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In Our Hearts Staff

Conversation in the Womb

One of the most venerable rabbis of the past hundred years was Rabbi Yechiel Michel Tucazinsky. He lived the majority of his life in Jerusalem and passed away in the Holy City in 1955. He wrote an outstanding work on the theological issues of death and mourning called Gesher HaChaim, […]

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The Afterlife according to Dennis Prager

What happens after we die? Does everything just end? Or, is there something that comes after this life? Who hasn’t asked themselves these questions? In this compelling video, Dennis Prager deals with the issue of the afterlife head on.

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15 Lessons from Shiva

It was 4 a.m. when the call came, but we slept through it. Then it came again at 5:45 a.m. and I let it go to voice mail. The third time the phone rang I ran for it. It was New York calling. My wife’s family was on the line. […]

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Rabbi Lamm: Shiva and Mourning

Judaism, with its long history of dealing with the soul of man, its intimate knowledge of man’s achievements and foibles, his grandeur and his weakness, has wisely devised a system of graduated mourning periods. During this time, the mourner may express his or her grief and release, with calculated regularity, […]

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The Stages of Jewish Mourning: A Practical Guide

Judaism provides a beautiful, structured approach to mourning that involves three stages. When followed carefully, these stages guide mourners through the tragic loss and pain and gradually ease them back into the world. One mourner said her journey through the stages of mourning was like being in a cocoon. At […]

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Our Shiva Experience

“Better to go to a house of mourning than a house of joy.” Ecclesiastes It is a big mitzvah to share in the joy of our friends. We rejoice in their accomplishments – school graduations, career advancements – and dance at their simchas – Bar Mitzvahs, weddings. So great is the imperative […]

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A Practical Guide to Paying A Shiva Call

When one pays a shiva call, the focus is on comforting the mourners in their time of greatest grief. Traditionally, one enters the shiva house quietly with a small knock so as not to startle those inside. No one needs to greet visitors; they simply enter on their own. Food […]

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ABCs of Death & Mourning

Judaism provides a beautiful, structured approach to mourning that involves three stages. When followed carefully, these stages guide mourners through the tragic loss and pain and gradually ease them back into the world. One mourner said her journey through the stages of mourning was like being in a cocoon. At […]

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Mournful

I had a family. Four beautiful children, two boys, two girls. An open home filled with guests all the time. A wonderful relationship with my parents and siblings. A hard working husband. Enough money to pay the bills. Health. My life felt so perfect. So complete. Then my world suddenly […]

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Birthday for the Bereaved

You may have heard of my son Koby. In May (2001), he and a friend were brutally murdered a half-mile from our home in Tekoa, Israel. He was bludgeoned to death in a cave. He was killed with utter cruelty. He was killed because of hate. He was an innocent […]

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Pregnancy and Loss

Dear Rebbetzin, My precious daughter carried a perfect little ‘angel’ for exactly nine months. Two days after due date, she suddenly did not feel life and upon rushing to the hospital, was told that the baby had died. Why oh why, does my child have to suffer this immeasurable pain? […]

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Doni’s Life and Loss

  I always thought my pack of six children was a lot, until I saw the older five clinging to each other in one group hug at the grave side of my youngest. Then it seemed so small. I had six kids in seven-and-a-half years. Doni was the prince of […]

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Touching the World of Angels

What can anyone say when a baby dies in her crib without warning just 76 days after she was born? Jerusalemite Seth Clyman, who with his wife Ellen has eight other children, spent six years writing a book that recalls the tragedy and the chilling week (in 1991) of mourning […]

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The Soul – Aryeh Kaplan

One of the foundations of our faith is the belief in the immortality of the soul, and in life after death. If one believes in God’s justice, one must also believe in the immortality of the soul. How can we otherwise reconcile the fact that many righteous individuals suffer in […]

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What Is Written On His Tombstone

He was affectionately known as the ‘Righteous One’ of Jerusalem. In the early years of the State of Israel, Rabbi Aryeh Levin zt”l (1885-1969) was renowned for his exceptional kindness and boundless acts of love for people from all walks of life. Even in the final days prior to his […]

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Private facebook group for pregnancy and infant loss

Netanya Carmi runs a private Facebook group where women who have lost pregnancies and babies can talk to each other about everything that comes along with loss: physical, medical, emotional, and spiritual issues; relationships with spouses, loved ones, friends and acquaintances; grief and tears, love and hope. You do not have […]

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Calev’s Kindness

Calev’s Kindness Foundation was started to help reach others suffering from pregnancy and infancy loss. Its aim is to spread the love that parents couldn’t share with their children. Please visit www.calevskindnessfoundation.org to read more about our story and find helpful articles and resources.

