This week, we started to wrap up our study of the Jewish life cycle by looking at end of life rituals and customs. As we often do, we started class with a book. This week it was “Is God sad?” and it has a really beautiful conversation between a father and a child talking about joy, memory and sadness in a very accessible kind of way. We learned about ways in which a body is prepared for a funeral, and how members of the community stay with the person until it is time for the burial. We learned about different ways that we treat a body with respect even after a person has died, and we learned about what happens at a funeral.
Since this week is also Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, we talked for a few minutes about remembering the lives and the hardships of people who died in the holocaust. It can be a challenging subject to navigate with young children, so we focussed on the idea of remembrance and mourning within the natural life cycle and less on wars and tragedies. Next week we will be talking about remembrance with a book called “The Memory Tree” which is a beautiful book about the memories that bind our loved ones into our memories and lives even after they are gone.