Mourning Guide


Whether you’ve recently experienced the loss of a loved one, are preparing to say goodbye, or trying to navigate the journey of grief, we’re here to walk with you through this time. You are not alone. Click here to access our PDF and printable Guide for Mourners.

The days and months leading up to and after a death can be full of intense and complex emotions. Many Jews find the practices around death and mourning to be meaningful and comforting. Making sense of the rituals, decisions, and traditions in this time can feel particularly overwhelming. We created this short guide, focused on the Jewish practices around death and mourning, to help you move through these days of loss and grieving.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have questions or would like to talk.

Contact 323-634-1870 & [email protected]

Rabbinic Emergency 323-634-1870 x 118 & [email protected]

With love,

Rabbi Brous, Rabbi Tsadok, Rabbi Kasher, and Rabbi Panitz

[*We are immensely grateful to Rabbi Keilah Lebell and to IKAR member Gina Rozner, whose insights and wisdom permeate this guide.]

  • Practical Steps
  • Resources
  • Mourner's Kaddish
  • Psalm 23
  • Jewish Mourning is Radical
  • Before Death
  • For Whom do We Mourn?
  • Phases of Mourning
  • Aninut: Time bw death + burial
  • Burial
  • Shiva: Immediate Mourning
  • Shloshim: Mourning
  • Avelut: Bereavement
  • Yahrzeit Azkarah: Anniversary
  • Vidui: Final Words

Practical Steps: What to do When Someone Dies

1. Report the death: At the time of death, call the Coroner’s Office/Medical Examiner, the mortuary/cemetery, and your rabbi.  During business hours, please contact the IKAR office (323.634.1870) and ask to speak with one of our rabbis.  To reach our rabbis after business hours or on a weekend, please contact our rabbinic emergency line (323.634.1870 x118) and email [email protected].

2. Schedule the funeral/burial: Speak with the funeral home about available times for the funeral and then contact the rabbi to establish which times work.

3. Send all relevant information to IKAR for the condolence email: Condolence Notice Information Form.

4. Set an appointment with the mortuary/cemetery to make funeral arrangements: This may involve choosing a plot, signing forms and going over any logistics. This can be challenging—we encourage you to visit the cemetery with a trusted loved one who can help navigate the many decisions you’ll have to make at that time (i.e. number of death certificates, etc.). Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions that you need help answering.

Note:

  • Jewish law and tradition encourage the simplest burial rites, from a plain pine box to takhrikhim, simple linen shrouds that the deceased is dressed in.
  • Jews are traditionally buried in the earth, though some choose to be buried in a mausoleum, an above ground burial monument.
  • Cremation is strongly discouraged in Jewish law, though you should speak with us if you have any questions or concerns.
  • Flowers are not traditionally used in Jewish funerals.

5. Funeral Costs: The mortuary usually asks that their services be paid for in full at the time of need. You may contact them in advance to find out an approximate cost and to plan on who is paying for the funeral arrangements. If you are unable to cover the cost of the funeral, please contact us—we can offer some support from discretionary funds. The highest priority is laying your loved one to rest in dignity.

  • The rabbi is paid separately from the funeral home. While you should ask the rabbi what they charge, the average honorarium is $500, which should be written out in a check directly to the rabbi or their synagogue.  If you’re a member of IKAR, the rabbis are not paid for officiating funerals. Instead, many community members choose to donate $180-$1,800 to the rabbi’s discretionary fund.

6. Directly after the funeral: It’s traditional to have a seudat havra’ah, a meal of consolation that first evening. Some will choose to keep this meal private for family and separate from the first night of shiva. Others will choose to invite family and funeral guests to the home directly after the funeral. Don’t be surprised if visitors show up with food – this is an expression of love and support. However, if it’s too overwhelming to receive food, you can ask a friend to communicate with visitors about what you need and don’t need.

