2018 Student Research Conference:
31st Annual Student Research Conference

Jewish Death and Mourning: Finding Jewish Identity


Chester A. Pelsang
Dr. Dereck Daschke, Faculty Mentor

Death is all around us and is often considered creepy or disgusting. However, how we see death and react to it lends insight into human identity. Moreover, the Jewish understanding of death is a prime example as to how humans try to create this “identity”. This project shows the various stages of the Jewish funeral and mourning rites, and how Jewish identity is formed from these rites. While Jewish identity is broad and can span across numerous areas of examination, this paper’s primary focus is on how Jews are able to connect and find their identity in times of grief and mourning. This interplay between identity and ritual is the main tenet of my paper. After careful examination of the various stages of death and mourning, we can start to see that the community is not only an active participant in the Jewish rituals, but often acts as a visible sign of Jewish identity.

Keywords: Jewish , Identity , Death , Mourning

Topic(s):Philosophy & Religion

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 210-5
Location: VH 1224
Time: 10:30

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