Thursday, August 2, 2012

Become Pure Before Your Maker

Jewish Funeral and Burial Traditions: Statistically speaking, it is extremely likely that you and Abq Jew, your family and Abq Jew's family, your friends and Abq Jew's friends, will someday move on to the next world.

Mark Twain famously said, "There are lies, damned lies, and statistics."  But nearly everyone ever born has, at some point in his or her life - usually the end point - died.

Nearly everyone?  Yes - not absolutely everyone.  Everyone except two (resurrection doesn't count here):
  1. Enoch.  Genesis 5:24 says, "And Enoch walked with God, and he was not; for God took him."
  2. Elijah.  2 Kings 2:11 says, "And it came to pass, as [Elisha and Elijah] went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, which parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven."
"Life", says Tom Lehrer, "is like a sewer:  What you get out of it depends on what you put into it." 

Abq Jew advises us all: While you're still here - you should Put Your Affairs in Order and Take Care of Yourself.  Once you've left this world - you should Become Pure Before Your Maker, Hold A Funeral, Get Yourself Buried, and Let Family & Friends Mourn.

To help us all Become Pure Before Our Maker - when the time comes -  the Jewish Family Service of New Mexico sponsors (among many, many excellent programs) the Albuquerque Jewish community's Chevre Kaddisha.

Members of the Chevre Kaddisha perform the mitzvah of traditional, ritual preparation for burial, known as tahara (purification), free of charge for any member of the Jewish community.  Chevre members prepare, wash, and dress deceased Jewish people in burial garments in preparation for burial, acccording to traditional Jewish practices.

Need some guidance? JFSNM has recently published Jewish Funeral and Burial Traditions, an excellent guide to our traditions and customs. 

If you need personal guidance or support - before the time comes, when the time comes, or after the time has come - please remember that JFSNM is here for you.

In Albuquerque, please contact: 
 Rabbi Min Kantrowitz (505) 291-1818 x5481

In Santa Fe, please contact
Chaplain Miryam Levy (505) 250-1821

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hey, I helped write that brochure! Thanks for helping get the word out about it.

Gail Rubin
The Doyenne of Death™