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Ancestral Journeys: End-of-Life Wisdom in Torah and Midrash
Ancestral Journeys: End-of-Life Wisdom in Torah and Midrash
Hosted by Kavod v'Nichum
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The Gamliel Institute is a center for study, training, and advocacy concerning Jewish end-of-life practices. The Institute is a project of Kavod v’Nichum (Honor and Comfort), a North American organization that provides assistance, training, and resources about Jewish death and bereavement practice for Chevrah Kadisha groups and bereavement committees in synagogues and communities throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Ancestral Journeys: End-of-Life Wisdom in Torah and Midrash with Reb Simcha Raphael

Four 90-minute Zoom Sessions 

February 2, 9, 16, 23, 2022

8:00pm Eastern / 5:00pm Pacific

Course Fee: We have a new flexible course fee structure. Please see options at checkout.  

This course shall explore biographical narratives in Torah and Midrash in search of wisdom for dealing with the unique challenges of life and death today. Through study and reflection on the lives of our Biblical ancestors from the Book of Genesis, we shall discover guidelines for responding to end-of-life transitions and encounters with the unknown in this era of uncertainty. Course will be presented using a display of visual collages to highlight the texts of Torah and Midrash we shall study.

FEBRUARY 2, 2022

1) ABRAHAM’S Calling: From Bereaved Refugee to Man of Destiny

FEBRUARY 9, 2022

2) ISAAC’S Midlife Transition: The Akedah as a Near-Death Experience

FEBRUARY 16, 2022

3) JACOB’S Deathbed Finale: Family Drama and Trauma at the End-of-Life

FEBRUARY 23, 2022

4) Carrying JOSEPH’S Bones: Sinai Procession as a Funeral Ritual 

Reb Simcha Raphael

Reb Simcha Raphael, PhD, is Founding Director of the DAAT INSTITUTE for Death Awareness, Advocacy and Training. He works as a psychotherapist and spiritual director in the Philadelphia area, and has a served as Adjunct Professor in Religion at LaSalle and Temple Universities. Ordained as a Rabbinic Pastor by Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, and a Fellow of the Rabbis Without Borders Network, he is author of numerous publications on death and dying including the groundbreaking classic Jewish Views of the Afterlife and co-editor of Jewish End-of-Life Care in a Virtual Age: Our Traditions Reimagined. His website is

Lecture Series Registration