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October 24, 2016 / 22 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Mourning’

The Mourning Dove Lesson Of Emunah

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

After weathering many decades of freezing winters in Detroit, Leah and her second husband Benyamin retired from their jobs in education and decided to move to sunny, warm Florida. When they moved, they didn’t miss the cold at all, and happily adjusted to their new surroundings, tending to their lovely, flower-filled garden, enjoying their neighbors, community activities, and the wild flocks of birds that rested in their yard during migration seasons.

They proceeded to lead a quiet, private retired life, delighted with visiting children, grandchildren, and eventually great-grandchildren. Soon after one of those family visits, Benyamin, at a routine doctor visit, was startled to be diagnosed with an aggressive cancer. Sure, he had some aches and pains, easily attributed to “aging” – he was, after all, nearly ninety – but the recommended blood tests and exams definitely confirmed cancer. So with his typical “get up and go” positive perspective on life, he was willing to do whatever was the recommended treatment for his medical situation.

The next six months flew by quickly, with some annoyances, some challenges, and eventually some serious decisions of whether or not to continue with chemotherapy and radiation. As time went on, the cancer progressed and he weakened.

Leah and Benyamin were both so used to being independent that Leah did not consider asking anyone for help. She herself assisted Benyamin every day, from morning until evening, and frequently during the night. Weekly calls with her children were still upbeat, though realistic and frank.

“It’s not easy!” “He is getting weaker.” “He’s not feeling too great.”

When Benyamin was niftar at home, in his own bed, Leah called the local chevra kadisha to come aid her. Then she called her children who lived in far-away points of America, Europe and Israel to let them know the news that her husband for nearly forty years had passed away.

Soon after the shiva, when Leah was alone in her home, she heard a knock-knock-knock sound on the living room window. She was startled; after all, she was now living alone, in her eighties, with no one around to help her if trouble was knocking. She wondered who could be there knocking on her window!

Cautiously, she peeked from the hallway towards the living room porch, and there on the window sill was a mourning dove, peeking back at her, “Coo, coo, cooing” softly.

Relieved, she returned to her bedroom. Then she heard that same “tap, tap, tap” knocking sound on the bedroom window… she glanced that way and saw the same mourning dove again, “Coo, coo, cooing” softly.

Bemused, throughout the day, whichever room she entered, the mourning dove appeared, “knocked” again, peered gently at Leah and “Coo, coo, cooed!”

“I’ve never in my life had a mourning dove knock on my window,” she told her daughter Batya over the phone. “I’ve hardly ever seen them in our yard, they aren’t even native to Florida. This has never happened before! What do you think this is all about?”

Batya thought her mother’s story sounded like something she’d read in a Chicken Soup for the Soul book! “Morning doves make a soothing ‘Coo, coo, coo’ sound in the morning, so it probably came to sooth you,” Batya offered. But when her husband, Baruch overheard what she said to her mother, he interjected, “The name mourning dove is spelled with a “u” for mourning, not morning.”

“What? I never knew that. You must be kidding!”

“No, it’s true,” he responded and went to get one of their Torah books about different wildlife.

“Hey Imma, Baruch said that your visitor is known as a ‘mourning’ dove not a ‘morning’ dove. And it says here that the ‘Coo, coo, coo’ sound is almost always sung by the male bird to its life-long mate.”

Fascinated and amazed, Batya read more, “Chazal tell us of the many wonderful qualities which the dove possesses, qualities which are also associated with the Jewish people – and hence the use of the dove as a metaphor for the Jewish people, and a symbol for peace, for shalom.

“Wow, Imma, I can’t believe this! And then it says, ‘In Noach’s ark, when Noach released a dove after the flood to see if there was dry land anywhere, the dove returned with an olive leaf in its beak. This was a special moment, infused with the joy of new life. The dove became a symbol for new beginnings, great expectations and redemption.

“In Shir Hashirim, which describes the special loving relationship between G‑d and His Nation, the dove is an adjective often used to describe the kallah, the Jewish people.

“Imma, I guess Hashem sent you a dove to say hello, so you know that you are never alone and saying goodbye means also starting a new beginning.”

“Just like a dove once she meets her mate never leaves him for another… just as a dove whose fledglings are taken from her nest still doesn’t abandon her nest…, so are the Jewish people faithful to G‑d.” (Midrash Rabbah, Song of Songs 1)

Chava Dumas

“From Mourning To Morning”: Miami Beach Rabbi’s New Book

Monday, September 12th, 2016

Mourning, grieving, bereavement, and death are issues no one can avoid. But they are subjects rarely addressed in polite company. Men and women, secular and Torah observant, often find themselves navigating this inevitable path with little direction.

Rabbi Simeon Schreiber has written a book to guide the process. From Mourning to Morning deals with Jewish laws and customs relating to loss of a loved one in a clear and concise manner. Discussion includes the transition to the moment of death, burial, funeral, shiva, and beyond. The book addresses more than etiquette and convention; it examines emotions and feelings with pathos and compassion.

One would think a volume on death and bereavement would be a somber and difficult to get through. Not so with From Mourning to Morning. To cite just one example, one can’t help but chuckle while reading about the couple referred to as “Peter and Helene” and their well-meaning but bumbling attempts at making a shiva call to a neighbor. Rabbi Schreiber has presented a heavy subject in a palatable manner. His style is both comforting and informative.

