Friday, June 24, 2005

Judaism Deals with Death Right

Much of how Jews deal with death is very to the point and meaningful. There is no glittery multi-thousand coffin-deluxe in tradition. At most, simple pine. Rich or poor, we are all equals in death.

I also like the way in which the body is left covered. Open casket funerals are so fake and disrespectful. You need to paint a person's body up after death so people can stare at it? That's crap. The dead don't need to impress anyone.

I even appreciate the way family members and friends are the ones who actually do the burying and not the mexican workers at the cemetery.

Sitting shiva too is a great way to have the community show their support and it forces the individual to face the fact of death of a loved one and deal with it in an emotionally healthy way. I think there really is a lot of wisdom there.


heshy said...

Im surprised to read a positive statement from you about yidishkeit. Do your buddys at corporate raider approve?

Orthoprax said...


If I thought Judaism was all terrible I wouldn't be Orthoprax. It has a number of redeeming features and this post is hardly the first in which I talk about some of them.

BrooklynWolf said...

I had an uncle whom I respected very much. When he was sitting shiva for his father, he told me something very interesting.

He told me that at the funeral, he was being consoled by one of his non-Jewish co-workers (a college professor, as he was). The co-worker told him that he thought the Jewish way of handing mourning (shiva) was much preferable to the way they did it. He said that after *his* relative died, they had the funeral and that was it - he was more or less "on his own." He was almost jealous of the way that Judaism has a built-in suport structure that, for the following week, people will come and comfort the bereaved and see to it that their needs are taken care of.

The Wolf