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Nechama Comfort

Nechama Comfort is an international non-profit organization supporting families of all Jewish backgrounds through the trauma of miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss.  We offer individual and family counseling, support groups, a network of peers, training for medical personnel and clergy, and sensitivity programs for communities and workplaces.  Additional information is available […]

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Forever My Angel – Support for Stillbirth or Neonatal Death

Our mission is to provide logistical services to Jewish individuals and families affected by stillbirths. This includes, but is not limited to, helping to plan for the days ahead; introductions to various religious and medical professionals who can be helpful with developing a path forward; and logistical help with daily […]

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optionb.org

Option B is dedicated to help build resilience in the face of adversity- and giving you the tools to help your family, friends, and community build resilience too. It is a place to share  and hear stories, join groups for solidarity and support, and seek information from experts.

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My Shoshana: A Father’s Journey Through Loss

Rabbi Rafael Grossman, 2012 Rafael Grossman was the successful rabbi of a prominent synagogue, the president of his state’s rabbinical council, and the dean of a Hebrew Day School when his teenage daughter Shoshana became ill. Shoshana, vibrant and energetic, a delight to her parents and everyone around her, died at […]

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Bearing the Unbearable

Joanne Cacciatore, 2017 Organized into fifty-two short chapters, Bearing the Unbearable is a companion for life’s most difficult times, revealing how grief can open our hearts to connection, compassion, and the very essence of our shared humanity.

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First You Die, Learn To Live After the Death of Your Child

Marie Levine, 2003 After the death of her only child, Marie Levine weaves the story of her own bereavement into a collection of essays, poems and writings that chronicle her own surviving mother’s journey. As a nightmarish reality envelops her, Marie describes the ultimate restoration of hope and healing as […]

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The Jewish Way in Death and Mourning

For over thirty years Jews have turned to Rabbi Maurice Lamm’s classic work for direction and consolation. Selected by The New York Times as one of the ten best religious books of the year when it was first published in 1969, The Jewish Way in Death and Mourning leads the family and friends of […]

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Kayak Morning, Roger Rosenblatt

This is the second book in which Roger Rosenblatt reflects on life after the sudden death of his daughter. Rosenblatt offers a poignant meditation on the nature of grief, the passages through it, the solace of solitude, and the healing power of love.

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Making Toast, Roger Rosenblatt

 Roger Rosenblatt shares the unforgettable story of the tragedy that changed his life and his family. He shares how he and his wife move in with his son-n-law and young grandchildren after the sudden death of his daughter.

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Refuge In Grief

“This site is full of validation, support, and resources that can help you survive what has been asked of you – whether that’s the death of someone you love, the loss of something you can’t live without, or witnessing unfixable pain in the people you love.”

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What’s Your Grief?

This is a website whose mission is to “promote grief education, exploration, and expression in both practical and creative ways.” They aim to provide the public with education that reaches beyond generalization, practical and specific suggestions for moving forward, as well a supportive community among other things.

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Comforting the Bereaved

A sacred obligation devolves upon every Jew to comfort the mourners, whether he is related to them or not, and whether he was a close friend or a passing acquaintance. In Judaism, exercising compassion by paying a condolence call is a mitzvah, considered by some of our greatest scholars to be […]

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About the Shiva

The Mourning Pattern: Judaism, with its long history of dealing with the soul of man, its intimate knowledge of man’s achievements and foibles, his grandeur and his weakness, has wisely devised graduated periods during which the mourner may express his grief, and release with calculated regularity the built-up tensions caused […]

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What is ‘Found Family’?

