Limited Space – Reflections on Kaddish

An excerpt from Goodbye, Mom: A Memoir of Prayer, Jewish Mourning and Healing by Arnie Singer The rabbi of the shul I’ve been saying kaddish at recently handed me a card with someone’s hebrew name on it, and asked if I would have them in mind when I said kaddish on their upcoming Yahrzeit. I […]

Shiva Etiquette

The rules of etiquette relating to visiting a Shiva house are designed to help the mourners deal with the pain and sorrow of their loss, and begin the slow healing process. It is important for visitors to familiarize themselves with these rules of etiquette so that they can assist, rather than disrupt, this important stage […]

Nachamu – Consolation

The Shabbat directly following the fast of Tisha B’av is called Nachamu or “be consoled”. The name is taken from the prophet Isaiah who prophesizes the return of the Jewish people from their exile to Israel. The prophecy begins with the words, “Nachamu, Nachamu”. Whenever there is, what seems to be, a superfluous word in […]

Tearing Kriyah

Many of the prohibitions and customs relating to the day of Tisha B’av are the same that relate to a mourner. For example, we sit on the floor and refrain from greeting people. Why then do we not tear kriyah, one of the most fundamental signs of intense mourning, on Tisha B’av? One possible answer […]

Tisha B’av – Mourning Details

This Wednesday night, we will observe Tisha B’av, the day on which both of our holy temples in Jerusalem were destroyed. It is a time of sadness, mourning, and reflection. It’s really almost impossible to feel true sadness and loss for a Temple that has been gone for nearly 2ooo years. No one ever seen […]

Remembrance and Celebration

Today we remember the more than twenty thousands soldiers and civilians that fell in defense of Israel. It is no coincidence that we celebrate our independence directly following this day, for although Yom Hazikaron (the day of remembrance) is a day of solemn introspection, it is not a day of mourning. We do not sit […]

Yom Hashoah

Today is Yom Hashoah, the day when we remember and honor the sacrifice of our six million brothers and sisters who were murdered during the holocaust, as well as those that survived to rebuild. Here in Israel the day is filled with inspirational and emotional programs and testimonies from survivors. At 10:00am this morning, the […]