Review of The Mind of the Mourner in Jewish Press

03 Aug 2010
OU Press

Professor Oscar Mohl writes in The Jewish Press (link):

Grief is a universal experience. But mourning, which is the religious and cultural expression of that grief, reflects the specific community’s values and world· view. In this important volume, the author analyzes the halachic ritual framework of avelut, exploring how it was constructed to reflect the values and importance of the community and at the same time to address the emotional and psychological needs of the individual mourner with understanding, sensitivity, and compassion. It shows how the corpus of rabbinic literature on the subject expresses a consistent and coherent Jewish theology of death and mourning.

The volume takes us through aninut (the period from death to burial), avelut and the structure of the shiva visit, Shabbat and Yom Tov mourning, and discusses the complicated issues of mourning adoptive and step-parents, on the one hand, and abusive parents, on the other. Also included is a chapter on national mourning, covering Tisha B’Av and Yom HaShoa.

Reading through the chapters, we quickly appreciate our rabbi’s profound understanding of the human condition. It is an important volume for all those who mourn and those who go to comfort them.

Learn more about the book here: link.