We were each born as a Jew, with an obligation to follow Hashem and obey His rules. Hashem created every one of us — we each are Hashem’s direct handiwork. Awareness of this closeness and importance can bring great happiness to our lives, knowing always of the special connection we each hold to Hashem. This is the past which resonates throughout our lives.
In our present, we recognize Hashem’s hand in our lives. We exhibit gratitude for the blessings He bestows on us, recognizing that all we have is thanks to Hashem. Even in our times of troubles we know that Hashem listens to our cries and knows of our difficult situations. He hears us and lights a path for us out of our troubles.
And our future, of course, is the world to come, the life beyond this life. It is the destination for which we prepare our entire lives in this world. It is the place of only goodness, of pure spirituality, where we bask in the glory of the almighty Hashem.
The path we take through this world begins as a Jew and must end as a Jew. We must ensure that our bodies receive a proper Jewish end as our souls move into the next world. This involves profound Jewish customs that our ancestors observed and we must observe as well, such as Taharah (purification) and burial in the ground in simple shrouds and a wooden casket. The greatest Torah scholar and the simplest Jew prepare for the next world in the same way, through the same process.
Passing away is an important part of life that must be done properly, as a Jew. It is our last chance to live as a Jew, our last act in this world. It must be performed with faith, as Jews have done for thousands of years.
Therefore every Jew is obligated to prepare a will stating: “I was born as a Jew I want to leave the world as a Jew.” Family, friends, rabbis and lawyers need to know that you want to observe Jewish tradition at the end of your life. Every Jew needs to make sure that after his or her passing only Orthodox caregivers will take care of their bodies, from purifying and cleansing through dressing, proper burying and praying.
Igud HaRabbonim can ensure that this will take place according to Jewish tradition – to your tradition. Members of Igud HaRabbonim span all Jewish traditions of Ashkenazi, Sephardi, Polish, Hungarian, Russian and more. Our Rabbis can ensure that your traditions will be observed.
We can offer a rabbi or Chevra Kadisha (undertakers) to be present at or lead the proceedings at the:
2) taharah (cleansing)
6) shivah (mourning).
We can arrange for one of our rabbis to:
1) say Kaddish for the first year
2) learn Mishnah in memory
3) donate books to shuls in memory
4) donate a Sefer Torah in memory
5) direct or assist in directing a trust fund for charitable donations
6) make sure that a will is fulfilled properly
7) give a body and soul the respect each person deserves.
For more information about Medical issues, End-of-Life issues, Wills & Chevra Kadisha, please contact Rabbi David Katz at (212) 242-6420 or fill out the form below.