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The Jewish Mourner's Companion

Sub Title A Source of Comfort and Practical Guidance. A must for funerals and Shiva homes.
Author by Rabbi Zalman Goldstein

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Author: Rabbi Zalman Goldstein
ISBN: 1-891293-21-4
Binding: Hardcover 
Pages: 288 pages 
Size: 6.75x7.75 
Other Formats: 
Audible, Amazon Kindle, and Apple Books


Also available on Amazon Kindle and Apple Books

A Source of Comfort and Practical Guidance.

A must for funerals and Shiva homes. 


All liturgy FULLY TRANSLITERATED in English, including the complete "MINCHA" and "MAARIV" services for the Shiva home! 

This outstanding compact-size book will guide you through the difficult times of illness and death, presenting Jewish tradition in a way that is both sensitive and instructive. Endorsed by leading rabbis, hospital chaplains, and family counselors, this all-in-one guide will help you know what to do when faced with these life-changing challenges. 

Written for people of all backgrounds, levels of observance, and understanding, this book is a fitting companion for family and friends, including visitors at the funeral and Shiva home.


    • An overview of life, illness and death in Jewish thought.
    • Laws and customs for visiting the sick.
    • Jewish perspective on end-of-life issues (e.g. living wills, organ donations, etc.).
    • Dealing with the last moments of life - what everyone should know.
    • Before the funeral, at the cemetery, following burial.
    • Mourner's Kaddish, Shiva, Shloshim, Yartzeit, and Yizkor.
    • All necessary liturgy, including Mincha (afternoon), Maariv (evening) prayer services, and Mishnayot, along with easy-to-read English transliteration and translation.
    • Inspirational readings and meditations.


A Companion for life-changing times from the Jewish Learning Group - by Len Estrin.

When a life-changing event occurs, the questions come fast and furious. Should the doctors use “extraordinary measures?” Can I donate a kidney to save the life of a sibling or parent? What should we do if the worst happens?

The Jewish Mourner’s Companion answers these and many other questions. Published by the Jewish Learning Group, The Jewish Mourner’s Companion differs from other books on bereavement in several ways. For one thing, The Jewish Mourner’s Companion is comprehensive. It covers everything from illness through burial and beyond, without being unwieldy or overwhelming. For another, it has been written in a clear yet sensitive style, so it’s fit for the layman, yet it contains enough guidance for an officiating rabbi or chaplain. And the Jewish Mourner’s Companion provides a Jewish perspective that has been by illuminated by Jewish mystical insights.

For example, the section, “The Duty of the Moment,” describes the first actions that should take place after the passing of a loved one. Rabbi Goldstein writes:

“Kabbalah teaches that the separation of the soul and body is a very gradual process; and following passing, the soul hovers near the body. The soul does not feel free to ascend to heaven until the body is prepared for burial in the traditional Jewish way and buried in the ground. We therefore must do all we can to expedite this process, enabling the soul to rest in peace quickly.”

Similarly, Rabbi Goldstein brings new meaning to kriah, the Biblical commandment for a mourner to tear one’s outer garment. This is typically understood to express our grief at the loss of a loved one and the destruction of the family unit. Rabbi Goldstein suggests that kriah serves an additional purpose. In his view, it “creates an opening for the person to release the feelings of his heart.” (This beautiful explanation may be why the Rabbis’ ruled that tearing a black ribbon does not qualify as kriah.)

The Jewish Mourner’s Companion does not focus exclusively on bereavement, but includes other areas as well. For example, it presents a digest of the laws and customs of bikur cholim, visiting the sick. Many people know that visiting the sick recalls the time when G-d visited Abraham, who was recuperating after circumcising himself. Yet not many people may know that there are three aspects to the mitzvah, 1. Seeing after the material needs of the patient. 2. Praying on behalf of the patient. 3. Spending time with the patient. (With all due respect to the greeting card companies, dropping a sick friend a card, doesn’t quite cut it.)

In addition to visiting the sick, the Jewish Mourner’s Companion provides suggestions for the last days. Often this is a very emotional time, when words that should be said are left unsaid and directives that should be made are never given. The Jewish Mourner’s Companion can be an invaluable aid to family members and friends in arranging things when every moment becomes filled with meaning and not one second should be wasted or lost.

If (or to be accurate for all of us, when) the time comes for the soul to return to its Maker, The Jewish Mourner’s Companion helps those who have been left behind. The Companion provides the rules and customs of burial, the laws of shiva (week of mourning), shloshim (30 day memorial period) and yahrzeit (anniversary of the passing.)

The Jewish Mourner’s Companion alsofeatures an overview of life, illness, and death in Jewish thought, essays on organ donations, living wills, and other topics, suggested Psalms and prayers, and meditations for comfort. These sections can help care-givers, well-wishers, friends and relatives offer spiritual as well as physical support.

The Jewish Mourner’s Companion even supplies complete translations and transliterations for the Afternoon (Mincha) and Evening (Maariv) prayer services, so that everyone present can participate whether they know Hebrew or not.

Many years ago, Jewish communities and families could turn to elders for leadership and answers during a time of need. Sadly, many communities and families no longer have people who remember how their parents and grandparents acted during a time of illness or bereavement. Fortunately, there is The Mourner’s Companion by Rabbi Zalman Goldstein.

About the Book's Author

Rabbi Zalman Goldstein has written ten books, including the bestselling "Shabbat Table Companion" and "Going Kosher In 30 Days!." His ability to blend sensibility and passion along with an authentic Jewish education has helped thousands live more Jewishly every day.

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