This morning we held a workshop on coping with loss. I know, it’s a very broad topic, but we planned to let the session take us wherever the participants wanted to go. We began the group by writing a simple question on the board: “What are you coping with?” Immediately, […]

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This Is What Social Isolation Looks Like

It’s winter.  It’s cold.  It’s dark.  I’ve been socially isolating.  There, I said it. I’m guessing I might not be alone.  Social isolation in grief is oh so common.  Social isolation in winter is oh so common.  Conversations about social isolation?  Not so common.  We reference social isolation a lot […]

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Yizkor for a child – Guide

There is a Jewish custom of offering a prayer of remembrance – Yizkor – on the High Hoidays and Jewish festivals throughout the year. On these significant days a few moments are set aside to recall dear relatives who no longer are with us in this world. Generally yizkor is […]

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Inspired By The People

After the murder of Sarah Litman’s father & brother days before her wedding, she chose to marry after shiva… but this time she invited the entire nation of Israel. In preparing the video we met with Sarah Litman and Ariel Beigel who are the main subjects of the story. They […]

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Understanding Grief

Although many of us are able to speak frankly about death, we still have a lot to learn about dealing wisely with its aftermath: grief, the natural reaction to loss of a loved one. Relatively few of us know what to say or do that can be truly helpful to […]

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5 Things About Grief You Should Know

This month of January marks two years since I lost my brother. Some days I think I’ve adjusted to this new normal in my life, and I have a sense of bittersweet grace and acceptance. Other days it’s a horrible jolt where I’m reminded all over again that he is […]

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Nichum Aveilim: Comforting the Mourners

As some of the readers may know, our family lost our beloved son, Eric Eliezer Levenson (z”l), a year and a half ago. Because we believe it is important, and may be beneficial to others, to be open about the cause of his death, that he took his own life […]

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Menuchas Hanefesh

Menuchas Hanefesh is a global organization whose aim is to help destigmitize miscarriage and stillbirths in the jewish community.   Their services assist women and families navigate the emotional period of pregnancy loss and pregnancy after a loss. Menuchas Hanefesh sends out a unique pregnancy loss package, free of charge, as […]

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Our Tapestry

Our Tapestry is a non-profit organization whose mission is to be the conduit for providing the right tools, offering empathy and solace to families who have suffered the loss of a child. Our Tapestry publishes and mails seasonal magazines to hundreds of bereaved families worldwide and organizes local gatherings. For […]

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I Miss My Baby

Pnina Rosenstark We are proud to have published a new children’s book “I Miss My Baby” by Pnina Rosenstark. The book tells the heartbreaking story of the loss of an infant. The story is told through the eyes of the child’s three year old sister and touches on the tragic […]

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The Road To Resilience

By Sherri Mandell, 2015 How do you grow from grief? How do the Jewish people continue on with strength despite all of the hardships they have faced? Sherri Mandell explores the seven spiritual steps of resilience that teach us how to not only survive grief, but how to thrive in […]

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The Blessing of a Broken Heart

By Sherri Mandell  \  Toby Press, 2003 The Blessing of a Broken Heart is the true story of an American family who moved to Israel and were soon faced with the inexplicable murder of their son Koby, z”l at the hands of terrorists. In it Sherri describes the harrowing journey […]

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Beyond Tears: Living After Losing a Child

Ellen Mitchell  \  St. Martin’s Pres  \  Second Edition, 2009 Beyond Tears is written by nine mothers who have each lost a child. Each of these mothers lost her child at least seven years ago. They share with other bereaved parents what to expect in the first year and long beyond.

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Afterlife: The Jewish View: Where Are We Headed

By, Jonathan Morgenstern and Rabbi Sholom Kamenetsky  \  Mosaica Press, 2014 This book presents a basic and straightforward description of the stages beyond this world. In plain and simple language we learn more about the stages beyond this life.

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Children’s Books

A children’s book about child loss that we helped produce is available to whomever would like to receive a copy.

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Passing over a son’s passing

Fifteen months since my son’s death, I have now navigated a complete calendar cycle of holidays. My journey since the dark day of December 22, 2015 has been a reverse passover. I have traversed backwards from a better yesterday to an emptier tomorrow, with my existence split into the before […]

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How to Love Someone Who is Grieving Their Child

When someone you love has experienced the loss of a child, it’s hard on everyone. They are engulfed in a sea of unbearable pain and grief and sorrow while you may be struggling to stand beside them, wondering what to say, what to do, and what they need. You love […]

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6 Things to Never Say to a Bereaved Parent

If you’re a bereaved parent, you can probably count on at least five hands the number of phrases you wish people would never, ever say to you.  If only there was a way for the world to learn how to speak compassionately to the brokenhearted.  What many people believe is […]

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How to Make a Tragic Shiva Call