After the burial, our attention turns to the mourners. The burial service ends with Eil Malei Rahamim, recited by the rabbi or hazzan, and Mourner’s Kaddish (words are below in the appendix).

As we prepare to leave the graveside, traditionally all of those present will form two lines facing one another from the graveside to the road. The mourners then walk between the two lines and hear the words of consolation:

המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים 

HaMakom yinahem etkhem b’tokh sh’ar avlei tzion virushalayim 

May the Everpresent comfort you among all those who are grieving

יִתְגַּדַּל וְיִתְקַדַּשׁ שְׁמֵהּ רַבָּא. [קהל: אמן]

בְּעָלְמָא דִּי בְרָא כִרְעוּתֵהּ וְיַמְלִיךְ מַלְכוּתֵהּ בְּחַיֵּיכון וּבְיומֵיכון וּבְחַיֵּי דְכָל בֵּית יִשרָאֵל בַּעֲגָלָא וּבִזְמַן קָרִיב, וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן: [קהל: אמן]

קהל ואבל: יְהֵא שְׁמֵהּ רַבָּא מְבָרַךְ לְעָלַם וּלְעָלְמֵי עָלְמַיָּא:

יִתְבָּרַךְ וְיִשְׁתַּבַּח וְיִתְפָּאַר וְיִתְרומַם וְיִתְנַשּא וְיִתְהַדָּר וְיִתְעַלֶּה וְיִתְהַלָּל שְׁמֵהּ דְּקֻדְשָׁא. בְּרִיךְ הוּא. [קהל: בריך הוא]

לְעֵלָּא מִן כָּל בִּרְכָתָא וְשִׁירָתָא תֻּשְׁבְּחָתָא וְנֶחֱמָתָא דַּאֲמִירָן בְּעָלְמָא. וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן: [קהל: אמן]

יְהֵא שְׁלָמָא רַבָּא מִן שְׁמַיָּא וְחַיִּים עָלֵינוּ וְעַל כָּל יִשרָאֵל. וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן: [קהל:אמן]

עושה שָׁלום בִּמְרומָיו הוּא יַעֲשה שָׁלום עָלֵינוּ וְעַל כָּל יִשרָאֵל וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן: [קהל:אמן]

Mourners: Yitgadal v’yitkadash sh’mei raba.
Community: Amen
Mourners: B’alma di-v’ra ḥirutei, v’yamlich malḥutei, b’ḥayeiḥon uvyomeichon uvḥayei d’ḥol beit yisrael, ba’agala uvizman kariv, v’im’ru:
Mourners & Community: Amen. Y’hei sh’mei raba m’varach l’alam ul’almei almaya.
Mourners: Yitbaraḥ v’yishtabaḥ, v’yitpa’ar v’yitromam v’yitnaseh, v’yithadar v’yit’aleh v’yit’halal sh’mei d’kud’sha,
Community: B’riḥ hu
Mourners: L’eila min-kol-birḥata v’shirata, tushb’ḥata v’neḥemata da’amiran b’alma, v’im’ru:
Community: Amen
Mourners: Y’hei shlama raba min-sh’maya v’ḥayim aleinu v’al-kol-yisrael, v’im’ru:
Community: Amen
Mourners: Oseh shalom bimromav, hu ya’aseh shalom aleinu v’al kol-yisrael, v’imru:
Community: Amen

The bereaved now begin the phases of mourning. Jewish tradition requires the mourner to recite Mourner’s Kaddish each day throughout the periods below. This prayer can only be said in a gathering of 10 Jewish adults (a minyan). While finding a minyan to recite Kaddish can be a heavy obligation, the experience of being with the community daily and dedicating moments to thinking about their loved one can be deeply meaningful. IKAR has a vibrant morning minyan community, and we welcome you to join at 8am PST Monday-Friday on Zoom. Mourner’s Kaddish is also recited on Shabbat and holidays.

