Item description for Dignity Beyond Death: The Jewish Preparation for Burial by Rochel U. Berman & Irving Greenberg...
A basic tenet of Judaism is the obligation to value and serve the deceased, to extend dignity beyond death.
In Judaism, a death is the affair of the entire community. Preparation of the dead for burial is undertaken by a community organization called the Chevra Kadisha, the Sacred Society. The volunteers of the Sacred Society quietly and privately wash, purify and dress the deceased. They simultaneously recite lyrical prayers from Psalms, thereby bearing witness to death as the last of life's important passages.
Dignity Beyond Death examines the rituals of preparing the dead for burial from the point of view of those volunteers who undertake it, including chapters on the Holocaust and terrorism. For the first time, through personal interviews, the author shares a wealth of fascinating anecdotal material that will engage the reader in the humanity and ultimate dignity of this time-honored deed.
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Studio: Urim Publications
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 6.75" Height: 9.5" Weight: 1.25 lbs.
Release Date May 15, 2005
Publisher Urim Publications
ISBN 9657108667 ISBN13 9789657108666
Reviews - What do customers think about Dignity Beyond Death: The Jewish Preparation for Burial?
Shedding light on an unknown ritual. Jul 12, 2005
I read Dignity Beyond Death soon after my mother died. It was comforting to know that her final journey in this life was met with the caring, sensitive and meaningful ritual of Tahara.The dignity and spirituality of the process was in keeping with how she lived her life. Rochel Berman has given us a gift by sharing with us the world of Tahara where the final act of kindness occurs from one human being to another.
Very Informative and eye opening Jun 22, 2005
After reading this book, I now understand how special the Jewish preparation for burial is. This is the first book I have ever seen that not only gives information on what the preparation for Jewish burial entails, but also there are several personal, moving accounts from people who are performing the Jewish preparation for burial, and from people who decided to give their deceased a proper Jewish burial. The book is easy reading. I found that this book comes across appealing to all groups in the Jewish people. Its a great source of information for all.
memorable and informative for Jews and gentiles alike May 23, 2005
Dignity Beyond Death is a passionate and deeply informed study of one of the most ancient and significant rituals of Jewish practice. Yet the purification (tahara) of the dead before burial by volunteer members of the community (the Hevra Kadisha), while perhaps known in principle, has hardly received the attention it deserves. Tahara performs a dual function. The ritual insists on the dignity of a person after death; it also sustains the spiritual bond between the living and the dead for those who dedicate themselves to this task and it comforts the mourners in the most difficult of times to know how much selfless care is bestowed upon their loved ones. Berman's extensive interviews introduces a variety of wide-ranging voices across the spectrum of traditional Judaism, while her detailed explanations enrich our knowledge of the intricate procedures and the reasons behind them. Of special interest are the chapters on the Holocaust, the aftermath of terrorist bombings in Israel, and what followed the catastrophic events of 9/11. These take the reader beyond everyday practice to a deeper understanding of the value of Tahara in times of disaster to honor, as far as it is or was possible, the worth and integrity of every human being. Written in a lively and engaging style by one whose authority is drawn from long-time experience, this book will serve as a standard for a long time to come.