death and mourning
Two months ago my brother-like friend and co-worker, Sean Trank, asked me to write something about heaven for others to read. In light of his recent passing, I honor his request today.
In his newest book, Great By Choice author Jim Collins writes, "Life is uncertain, the future unknown. This is neither good nor bad. It just is, like gravity. Yet the task remains: how to master our fate, even so."
In our fast-paced, frenetic world, taking time to reflect on the course of our lives may seem like a luxury. Some use the new year as an opportunity for a personal review of how they have measured up to certain ideals and goals. But sometimes opportunities to reflect come to us painfully unbidden through the […]
Editor’s note: I was wondering what articles to include in this month’s edition that deals more than usual with the sensitive topic of hell, when I came across this article. I hope it encourages you as it did me. A few months ago, Carol, a Jewish woman I’ve been ministering to, came to faith. I […]
Tell her the doctors said it’s cancer,” I heard Dad coaching Mom from the background, but instead of repeating the news, Mom simply handed him the phone. “It’s cancer that’s spread to my bones,” he announced. After a brief pause I managed to say: “I’ll be right over.” When I was in my twenties and […]
I never thought I’d get married, for the simple reason that I never thought I would ever meet someone who would love me just for who I am, faults and all. And then I met Renee Shulman…
Renee and I met one afternoon at Queens College through the Hillel group on campus. I was studying geology and had just returned from a field trip. My jeans were filthy and the rest of me wasn’t too clean either. I walked into the room where Hillel was meeting, sort of wondering why I was there. Truth be told, I would have rather been by myself or playing table tennis, but someone had told me I should drop by Hillel and so here I was.
From what I was told later, I understand that Renee, who had been chatting with a group of her girlfriends, stopped mid-conversation when she saw me. Then she pointed me out to her friends and said, “I’m going to marry that guy.” Grubby jeans and all.
Dad,” I asked, “Do you have any thoughts on resurrection?” I was hoping he might reach for his dictation machine and give me something for “Moishe’s Musings.” Even though it was only January, the April newsletter would soon be due. “No. I haven’t been having many deep thoughts lately.”Dad was tired from fighting cancer, tired […]
Many people do not believe in a literal heaven so for them, the question “Who goes there?” is moot. The late Dr. Louis Goldberg once told of the time that he went into the store of a Jewish proprietor: He looked so depressed and dejected that I asked him what was wrong. He replied, “I […]
The tiny, one-room house was dark and musty. Narrow sunbeams poked through the cracks around a small draped window, and near the bed a solitary wick flickered in a little bowl of oil. Ruchelah lay in her bed. She had been infirmed for years, barely able to move or sit up, much less stand or […]
I am beginning this article in a hospital waiting room. It is August. Susan Perlman, my close colleague, First Assistant and very dear friend is undergoing surgery to remove a tumor that is probably malignant—20 years after having survived a bout with cancer. No stranger to that hospital, I’d sat anxiously awaiting word of my […]
The following are excerpts from an article that appeared in the February edition of ISSUES, our bimonthly publication for Jewish seekers. I never thought I’d get married, for the simple reason that I never thought I would ever meet someone who would love me just for who I am, faults and all. And then I […]
A Jewish woman stumbles across a biblical discovery her father made before he passed on.
Six interviews from Messianic Jewish Americans about 9/11.
When someone’s home is robbed, the victims often say they feel as though their house will never be the same again, as if the intruder has left a permanent scar upon a place once considered safe. Many of us felt that same sense of violation when our security and stability were violently stolen on September […]
What childhood images do the High Holidays stir in your memory? I remember my impatience over the seemingly endless synagogue services balanced with the excitement of knowing something special was happening. Then there was the unusual sight of Jews in uniform, piling in from a nearby naval base to worship with us. They helped pack […]
While hard times are inevitable, some reflections on how God is ready to meet us personally.
These days are observed only by traditional Orthodox Jews. Some non-Orthodox Jews tend to recognize them as important in Jewish tradition but do not encourage traditional observance. Sheva Asar be-Tammuz Meaning of Name: The 17th of Tammuz English Name: The Fast of Tammuz Calendar Month: June/July Jewish Calendar Date: Originally the 9th of Tammuz to […]
Some believe that we are the same as other Jews and have merely added our faith in Jesus as an extension of Judaism. This is not true! Our faith in Yeshua causes us to be different in many ways, and those differences are not insignificant. They are matters of life and death.… I was too […]
Why does Jewish law require that the deceased be buried within twenty-four hours of death? Are any exceptions allowed? The biblical basis for this law is questionable, as a portion of Deuteronomy 21:23 is cited: His body shall not remain overnight…, but you shall surely bury him that day.” If you read the command in […]
Growing old is no joy, but Pearl Weinberg hadn’t realized how awful it could be until the death of her beloved Jacob. Two years had passed, but she often forgot Jacob was gone and set the table for two or bought herring (which she had never liked!) because it was a favorite of his. It […]
Death. Can any experience be more final? Obituary notices placed in the Jerusalem Post read: Sarah is no more.” “Jacob has departed from us.” These words, while not intended to cause consternation, leave a person empty, haunted with the question: “Where did they go? Where will I go? Who can know?” Most people rationalize the […]
Mankind has been confronted with the experience of death since the beginning of time, and yet there is hardly another subject about which we know so little. Modern man chooses to escape from the awesome awareness of his own mortality and seeks ways to isolate himself from those approaching death. Why is this? The Scriptures […]
The following letter by Stuart to his father was written on Stuart’s 36th birthday. Dear Dad: Today marks the 36th anniversary of that rainy, chaotic, joyful day when (as you told me so many times) you drove on Brooklyn’s streets and sidewalks, past hurricane-felled trees, to get Mom to the hospital so that a doctor, […]
Through Death’s Door—and Back! by Lyn Mann This article originally appeared in ISSUES 3:3 I was a very fortunate person. I had a loving husband, children who were a source of joy and satisfaction, a beautiful home, a profession as a teacher who loved teaching. Most importantly, I had a relationship with God. To me, […]
Many of the people who came in, both young and old, never left. In some rooms the stench of death hovered with gruesome anticipation over the frames that still breathed: sturdy bodies grown frail, once healthy complexions now pale and sallow. I watched families leave weighted down by grief over the loss of their loved […]
Is there life after death? Throughout history, men of every nation and culture have been intrigued with this notion. The Jewish Scriptures, the Tenach,have a great deal to say about life, resurrection and eternity. For most of my life I believed once someone died, that was it—six feet under the ground and a state of […]