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Death Over [Shabbat] Dinner Guide

Written by: OneTable Team
March 7, 2024

Death Over [Shabbat] Dinner Guide

The way we die is the most important conversation Americans are not having. Talking about death is not easy and we’re not used to it. But we believe that this conversation ultimately helps us appreciate the fullness of life.

Why talk about death over Shabbat dinner? In Judaism, talking about death is welcome. Death is neither macabre nor morbid, it is simply the natural end to a natural process. By the medieval period, Jewish theologians had sketched an approximate to heaven called olam ha’ba, or “the World to Come,” a messianic age without pain, suffering, poverty, or strife. Shabbat became the link, a weekly version of the world to come, one day of peace, of gathering, of joy without distraction or work. In other words, Shabbat is a weekly taste of heaven. The Shabbat dinner table is therefore an ideal place for conversations about death, an invitation to use the end of the creation cycle and the end of the week as a setting to embrace the end of life.

Death Over Dinner Guide
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