July 10, 2024
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TEAM Shabbos: Opening the Discussion

TEAM, the Traditional End-of-Life Awareness Movement, is uniting hundreds of shuls and communities across the country. Their mission is to raise awareness about the importance of respecting life, preparing for illness and death, making proper end-of-life decisions, and other relevant matters.

The Torah perspective on the value of life and its concerns about illness and death are not easy to talk about. Because of this, many people are not fully prepared for the many serious issues that arise. Forty percent of non-affiliated Jews choose cremation due to a lack of proper appreciation and awareness of the significance of Jewish burial.

TEAM is here to change that.

Shabbos Parshas Vayechi talks about Yaakov Avinu’s illness and death, his direction to his children, his request for chesed shel emes and his arrangement for burial. By utilizing the teachable moment that this parshah provides to discuss these timely and relevant topics, TEAM will address some of the issues that are often ignored.

On Shabbos Parshas Veyechi (and/or throughout the preceding week), rabbis and communities will dedicate their sermons, present lectures or run programs to discuss these subjects. Addressing some of the most fundamental and far-reaching obligations of every Jewish community and individual, they will encourage the community to increase awareness and respect for life.

TEAM is a project of NASCK, the National Association of Chevra Kadisha. It is an organization dedicated to promoting respect for life, here and hereafter. Under the leadership of Rabbi Elchonon Zohn, TEAM and NASCK are endorsed by many leading rabbis and community leaders. They have only the highest praise for this vital organization and the tremendous, sincere and holy work it does.

They describe NASCK as “the most wonderful resource to our congregations and communities, as they have been at the forefront of raising the level of kovod hames and fighting the growing trend of cremation across the U.S., and have provided standards, training and guidance to rabbis and chevros kadisha nationwide.” In describing the importance of TEAM Shabbos, a rabbi remarked: “In these days, where humanity seems to have forgotten what it means to be human, TEAM Shabbos is an opportunity to proclaim that the Tzelem Elokim yet endures and demands that we honor the kedusha which Hashem Yisborach created and implanted within each of us.”

Hundreds of rabbis and communities nationwide have already signed up to be a part of this fundamental cause. And the number is only growing!

You can help spread this mission and raise awareness throughout the greater Jewish community. Encourage your shul and community to join the TEAM—and encourage others to do so as well—to respect life—here and hereafter.

Register your shul today by consulting with your rabbi and visiting TeamShabbos.org.

 

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