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Death & Mourning

On Silence On Silence
Monday, April 15, 2013 by Anita Shapira | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Eschewing Jewish expressions of mourning, Israel's founding generations shaped a national ethos of silence and self-restraint, which found expression in the words of poet David Shimoni: “Don’t mourn, don’t cry/ at a time like this./ Don’t lower your head,/ Work! Work!”
Speaking What Must Be Spoken Speaking What Must Be Spoken
Thursday, February 14, 2013 by Diane Cole | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The sheer number of books on the Holocaust has long demanded a guide to Holocaust literature that would be as accessible as it was comprehensive and scholarly.  Now we have one.
A Voice Saying Something Right A Voice Saying Something Right
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 by David Curzon | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Poet Harvey Shapiro, who passed away this month at age 88, captured in plain words the mystery of everyday life, the trauma of war, and the grandeur of Jewish tradition.
Buczacz by Way of Newark: On Literary Lives at the End Buczacz by Way of Newark: On Literary Lives at the End
Thursday, January 10, 2013 by Jeffrey Saks | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Philip Roth has bowed out gracefully from the literary world.  But for the great Hebrew writer S. Y. Agnon, retirement was never an option.
“Touch not Mine Anointed Ones” “Touch not Mine Anointed Ones”
Friday, December 21, 2012 by Moshe Sokolow | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Contemplating what occupies God all day, the Talmud declares that “during the last set of hours, God sits and teaches Torah to children who died untimely deaths.”
Happy Yom Kippur to You? Happy Yom Kippur to You?
Tuesday, September 25, 2012 by Shlomo M. Brody | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

"Happy" is certainly not the first word that comes to mind for most of us when we describe our Yom Kippur experience.  After all, the Torah commands us to afflict ourselves on this day (Leviticus 23:26-31).
The Brain Death Wars The Brain Death Wars
Thursday, September 13, 2012 by Shlomo Zuckier | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

When does a human life end? A 2010 monograph by a rabbinic body, a recent book by an independent scholar, and a forthcoming book by another rabbinic organization are the most recent entries in what is among the most discussed halakhic debates of recent times.
Ye Sacred Muses Ye Sacred Muses
Thursday, July 26, 2012 by Simon Gordon | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Are Jewish mourners forbidden from listening to music?  On the face of it, the prohibition is absolute.  Certainly, it is forbidden for mourners to attend concerts, or performances in general.  But what about liturgical music, the music of the synagogue?
Back From Heaven Back From Heaven
Wednesday, April 25, 2012 by Micah Stein | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In May 2011, Gallup conducted its annual "Values and Beliefs" poll, seeking to quantify religious demographics and beliefs in America. One question struck a national nerve, eliciting a consensus that defied religious or cultural distinctions. The question: Do you believe in heaven? The answer: Yes, overwhelmingly.
Among the Mourners of Zion Among the Mourners of Zion
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 by Micah Stein | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

We are a nation of mourners this month, collectively observing the Jewish rituals of grief in memory of . . . well, something or other. The occasion for mourning is the Omer, which began on Saturday night; the reason for mourning is more mysterious.
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Editors' Picks
Burial Rights and Wrongs Shlomo M. Brody, Tablet. Should Tamerlan Tsarnaev, co-perpetrator of the Boston bombings, have been buried?  Jewish law extends burial rights even to the worst criminals and the most ardent enemies of God.
Memories of Maggie Jonathan Sacks, BBC. "In public, her leadership style was more like Moses than Aaron—more conviction and confrontation than compromise and conciliation.  But we need them both." (Audio)
Remembering Israel’s Fallen , Ynet. Today, on Yom Hazikaron, Israel remembers 25,578 fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism, including 92 service members and 10 civilians who have been killed over the past year.
The Price of Freedom Eli Ben Shem, Israel Hayom. “On this day, Israel's big bereaved family, of which I am one, enters your homes, meets you up close, looks into your eyes and seeks your gaze.”
Living and Dying for Israel Yishai Fleisher, Jewish Press. “The battalion commander said: ‘The enemy should not see you weeping like babies in front of the cameras, we are an army, and death is a part of it.’ I knew that he was right.”
The Silver Platter Nathan Alterman, eJewish Philanthropy. “Through wondering tears, the people stare./ ‘Who are you, the silent two?’/ And they reply: ‘We are the silver platter/ Upon which the Jewish State was served to you.’” (Poetry)
Remembrance Before Celebration David Hartman, Hartman Institute. “We affirm the dignity of our existence only as we feel the memory of those who are not here with us. We cannot celebrate unless we feel total solidarity with those who came before us.”
Buried at Sea Owen Jarus, LiveScience. Discovered by a sonar survey in 2003, researchers have confirmed the existence of an ancient stone monument weighing 60,000 tons—underneath the Kinneret.
“The Feminist Time Forgot” Susan Faludi, New Yorker. Shulamith Firestone rejected her Orthodox upbringing and authoritarian father  to become one of the leaders of late 1960s radical feminism.  But her father's death reduced her to insanity.
When Community Is Not Enough Peter Berger, American Interest. "Religion offers something much more central than community in the abstract: It offers a community gathered around the message that... nothingness is not the final destiny of the universe."