Category: Lifecycles

Re-writing the Wedding Ceremony: A Jewish LGBTQ+ Tradition 

“We were learning what being married Jewishly means and what’s important to us as a couple, then inscribing that into the wedding ceremony.”

What do I do if I can't go to minyan when saying kaddish?

What do I do if I can’t go to minyan when saying kaddish?

Saying Kaddish for a loved one is a cherished and prized custom, but it is not the only way to remember and honor the lives of loved ones.

We Reclaimed Two Jewish Wedding Customs and You Can Too

We Reclaimed Two Jewish Wedding Customs and You Can Too

There are many Jewish wedding customs out there, finding the right ones for you can help you explore the more subtle emotions of the event.

Planning my Queer Halakhic Jewish Wedding

Planning my Queer Halakhic Jewish Wedding

Making the choices for our queer wedding ceremony including the ceremony, ketubah, sheva berachot, circling, and breaking the glass.

What Does the Month of Iyar Have to Do with Healing?

Iyar and healing refer not just to a named ailment, but overall wellness and health both internally and externally.

Fasting While Ill

It is considered forbidden to fast on fast days if injurious to one’s health, for the sake of performing positive commandments.

Jewish Viewpoints on Serious Illness

We give thanks to God every day for the gift of life, but recognize that we are mortal and that illness and death will come.

Jewish Customs Showing Care for People who are Ill

Visiting the sick is counted as one of the mitzvot that is rewarded both in this world and also in the World to Come. 

Mourning Practices for the Loss of a Parent

The period of mourning for one’s parents is a full twelve months, and serves a deeply therapeutic function for the mourner.


When Death is Imminent

Judaism does not recognize any gray area between life and death. Whenever possible, a dying person should not be left alone.

Yahrzeit: The Jewish Anniversary of Someone’s Death

Yahrzeit should be a day given over to remembering and honoring an individual for whom one once sat shivah and is learning to live without.

A New Egalitarian Divorce

A New Egalitarian Divorce

Rabbi Barmash’s new teshuvah empowers women and infuses the rites of marriage and divorce with more equality and dignity for both partners.

What is Yizkor?

Yizkor consists of a collection of readings and recitations revolving around two central prayers: Yizkor prayers, and the El Malei Rachamim.

Bar, Bat and B. Mitzvah – Where did it Come From and Where is it Going?

B’nei Mitzvot are one of today’s best known Jewish milestones, marking coming of age as an “adult” and responsibility for one’s own actions. 

Tombstone Customs in Judaism

Tombstone customs in Judaism stem from the religious obligation to mark a grave. This is traditionally done with tombstones or stone markers.

What Does Jewish Law Say About Autopsies and Organ Donation?

The halakhah does not generally permit autopsies, due to honoring the dead. However, there are two important exceptions to that rule.

Kohanim and Funerals

Kohanim were forbidden to come into contact or share indoor space with the bodies of the dead, apart from their closest of relatives.

Mourners torn clothing

Aninut: What Should Mourners Do Until Burial

The period from the time of death until burial is known as aninut – the customs of the mourners during the initial stages of bereavement.

How to Comforting Mourners During Shivah

What do I do when I go to a shivah? Remember that conversation should be about the deceased, not the mourners or the visitors.

Jewish Laws and Rituals for Funerals

What are the Jewish laws and rituals regarding funerals? Generally, a ritual washing, burial, and a funeral, each with their own customs.

What is Sheloshim?

Shloshim are the thirty days that follows the week of shivah and is considered a period of reduced mourning.

Floating candle

What is Shivah?

The word shivah refers to the seven days of mourning that follow the burial of a parent, child, sibling, or spouse.

Mikveh - Not just for niddah anymore

Mikveh: Not Just for Niddah Anymore

Moving well beyond niddah, mikveh is now used to mark any and all transitional and transformative moments.

What is the jewish afterlife

What is the Jewish Afterlife?

What does Judaism say about the afterlife? Exploring the inherent conflicts between the different ideas and why that’s a good thing.

What does it take to feel Jewish

What does it take to feel Jewish?

Collecting experiences helps us feel like we belong. By doing ‘Jewish,’ we create meaningful Jewish lives where spirituality feels less contrived.

How do Jews Celebrate the Birth of a Daughter?

How do Jews Celebrate the Birth of a Daughter?

There are several ceremonies that families use to welcome and name a newborn girl in the synagogue or in the home.

What is a Brit Milah, Jewish Ritual Circumcision?

What is a Brit Milah: Jewish Ritual Circumcision?

Brit Milah refers to the covenant of circumcision, both the ritual act and the festive occasion surrounding a baby boy’s circumcision.

Your Tween Doesn’t Want a B-Mitzvah? That’s OK.

Your Tween Doesn’t Want a B-Mitzvah? That’s OK.

By empowering children to own this decision, we’re helping them to develop into young adults, and isn’t that what a B-Mitzvah is all about?

How to See and Be Seen: Choosing Judaism

How to See and Be Seen: Choosing Judaism

Shavuot is the holiday of choosing Judaism. We choose to see the beauty of the tradition and be seen holding it with full hearts and hands.

Learning about Mental Illness from Ruth

Learning about Mental Illness from Ruth

Risa Sugarman teaches that comparing Ruth’s strengths to owning our own positive attributes as primary instead of our mental illness.

Mountain with fog and the words: Revelation: A Poem

Revelation: A Poem

Yakira Keshet offers a poem to commemorate Shavuot, her journey to Judaism, and the presence of our souls at Mount Sinai.

The Four Questions and Living with Mental Illness

The Four Questions and Living with Mental Illness

We have the opportunity to help teens create long-lasting positive connections to the very traditions they are appropriately questioning.