Death, Dying, Interview, Podcast

Episode 04: Al Rosenberg

Al Rosenberg is a great many things including a strategist, a writer, an artist, and a fantastic storyteller. They’re also living with an autoimmune disease that forces them to face their mortality all the time.

This episode covers topics from the drama of certain Jewish ritual, what you probably shouldn’t say to someone who is dying, to moments of joy and blessing.

Listen to it here:

About Al Rosenberg:

A photograph of Al Rosenberg, taken at the last funeral they attended in person

Al Rosenberg (they/them) is the Chief Strategy Officer at OneTable, a writer, a community lover, and a Jewish non-profit professional. They spend most of their time thinking about Shabbat dinner and reading a book a week. They live in Skokie with their perfect partner and their three terribly behaved cats.

Hebrew and Jewish References Explained:

Achrayut: from the Hebrew word for “other” it refers to responsibility and having a responsibility to one another.

Mourner’s Kaddish: Kaddish is Aramaic for “sanctification”, it is the name of a type of prayer. There are a few types of kaddish including the Mourner’s Kaddish traditionally recited daily for a year by someone mourning the death of a loved one.

Rosh Chodesh: From Hebrew, it literally translates to the “head of the month”, it is the name for the first day of a new month on the Jewish calendar.

Shiva: Hebrew for “seven” and is the week-long ritual period of mourning after a burial. 

Washing the body/Tahara: From the Hebrew for “pure”, the washing of the body is a Jewish purification ritual before burial

Yom Kippur: One of the High Holy Days, also known as the Day of Atonement, it is a day filled with many rituals including fasting, wearing white (to symbolize death), and as Al references, wailing.

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