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Recommended Reading

 

Death and Bereavement (buy this book)
by Rabbi Dr. Abner Weiss

Everyone hopes that this book will never be needed, but everyone knows that it will be -- and when the time comes, it is indispensable. Of all the books on the Jewish outlook on death and bereavement, probably none is as complete as this one. It offers the comforting, caressing hand of faith and spiritual strength, but there is much, much more.

Rabbi Dr. Abner Weiss has been in the rabbinate for nearly four decades. He understands the family’s grief and the halakhic imperatives, he knows the prayers and the legal requirements, before and after the dreaded moment, and they are all in this invaluable book.

Among its many features are: detailed checklists of the halakhic laws and customs, special prayers to be said in the hospital and at the sickbed, the cemetery service, and prayers and customs for the house of mourning. It contains legal forms for a last will and testament and for the sale of one’s business for the shivah week, where such a course is necessary.

An additional feature is a section including fifty mishnayos, translated and explained, with suggestions on how they can be personalized not only for the house of mourning, but also to assist in composing eulogies.

In short, this is a book that considers virtually all the needs of mourners and participants -- not surprisingly, since it was composed by a man with uncommon sensitivity and experience. The Orthodox Union is proud to present and recommend this magnificent volume to rabbis and laymen, to anyone who must help or participate in those sad moments that inevitably cloud every life.

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Mourning in Halacha (buy this book)
by Chiam Binyamin Goldberg
The Laws and Customs of the Year of Mourning. For generations, people have wanted a book that sets forth the laws of mourning clearly and accurately, citing relevant sources and the customs of various communities in Israel, America and Europe. The Hebrew "P'nei Baruch" filled that need.

Now after painstaking translation, adaptation, and review it is available to the English-speaking public, offering answers to questions that cannot wait, for virtually every conceivable situation. Includes:

  • laws of visiting the sick
  • laws and customs from the sickbed, through burial, shivah, shloshim, the first year, through yahrzeit
  • prayers and Psalms at the cemetery
  • exhaustive index of almost any possible eventuality
  • source notes
  • appendix of prayers
  • 45 chapters
  • Over 500 pages. By Rabbi Chaim Binyamin Goldberg. Translated by Shlomo Fox-Ashrei. Edited by Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz.

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Searching for Comfort (buy this book)
by MEir Munk
The loss of a loved one can be a devastating blow, its impact unpredictable and often perplexing. In this sensitively written volume, letters to a young man offer solace, strength and rare insight. The correspondence format allow Meir Munk to offer the comfort provided by classic sources in a conversational style that is easy to read and absorb. While the "letters" refer to the loss of a parent (and the remarriage of the surviving parent), other forms of grief are also addressed in this compassionate book, written for mourners and this in their circle.

In addition, separate sections offer insights and stories on such topics as Consolation, Kaddish, Divine Justice, and the World to Come.

Searching for Comfort is a direct balm to those in need and is also an invaluable aid to rabbis and other professionals who frequently must deal with the spiritual and emotional upheavals that beset families in mourning.

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The Funeral and Cemetery Handbook (buy this book)
by Rabbi David Weinberger and Rabbi  Jacob J. Schacter
A straightforward and practical guide, this handbook provides halachic procedures for funerals, burial, erecting a monument, and selected laws of mourning. Convenient for use by rabbis and laymen, the appropriate services include complete instructions, as well as the service in Hebrew and English. Of particular interest are the moving Hebrew prayers to be said on yarhzeits and other cemetery visits, including special prayers requesting that one be granted children and be able to raise them well, entreaties on behalf of the sick, requests for guidance before the wedding of one's child, and prayers for a ba'al teshuvah to recite at the grave of a tzaddik.

 

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