Psalm 23

מִזְמ֥וֹר לְדָוִ֑ד יְהוָ֥ה רֹ֝עִ֗י לֹ֣א אֶחְסָֽר׃ 

בִּנְא֣וֹת דֶּ֭שֶׁא יַרְבִּיצֵ֑נִי עַל־מֵ֖י מְנֻח֣וֹת יְנַהֲלֵֽנִי׃ 

נַפְשִׁ֥י יְשׁוֹבֵ֑ב יַֽנְחֵ֥נִי בְמַעְגְּלֵי־צֶ֝֗דֶק לְמַ֣עַן שְׁמֽוֹ׃ 

גַּ֤ם כִּֽי־אֵלֵ֨ךְ בְּגֵ֪יא צַלְמָ֡וֶת לֹא־אִ֘ירָ֤א רָ֗ע כִּי־אַתָּ֥ה עִמָּדִ֑י שִׁבְטְךָ֥ וּ֝מִשְׁעַנְתֶּ֗ךָ הֵ֣מָּה יְנַֽחֲמֻֽנִי׃ 

תַּעֲרֹ֬ךְ לְפָנַ֨י ׀ שֻׁלְחָ֗ן נֶ֥גֶד צֹרְרָ֑י דִּשַּׁ֖נְתָּ בַשֶּׁ֥מֶן רֹ֝אשִׁ֗י כּוֹסִ֥י רְוָיָֽה׃ 

אַ֤ךְ ׀ ט֤וֹב וָחֶ֣סֶד יִ֭רְדְּפוּנִי כָּל־יְמֵ֣י חַיָּ֑י וְשַׁבְתִּ֥י בְּבֵית־יְ֝הוָ֗ה לְאֹ֣רֶךְ יָמִֽים׃

A psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I lack nothing.

The Holy One makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me to water in places of repose, renewing my life and guiding me in right paths, a testament to God’s name.

Though I walk through a Valley of the Shadow of Death, I fear no harm, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff—they comfort me.

You spread a table for me in full view of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Only goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in Your house for many long years.

Counter to American culture, Jewish tradition urges us to face death, acknowledge loss, make time and space for grieving, and to do all this with the support of community. The mourning practices guide a bereaved person through this profound change, urging them to stay connected, dedicating time for honoring the deceased person, learning how to live with their physical absence, and meditating on how to make their memory a blessing. While each individual’s grief has its own unique evolution, these practices offer a malleable container for holding varying experiences and expressions of grief.

When it is clear that a person is transitioning from life to death, final words may be exchanged between the living, the dying, and the Holy One. Traditionally, the person who is transitioning recites vidui, concluding with the words of Shema. If they are not able to speak, a loved one may recite the words for them. We have created a meaningful and accessible vidui to help navigate these final moments, with language for both the dying and the loved ones, which you can find below in the appendix.

Traditionally, a Jew is obligated to observe these mourning rites for deceased parents, spouses, siblings, and children. However, in our community, we also honor and support the choice to observe them when grieving the loss of a grandparent, step-parent, aunt, uncle, cousin, teacher or close friend. There is a lot of misleading and hurtful information out there about identities or causes of death that would disqualify someone from receiving a Jewish burial or participating in Jewish mourning rituals. At IKAR, we affirm that you and your loved ones are created in the image of God and deserve the full dignity our tradition offers in a time of loss.

Jewish law provides for graduated stages of mourning. Its initial activities are quite restrictive, and provide a tight frame to enclose the early intense feelings. The practices gradually become less restrictive and support the mourner’s reentry into the communal stream of activity.”– Rabbi Anne Brener, Mourning & Mitzvah (2nd Edition)

Once a person dies, immediate attention is paid to honoring and accompanying the deceased to their final resting place. After the burial, the focus shifts to the mourner, and then to the long process of reintegrating into the community. While for many, grieving the death of a loved one never truly ends, Jewish tradition provides special attention to mourners for the first year and continues to dedicate moments throughout the Hebrew calendar to remember our deceased loved ones and to acknowledge our loss. 

