Using the question-and-answer format he employed in his popular books The Jewish Book of Why, The Second Jewish Book of Why, and The Jewish Book of Why: The Torah, Rabbi Alfred J. Kolatch explains and analyzes the reasons behind the multitude of Jewish laws, observances, customs, ceremonies, and traditions relating to death and mourning.
Among the questions addressed are:
*Why was the practice of tearing a garment (Keria)
*Why are coffins commonly fashioned from raw pine wood?
*Why does Jewish law require speedy burial?
*Why do mourners sit on low stools during the seven-day Shiva period?
The answers that Rabbi Kolatch offers to the hundreds of questions presented in this volume are concise, straightforward, and unbiased, reflecting the attitudes, customs, and practices of Jews of all denominations.
The Jewish Mourner's Book of Why features a selection of readings that will bring comfort to the bereaved. The useful appendices include an unveiling service that can be conducted by a family member; the various forms of the Kaddish prayer in Hebrew, in transliteration, and in English translation; as well as a Yizkor service for those who are homebound. Includes detailed notes, bibliography, and index.