Dear Rabbi:

End-of-life matters. 

We know they are important — but they are uncomfortable to discuss.

Our congregants know they are important — but who really wants to think about these things, let alone take action.

In response, NASCK – The National Association of Chevra Kadisha created Shabbos Vayechi. Now in its seventh year, Shabbos Vayechi is a movement using this annual, appropriate opportunity to address these all important but oft-neglected matters each year.

If you have not yet done so, we invite you to join over 550 shuls throughout North America and beyond who have already signed up to participate.

Participation is straightforward. Simply register your shul at, and take as many of the following steps as possible.

·     Designate December 18th, Teves 14, as Shabbos Vayechi on your shul calendar

·     Choose at least one end-of-life topic to address in a drasha or shiur that week

·     Sanctity of Life – understand the Torah view of life & the importance of halachic living wills

·     Providing for Our Families – buying life insurance

·     Caring for Aging Parents – the challenge and the opportunity

·     Protecting Our Families – writing wills in accordance with halacha

·     Helping All Jews Choose Kevurah – what we can do about cremation

·     Having the Conversation – choosing a place of burial

·     Ensuring Our Legacy – the power of ethical wills

·     Chesed Shel Emes – supporting and strengthening chevra kadisha

·     Share the attached flyers in your shul newsletter:

1.  Introducing Shabbos Vayechi

2.  An inspiring livestream event on Motzei Shabbos: “Vayechi — It’s All About Life! Here and Hereafter.”

We are in the midst of building out, an online guide to the Torah’s view on end-of-life topics. It has a Torah Sources section that may be of particular interest to you, and content is regularly being added to the site.

We hope you can join!

Please reach out with any questions to or 718-847-6280.

B’vracha,Rabbi Elchonon Zohn
Founding President, NASCK – the National Association of Chevra Kadisha