Below are the details about each mourning period for the first year after a loss. Each phase offers a container for holding grief and also has a defined end date, ushering the mourner into the next phase of re-entry into life without their loved one. We know that grief is not linear and does not necessarily follow these phases; it has its own time and rhythm. However, these defined stages can be a helpful tool for carrying grief alongside the responsibilities of daily life.

Jewish law requires that burial take place as soon after death as possible. During the period between death and burial, the bereaved (called an onen) is absolved of time-bound mitzvot (Jewish obligations, like wearing tallit or attending services) because all of the spiritual and mental energy is consumed by caring for and preparing the deceased for burial.

It’s traditional that the deceased is not left alone during this period. Most Jewish burial places will offer sh’mirah, people who guard the body before burial, and at IKAR we have a team of volunteers (known as a hevra kadisha) who are able to help fulfill this mitzvah through multi-hour shifts. Traditionally, a hevra kadisha (burial society) also prepares the body of the deceased for burial through a process of taharah (ritual washing). This is very holy and important work.

Aninut can be a somewhat chaotic time, even when burial arrangements have been made prior to the death. There are meetings with the funeral home, phone calls and texts with family members, coordinating travel, talking with the rabbi. It can be helpful to take cues from our tradition to name this liminal time as distinct from the mourning process, accept that there will be lots of logistics, put other obligations on hold without guilt, and do your best to attend to your basic needs. Remember to take moments to breathe, drink water, eat, and sleep.

At the burial, the officiant will help mourners make a tear in their clothing, a practice called kriyah. Today most funeral homes will offer a black ribbon on a pin that one may tear instead of a garment of clothing if you’d prefer. The mourner wears this torn garment throughout the next seven days as a visible symbol of their loss.

After the prayers and eulogies have been said, the immediate mourners, followed by the others in attendance, place earth upon the grave once the casket is lowered into the ground. This physical gesture gives a concrete sense of finality and, as the last act of kindness shown to the deceased, is among the highest mitzvot. It is traditional for the family and friends to perform the burial themselves. Today, we make certain that the entire top of the coffin is covered with earth, and all of the sides are filled in, before walking away from the graveside.

Shiva: The Hebrew word for seven, meaning the first week and the most intensive phase of mourning.

Shiva begins the day of burial and lasts seven days, with exceptions when there are holidays.

Throughout this period, mourners traditionally sit on or lower to the ground, do not leave home, and do not work, shave, cut their hair, take luxurious baths, watch TV, go to parties, concerts or other joyous events, have sex, or listen to music. Traditionally, the mirrors in the shiva home are covered with black cloths. It is the community’s obligation to ensure the basic needs of the mourners are met by bringing food. Friends and family come to the shiva home to give consolation. Today, many families identify visiting hours so they are not overwhelmed by visitors and MealTrains can be set up so the mourners can define and limit what food people bring.

NOTE: Shiva is suspended on Shabbat, though it is observed on Friday morning, and then again Saturday night.

At most, a minyan gathers at the mourner’s home twice a day (morning and afternoon/evening) to pray together and for the mourners to recite Kaddish and share memories about the deceased. You might choose to gather once or twice a day, in person, virtually or both. You can invite family and close friends for particular days and wider community on other days.

On the seventh day, in the morning, mourners literally “get up” from shiva by gathering for morning prayer with community, reciting Kaddish, and then walking around the block with family, friends and guests. It is traditional for the community to physically lift the mourner out of their chair; this symbolizes a re-entry into society, lifted by the community into that process, and marks the transition into the next phase of mourning.

Shloshim: The Hebrew word for 30, referring to the 30 days following the burial.

After shiva, some of the restrictions begin to ease as the mourner slowly returns to everyday routines. Mourners tend to return to work and daily tasks as they are ready and able. They continue to attend minyan to recite Mourner’s Kaddish, they do not shave or cut their hair, and do not listen to music or go to live performances.

