"Jana talks about taking comfort in Ancient Jewish Wisdom – A Jewish explanation of Shiva" When my father was sick any and I knew that he was probably gonna die I was very worried that my connection to Judaism and into spirituality which had always been very strong in which I shared with my father would disappear as soon as he did by the way that we observe the traditions of Shiva had so much I'm salience for me that I fell like it the opposite of what I thought would happen not just that it didn't happen but the opposite happened I help I felt deeply comforted by and invested in the religious traditions of Shiva and and of Judaism generally "When Jana's father passed away, she and her family observed a traditional shiva week at home" "Shiva, from the Hebrew word for seven means a weeklong mourning period
" so one of the most striking experience a shovel as the community really handling everything for us and the role that the community played in making sure that all of our needs were met it is is a real blessing to see why it's a why it's considered a mitzvah to comfort mourners not just because they're in great emotional pain but because they cannot do anything for themselves and they should not do anything for themselves and the community's role is to know is to show up in full force and make everything happen and a and and and that feeling of being somewhat helpless I have to say I have to say I actually I did feel helpless I felt emotionally helpless and that that was the system the traditional system was set up for me to be okay feeling that way when Shiva started I didn't even think about the notion I like not being able to take a shower for a week because I
not only did I not want to take a shower but it like, never occurred to me that I would do something like take a shower or do any normal activity ever again whereas on day one I wouldn't have even known where shower was if you'd offered me one on day seven, I was like I need to take a shower I look
I am disgusting and that was a powerful way in which I think that the the deprivation of Shiva matched my emotional loss and then in encouraged me to start adding things back into my life that are aspects of normal living and normal coping and no one was saying okay it's time to stop being sad but someone but the tradition was saying okay it's time to bathe Why don't we just start with that Let's just like put some fresh clothes on and it was the first time I wanted to do anything to to take care of myself I needed all of the care that I had been given and then I needed to start taking steps to care for myself I didn't know that I would want that for myself that I would want to start taking care of myself again but what was so powerful for me that in observing shiva the way that we did as a family in the way I did was feeling that that that the tradition knew something about me and knew something about what I was experiencing before I knew it and that made me feel a lot less alone – as well and so that was a powerful transition for me to make "Fred Howard Loeb 1946-2008
May his Memory be for a blessing"