Rabbi Simeon Schreiber

Rabbi Simeon Schreiber

Senior staff chaplain at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, founder of Visiting Chaplain Services, Inc., and chaplain of the Bal Harbour Police Department, Rabbi Schreiber is highly qualified to publish on the topic. A graduate of Yeshiva College, he received his semicha from Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University.

Schreiber’s first book, A Caring Presence, gives direction to the protocols of bikur cholim (visiting the sick). His collection of prayers and meditations for those undergoing medical treatment has been published as the Mount Sinai Medical Center Prayer Book. He has written and lectured extensively on the deportment of making shiva calls. His insights to handling these daunting tasks are helpful and welcomed.

Rabbi Schreiber and his wife Rose live in Bal Harbour, Florida. They have five children as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

From Mourning to Mourning can be purchased at local bookstores or on Amazon.

Shelley Benveniste

Rabbi Chaim Richman on “The Loss of the Holy Temple and What it Means for Us”

Sunday, August 7th, 2016

Rabbi Chaim Richman of the Temple Institute gave a Tisha B’Av shiur last year on “The Loss of the Holy Temple and what it means for us” as well as chocolate cake.

Video of the Day

Shiloh Musings: From Mourning to Joy!

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

From Mourning to Joy!

Yes, that’s the Israeli way.

After a very long depressing day of mourning our dead, those murdered by Arab terrorists and killed in the wars we fight to defend ourselves, keep our precious country alive and well, we quickly change modes and celebrate our country’s continued independence.

I know that there are many people who find it totally incomprehensible that we have this custom here in Israel, to burst into joy after so sincerely mourning our dead, but I davka, consider it such an important and sensible way to celebrate our independence.

Growing up in America, I never really understood what “Memorial Day” was all about. Actually, it wouldn’t a “day;” it was a weekend to enjoy. And the story behind Independence Day was more like ancient history, even in my time. And also, the American wars had nothing really to do with the survival of the united States as a country.

In Israel things are very different.

Here in Israel we are all connected somehow. Memorial Day is a school day , and every school has ceremonies to commemorate the dead and to teach the children that our state/country id not come into existence on a silver platter. Nor can it continue to exist unless there are soldiers to defend it, which is why there’s a draft. And our enemies don’t restrict their attacks to soldiers. We suffer from guerrilla warfare attacks on civilians in neighborhoods, buses and even private homes.

To be honest, we don’t exactly go from mourning to joy without a bit of ceremony in between. That is the Eve of Independence Day Prayers, which are very participatory and thrilling.

Chag Atzma’ut Sameach!
Have a Joyful Independence Day!

Batya Medad

Combat Soldiers Forbidden to Fast on Tisha B’Av

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

9:03pm Israel’s two chief Rabbis issued a joint proclamation/halachic ruling that IDF soldiers involved in combat in Gaza may not fast, or observe any of the mourning customs this coming Tisha B’av.

The 9th of Av fast day, which commemorates the destruction of the two Jewish temples in Jerusalem, on the Temple Mount.

Because they are in combat and fighting on behalf of the nation of Israel, they are fully exempt so that they can fight properly, with full strength and valor.http://www.jewishpress.com/wp-admin/edit.php

Jewish Press News Briefs

Photos: More than 150,000 Mark End of Shiva for Rav Ovadia

Sunday, October 13th, 2013

More than 150,000 people crowded Jerusalem Sunday to mark the last day of the seven-day shiva mourning period for Rav Ovadia Yosef, who died last week at the age of 93.

The spontaneous outpour of mourners stood in stark contrast to the annual rally on the Saturday night before the anniversary of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin in Tel Aviv, as reported here. Leftists rounded up 30,000 people to blame Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for the failure to make peace not only with the Palestinian Authority but also with Iran.

The scene in Jerusalem was a smaller but just as impressive copy of last week, when 800,000 crammed Jerusalem for the funeral. Police learned their lesson form not being prepared last  week to handle the flood of people, and thousands of police officers patrolling the event and closing main arteries. The cemetery was closed to the public in mid-afternoon.

Medics treated approximately three dozen people.

Rav Ovadia’s greatness as a Torah sage was marked by the words of Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau, who said that the late rabbi will be “remembered for generations” and “belonged to all of the People of Israel.”

Religious officials and family members barred Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu from speaking inside the funeral home because he does not observe the Sabbath, and his had to settle for eulogizing Rav Ovadia the building.

Photos by Flash 90:

ovadia pic of rav.jpg

rav ovadia - posters for sale flash 90.jpg

rav ovadia crowd scene flash 90.jpg

Rav Ovadia's chair remains empty next to his sons in the mourning tent in Jerusalem.

Rav Ovadia’s chair remains empty next to his sons in the mourning tent in Jerusalem.

rav ovadia stage flash 90.jpg

rav ovadia woman crying flash i90.jpg

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Visiting Hours for Rav Ovadia Family Mourner’s Tent

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

A mourning tent has been set up next to the home of Rav Ovadia Yosef on Kablan street, Har Nof for the duration of the Shiva (week of mourning).

Visiting hours are between 10 AM and 1 PM, and between 4 PM and 7 PM. The family asks that all visitors restrict themselves to those hours.

Kablan street will be closed to all vehicular traffic.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/visiting-hours-for-rav-ovadia-family-mourners-tent/2013/10/08/

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