Traditionally, at the end of shloshim, those mourning the loss of a spouse, sibling, or child would cease mourning practices, including reciting the Mourner’s Kaddish; however, many mourners chose to continue these practices for the full 11 months. Those mourning parents traditionally recite Kaddish for the full 11 months.

Some mark the end of shloshim with an aliyah on Shabbat and/or a Jewish study in honor of their loved one. The unveiling of the headstone may happen at any point after the conclusion of shloshim, though this tends to take place around the anniversary of death.

Aveulut: The Hebrew word for bereavement, referring to the remainder of the initial year of mourning.

The period of time following shloshim is traditionally only observed by children of the deceased in observance of the fifth commandment to honor your parents, although many in our community adopt this practice for any significant loss. During this time more restrictions are relieved as the mourners continue to return to their regular lives. The mourners continue to attend minyanim to recite Mourner’s Kaddish and do not listen to music, attend live performances or large celebrations. This period ends, according to Ashkenazi practice, one day shy of 11 months following the burial.  Sephardi Jews typically recite Mourner’s Kaddish for 11 months, pause for a week, and then resume until the end of 12 months.

The Ashkenazi practice of truncating the year to one day short of 11 months is rooted in an ancient understanding of Jewish afterlife where the soul rests in an intermediary place for up to 12 months to become absolved of transgressions from this world. Continuing to say the Mourner’s Kaddish past 11 months would suggest that the soul of one’s parent/loved one needs the maximum time to be absolved of all transgressions, which implies that their parent/loved one was not a good person. Based on this superstition, the custom arose to recite Kaddish for parents for 11 months only (Shulhan Arukh, Yoreh Deah 376:4).

The mourner might mark the end of saying Kaddish by bringing food or sponsoring a meal to share with the minyan.

It’s often around this time that the headstone of the deceased is unveiled. At an unveiling ceremony, Psalms are recited and some words of memory are shared. You don’t need a minyan for an unveiling, but if there is a minyan present, an officiant may recite the memorial prayer El Malei Rahamim, and mourners may recite Mourner’s Kaddish.

Yahrzeit/Azkarah: The Yiddish/Hebrew word for anniversary, referring to the anniversary of the death, traditionally the Hebrew date.

On the yahrzeit, the mourner lights a yahrzeit candle on the evening before (in Jewish time, a new day begins with sunset) and lets it burn through the next day. If possible, the mourner visits the burial site. The mourner also attends a minyan for one or more of the daily services to say Mourner’s Kaddish with community. Sometimes people observe the yahrzeit on the Shabbat before or after the Hebrew date when it might be easier to attend a service. At IKAR, we invite you to write some reflections that can be shared with the community for the yahrzeit.

Some additional customs include: giving tzedakah, volunteering for a cause that was important to the deceased, organizing a communal learning event, dedicated to the memory of the deceased.

Vidui – Final Words

Please forgive me.

I forgive you.

Thank you.

I love you.

Please forgive me.

I am so sorry. I made mistakes and caused you pain. There is so much now that I wish I could undo or redo. But we can’t go back, so I ask now for your forgiveness. 

I forgive you.

And I have been hurt too. I don’t want to hold that pain and disappointment anymore. We are all more than our worst moments. I forgive you.

Thank you.

Thank you for the many blessings you have given me. I will treasure forever what you have taught me. Your presence in my life has informed who I am and who I will become. You will always be with me.

Thank you for loving me.

I love you.

I love you. And that love transcends death. I will not let you disappear from this world.

In my grief I will find strength and resilience. I will miss you, but your absence every day will only remind me of the power of your presence and your love.

שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל ה׳ אֱלֹקינוּ ה׳ אֶחָֽד

Shemayisrael, Adonai eloheinu, Adonai ekhad.

Hear, O Israel: Adonai is our God, Adonai is One. 

May God guide your soul toward peace, and may your spirit reverberate in this world for many generations to come.

