As we look to a new beginning, lets reflect on the ending too
August 27, 2021
In 1789 Ben Franklin wrote in a letter to a friend, “… in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” He may not have been the first to make this reference but it is an expression that has stood the test of time. Even with the certainty of these two things it is often surprising how hard we try to put them off and not think about them.
In this season of reflection, as we conduct an accounting of our souls (cheshbon hanefesh), it is a good time to reacquaint the community with our local Hevra Kadisha of Central Florida. This community organization, founded in 1918, was re-organized and incorporated as a nonprofit in the State of Florida in December 2016. It is grounded in the Jewish traditions and rituals for burial while reflecting modern, egalitarian standards. Our local Hevra is a group of approximately 30 men and women who work quietly and respectfully to provide a Tahara (ritual washing and burial preparation) for a loved one who has passed.
While no one likes to talk about his/her mortality, it is an important topic for families to broach. Knowing what a family member wants and being able to carry out those last wishes are important elements that help in the grieving process for the surviving family members. Jewish rituals provide many guideposts for this process but Tahara is one that is often not understood.
Just as a baby enters this world and is bathed, so too, is the body washed as it departs. Having been the home of the soul during its lifetime, the body is treated with dignity and respect as it is placed in the coffin prior to burial. Our local Hevra Kadisha works with area funeral homes to prepare the body for a Jewish burial according to Jewish rituals.
For more information about the Hevra Kadisha of Central Florida contact Dean Faracchio at firstname.lastname@example.org.