Tag: Mourning


Shock in Chapel Hill: Should We Call It Terrorism?

On Wednesday morning the world woke to the tragic news of the Chapel Hill, N.C., shooting of Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23; Yusor Mohammad, 21; and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19. A 46-year-old neighbor who turned himself in was subsequently arrested. As of this writing, police are saying the killings may have been related to a dispute over parking spaces, although the father of one of the victims has told reporters that the shooter had harassed them before because of their Muslim faith. My first response to this news is grief. I imagine myself......

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The Funny Thing About Taking 'Charlie Hebdo' Seriously

It is a very serious time in France, especially for the Jewish community. And yet, at the center of the storm is a very unserious entity, the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. Its editors may be best known for caricatures of Muhammed (venerated as a prophet by many throughout the world), but they made their living by ridiculing just about anything anyone took seriously, including themselves. The cartoonist known as Luz, who owes his survival to running late to an editorial meeting, has expressed how the assault that robbed him of his friends......

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Grieving the Charlie Hebdo Attack

From Odyssey Networks’ Faith on the Record series: This week’s?fatal shooting of 12 people at the editorial offices of the popular Charlie Hebdo publication in Paris has ignited strong reactions of condemnation around the globe. What’s the wisest way to frame your position when you oppose something this heinous? Processing all the emotions of grief, and in this case, when we experience the shock of a collective grief, can be challenging. Watch my video below for more insight and discussion.   Odyssey Networks tells the stories of faith in action changing the......

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9/11: How We Feel Today

As we observe the 13th anniversary of 9/11, we feel a range of emotions. We feel sad and heartbroken for those who lost loved ones. We are grateful, if not surprised that there have been no terrorist attacks on our soil. We feel betrayed that after all the lives and treasure sacrificed to fight Islamic terrorists, there seems to be more terrorists, terrorizing more people, doing more terrifying things. We are confused about what we should do, politically, militarily, and morally as historical fault lines unravel and failed states become sites of......

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The Online Search for Grief Support

If there’s one thing religion has historically been good at, and its clergy and institutions used for, it is death management. Well, these days, with “None” the fastest growing religious identification? (more than 20% of all Americans, and more than 30% of those under age 32, so identified) it shouldn’t be surprising that close to a third of all funerals in America happen without any clergy. Obviously, people are having funerals and mourning for loved ones. So what are they doing? Rather than engage religious authorities and institutions – the “cathedrals” –......

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Video: Moving From Mourning to Memory

From Odyssey Network’s Faith on the Record series: “Last week the world paid tribute to Nelson Mandela, who died on December 5th at the age of 95.? As mourners gathered and tributes from around the world were made, Rabbi Brad Hirschfield reminds us that “Memory is a choice – we choose how to remember,” and there are many Nelson Mandelas to remember – revolutionary, prisoner, peacemaker, symbol, healer.” Odyssey Networks tells the stories of faith in action changing the world for the better.? Their stories explore a wide range of issues including......

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Nelson Mandela: From Mourning To Memory

How do you move from mourning to memory?? How do you begin to make the shift from acknowledging and honoring the pain of a loss, to building and celebrating the memory of the one who is gone?? These are the questions which all of us who care about Nelson Mandela will need to begin asking and answering in the weeks and months ahead. How we mourn is fundamentally something which comes right from the heart.? Whatever rituals and practices shape our mourning, from ancient to just invented, all work best when they......

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Can the Death of a Parent Bring Families Together?

Few moments in life are as difficult as losing one’s parent. In the swirl of sadness and mourning, a parent’s death can unify or further divide the surviving family. In some cases, the highly charged emotions may amplify issues between siblings. But this can also be a remarkable opportunity to heal some of those long-standing hurts and wounds that are part of every family I know, including my own. There can be a positive potential for healing in this otherwise excruciating moment. Certainly, there are always reasons to resist coming together, especially......

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Remembering 9/11

I live in New York City. Two friends, including someone at whose wedding I had recently been the rabbi, died in the World Trade Center on 9/11. The acrid smell came through my apartment windows for days and sacred ashes, which I wiped away with tears, fell on my window sills for weeks. That day, my children who were 13 and 10 could not get home from school because the subways were closed. They have grown up in the shadow of 9/11 and the fog of war. The world seems far less......

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