Sources Of Help

Rabbi Balk is the spiritual advisor for E-Shiva. He has prepared a series of video presentations on the subject matter of Jewish Death, Burial Customs and Mourning Traditions such as sitting shiva.

These videos will be a major source of help to the bereaved. The videos can be accessed by clicking on the jewish traditions & practices navigation bar, where YouTube links to the videos are posted. After viewing these videos, if you have further questions, Rabbi Balk is available for individual consultation.

Additionally, Rabbi Balk suggests the following reading list:
Maurice Lamm, “The Jewish Way in Death and Mourning”
Of the many available books on the topic, I find this one to be the best, both in terms of its clarity, as well as in its balance of Jewish law and thought.

Many books that one often sees listed may be too detailed for what one is searching for, especially if the mourner has little expertise with Jewish ritual.

 Nachman Bulman, “Longing for Dawn”
This book presents many thoughts about the experience of loss in different formats, including letters of comfort that were written by leading rabbis of the generation.  One such letter to a young woman who has lost her husband, decries the fact that all who surround her frequently suggest that she get over her loss and move on.  A great rabbi completely disagrees, telling her that she will, in fact, never get over her loss as others have told her, but that she can learn to live with her loss and integrate it in a meaningful way into the life that she will continue to live.

 Psalms (Tehillim)
Daily prayer and meditation can be a very profound way to help manage a sense of crisis and chaos.  King David experienced terrible ups and downs in his lifetime and recorded his own heartfelt words, which members of the Jewish people have turned to time and again to find comfort and inspiration. While a particular psalm can not speak to every individual, I would especially recommend numbers 20, 23, 121, 130, and143.


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