the tragedy. I struggle with […]

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Conversion, Shared Spirituality and the Memorial Prayer

After the author converted to Judaism, shared experiences and art helped her connect to her mother’s spirituality and, ultimately, led to a beautiful and moving funeral.

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Mourner’s Kaddish as a Source of Comfort

Each year on the anniversary of her father’s death, she feels the strength of the Jewish community supporting her through her grief

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Jewish Mourning Customs: An Introduction

An explanation of who the official mourners are in the Jewish tradition.

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Embalming and Cremation

Explanation of the Jewish prohibitions against embalming and cremation, and discussion of modern approaches to cremation.

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Mourning on a Schedule

A brief overview of how Jewish mourning changes one week, one month and one year after a loved one’s death.

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