Every shiva is hard, but some are harder than others. Recently, I went to the second kind of shiva: the shiva for our friend who was tragically, oh-my-God-shockingly, killed in a cycling accident at the age of 36. He was healthy and happy; he had a wife whom he adored and four small children whom […]

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Coping With Loss on the High Holidays

These holy days of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur can often be difficult days, especially for those who have suffered loss. These are days when we often reminisce about past years. It is also a time we look toward the future. We know how painful it can be when we […]

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The Shofar: A Mother’s Cry

How many shofar blasts must be heard on Rosh Hashana? The search for the answer to this question led the Sages to a most unlikely personality. One hundred blasts of the shofar are based on the one hundred cries of the mother of Sisera (Talmud Rosh Hashana 33b). Sisera’s mother […]

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The Ocean Of Tears

It’s so hard for us to imagine being in touch with somebody who is in another world… but for the rebbes, the Holy Masters, it was another thing altogether. For them, from this world to the upper realms was so close, so close… Before Reb Yitzchak Vorker left this world, […]

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But I Can Cry With You

A man once came to the Holy Reb Yitzhak Vorker, one of the great Hasidic masters, and he cried, “Rebbe, I’m mamash desperate, really desperate. My child is so sick, he may even be dying God forbid! Rebbe, I’m begging you, please pray for my son to get well.” The […]

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Broken Lives and Broken Tablets

One of the most dramatic scenes in the Torah is when Moses descends Mount Sinai and sees the Jewish people dancing around the golden calf. Moses takes the two tablets he is holding in his hands and thrusts them to ground, shattering them. The divine gift of the tablets etched […]

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Discovering a Close Friend in God

The Torah portion of Bo opens when God commands Moses to go to Egypt and speak to Pharaoh. Many point out the difficulty with this simple word – bo, ‘come’, in this context. The phrase literally translates as “Come to Pharaoh.” The more appropriate word to use would be “lech”, […]

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A Sibling’s Pain: On the Loss of a Sister or Brother

A parent burying a child is without question one of the harshest blows that one can experience in life. It is a kind of loss that stands in its own category. Often, not only a parent feels the immense pain of loss when a child passes. The loss of a […]

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Light One Candle

“Light one candle for the strength that we need” “Light one candle for those who are suffering”    (‘Light one Candle’, Chanukah Song) On the fifth night of Chanukah a unique Menorah lighting was held a few hundred meters from Tzomet HaGush. Exactly three weeks after the murder of Ezra […]

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Saying Goodbye to Ezra at the Airport

It is not uncommon to find people saying farewell in an airport. People hug each other. Sometimes you will see people wiping away tears. Tonight was totally different. A thousand people came to the airport to say goodbye to Ezra Schwartz z”l who was being flown back for his burial […]

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Starbucks and the Lesson of Jacob’s Pillow

The sun is setting and Jacob rests his head after a harrowing day. He is fleeing from his brother Esau. In an open field Jacob gathers stones and makes a pillow of sorts so he can sleep before moving on in the morning. Amazingly, the Midrash describes a “fight” that breaks out […]

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An Unforgettable Visit with Abraham

Abraham receives a special visitor in his home. Three days after the painful procedure of circumcision God comes to visit Abraham. What does God say to Abraham? What is His message at this significant time? Strangely the verse only says that God ‘appears’ to Abraham (Genesis 18:1). There is no command. […]

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Throwing the Keys Up to Heaven: A Thought for Tisha B’Av

When offering words of comfort to a mourner we reference the destruction of the Temple. The traditional invocation expresses our wish that the mourner be comforted “among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.” It is generally understood that the two are connected because they both represent intense sadness and great […]

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Irreplaceable

Commenting on the tragedy of the Holocaust, Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach once said, ‘It’s not just the number six million. We lost so many holy people’. These words kept circling in my mind the last few days…’its not just the number – we lost so many holy people’. The media reported: […]

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Visiting the Graves of Loved Ones Before Yom Kippur

There is a meaningful custom of visiting the graves of our loved ones during the period surrounding Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.  What thoughts should enter our hearts and minds when we make this visit? We can gain an insight from a thought-provoking Talmudic teaching. The Talmud says that one […]

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A Permanent Tear: On The Loss Of A Child

What does the Torah, our most sacred text, teach us about the traumatic and heart wrenching death: the loss of a child? When Jacob’s children go down to Egypt in search of sustenance they unexpectedly come face to face with their long-lost brother Joseph. But they don’t recognize him. Joseph, […]

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