Psalms 118:5

מִן־הַ֭מֵּצַֽר קָרָ֣אתִי יָּ֑הּ עָ֝נָ֗נִי בַמֶּרְחָ֣ב יָֽהּ

Min hametzar karati Yah, anani bamerhav Yah.

Out of the narrowness I cried out to You,

You answered me with expansive possibility.

Vidui – Final Words: A Prayer for Release (Short Text)

Holy One, my soul and body are in Your hands.

The soul You gave me is pure:

You created it, formed it, breathed it into me

and kept it safe in me until now.

My healing and even my death are in Your hands.

I want to live.

But if it is time for me to transition from this world–

whether today or in the coming days–

Grant me and the beloveds of my heart, whose souls are bound with mine,

the grace to accept this turning of the wheel of life.

I forgive all who harmed me in my life.

May their hearts be at ease,

as I release all anger and pain from them into the dust of the earth.

And just as I have forgiven,

so may I be forgiven all my shortcomings, missteps or failures of judgment.

Please let me be remembered for my goodness and my love.

May my spirit shine as the brightness of the firmament.

Accept my soul in love.

Even as I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I fear no evil, for You are with me.

With these last breaths, I surrender my spirit.

שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל, יהוה אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ, יהוה אֶחָד

יהוה הָאֱלֹהִים. יהוה הָאֱלֹהִים. יהוה הָאֱלֹהִים

Sh’ma Yisrael, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai Echad. Adonai haElohim, Adonai haElohim, Adonai haElohim

Hear, O Israel, Adonai is our God, Adonai is One.
Adonai is the Eternal God. Adonai is the Eternal God. Adonai is the Eternal God.

Long Text

אֱלֹהַי וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתַי וִאמוֹתַי, שְׁמַע בְּקוֹלִי

מוֹדֶה / מוֹדָה אֲנִי לְפָנֶיךָ, מְקוֹר הַבְּרָכָה

שֶׁנִשְׁמַתִי וְגוּפִי מְסוּרִים בְּיָדֶךָ

אֱלֹהַי, נְשָׁמָה שֶׁנָּתַתָּ בִּי טְהוֹרָה הִיא:

אַתָּה בְרָאתָהּ, אַתָּה יְצַרְתָּהּ, אַתָּה נְפַחְתָּהּ בִּי,

וְאַתָּה שַׁמְּרָהּ בְּקִרְבִּי עַד הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה

Elohei v Elohei avotai v’imotai sh’ma b’koli

Modeh / Modah ani l’fanecha, M’kor haChayim,

shenishmati v’gufi m’surim b’yadecha.

Elohai, n’shamah shenatata bi — t’horah hi:

Atah v’ratah, atah y’tzartah, atah n’fachtah bi,

v’atah m’sham’rah b’kirbi ad hayom hazeh. 

My God and God of those who came before me: please, hear me now.

I acknowledge before You, Source of Blessing,
that my soul and body are in Your hands.

Holy One, the soul You gave me is pure:

You created it, formed it, breathed it into me

and kept it safe in me until now.  

יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ, אַב הָרַחַמִים,

שֶׁתִּרְפָאֵנִי רְפוּאָה שְׁלֵמָה

וּכְּשֶׁאֶעֱבֹר מֶעוֹלָם הַזֶּה, אִם הַיּוֹם אוֹ בָּזְמַן עָתִּיד לָבוֹא,

תְּחָנֵנִּי וְקְרוּבֵי הָלִבִּי, שֶׁמִתְּחַבְּרִים עִם נִּשְׁמָתִי,

לְּהַסְכִּים אֶת פְּנִיַית שֶׁל גַלְגַל הַחַיִים הַזּאת 

Yehi ratzon milfanekha, Av harahamim

Shetirfa-eini refuah sheimah.

Uk’she’evor meolam hazeh Im hayom o bazman atid lavo,

l’haskim et p’niyat shel galgal hachayim hazot.

May it be Your will, Source of Compassion,

that You grant me complete healing.

But when I pass from this world – whether today or in a time to come –

grant me and the beloveds of my heart, whose souls are bound with mine,

the grace to accept this turning of the wheel of life.

לְפָנֶיךָ אֵל רַחוּם וְחַנּוּן, מְכַפֵּר עָוֹן וְלֹא מַשְׁחִית

אֲנִי סוֹלֵחַ / סוֹלַחַת כָּל שֶׁהֵרֵעוּנִי בְּחַיַי

תִּהְיוּ רְגוּעוֹת לִבּוֹתֵיהֶם

וָאֲשַׁלֵחַ מִמֵנִּי כָּל כַּעַס וּכְאֵב מֵהֵם לְתּוֹךְ אֵפֶר הָאָרֶץ

כְּשֵׁם שֶׁסָלַחְתִּי לְאֲחֵרִים,

כֵּן תִּסְלַח לִּי מִּכָּל הַחֲטָאִים שֶׁלִי

L’fanecha El rachum v’chanun, m’chapeir avon v’lo mash·chit,

ani solei·ach/solachat kol sheheirei·uni b’chayai.

Tiyu r’gu·ot liboteihem

vashalei·ach mimeini kolkaas uch’eiv meiheim l’toch eifer haaretz.

K’sheim shesa;achti l’acheirim,

kein tislach li mikol hachata·im sheli.

Before You, God of Mercy and Grace, who pardons iniquity and does not destroy, I forgive all who harmed me in my life.

May their hearts be at ease,

as I release all anger and pain from them into the dust of the earth.

And just as I have forgiven,

so may You forgive me all my shortcomings.

בִּזְּכוּת זֶה, תִּשְׁמוֹר אֶת נִּשְׁמָתִי בְּשָׁלוֹם

וּתִּזְהַר נַפְשִׁי כְּזוֹהַר הַרָקִיעַ לְעוֹלָמִים

אֲנִי מַאֲמִין / מַאֲמִינָה בְּאֶמוּנָה שְׁלֵמָה שֶׁתְּקַבֵּל נִשְׁמַתִי בְּאַהֲבָה

גַּם כִּי אֵלֵךְ בְּגֵיא צַלְמָוֶת

לֹא אִירָא רָע כִּי אַתָּה עִמָּדִי

בְּיָדְךָ אַפְקִיד רוּחִי פָּדִיתָה אוֹתִי יהוה אֵל אֱמֶת

Biz’chut zeh, tishmor et nishmati b’shalom

utiz·har nafshi k’zohar harakia l’olamim.

Ani maamin / maaminah be·emunah shleimah shet’kabel nishmati bahavah

Gam ki eilech b’gei tzalmavet

lo ira ra ki atah imadi.

B’yadcha afkid ruchi paditah oti Adonai El emet 

By this merit, preserve my soul in peace;

may my spirit forever shine as the brightness of the firmament.

I believe with perfect faith that You will accept my soul in love.

Even when I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil for You are with me.

Into Your hand I surrender my spirit: You redeem me, God of Truth.

שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל, יהוה אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ, יהוה אֶחָד

יהוה הָאֱלֹהִים. יהוה הָאֱלֹהִים. יהוה הָאֱלֹהִים

Sh’ma Yisrael, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai Echad. Adonai haElohim, Adonai haElohim, Adonai haElohim

Hear, O Israel, Adonai is our God, Adonai is One.
Adonai is the Eternal God. Adonai is the Eternal God. Adonai is the Eternal God.

שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְהוָה אֶחָֽד

Shema Yisroel Adonai Elohainu, Adonai echad (1x)

בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד

Baruch Shem Kevod L’olam Vaed (3x)

יְהוָה הוּא חָֽאֱלֹהִ֑ים

Adonai Hu Ha Elohim (7x)  

(based on translation from Rabbi David Markus)

Late Fragment

And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.

Raymond Carver