The ‘Splainer: Sheryl Sandberg and the Jewish way of mourning

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Facebook's COO Sheryl Sandberg delivers the Class Day address at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts on May 28, 2014, one day ahead of Commencement Exercises at the university. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Brian Snyder
*Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-SANDBERG-SPLAINER, originally transmitted on June 3, 2015.

Facebook's COO Sheryl Sandberg delivers the Class Day address at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts on May 28, 2014, one day ahead of Commencement Exercises at the university. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Brian Snyder *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-SANDBERG-SPLAINER, originally transmitted on June 3, 2015.

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(RNS) "I have lived thirty years in these thirty days," wrote Sheryl Sandberg after the end of the monthlong period of Jewish mourning. "I am thirty years sadder. I feel like I am thirty years wiser."

  • Wendy Gustofson

    So proud of this work on RNS- it is through understanding and appreciating cultural diversities that we will defeat the walls of hatred.

  • Greg1

    May Dave Goldberg rest in Peace. More people need to mourn the death of loved ones, it could be the tipping of the scale into eternal life. The can do nothing for themselves, but we can offer sacrifice for them.

  • Daniel Gropper

    Lauren, thanks for this! I’m appreciative that you’re ‘splainin’ Jewish mourning rituals. One thing. As rabbi ordained in the Reform Movement I always counsel Sheloshim observances of some type. Like Sheryl (who is affiliated with a Reform synagogue) teaches, these 30 days allow us to somehow find meaning out of absurdity and comfort out of loss. Reform Judaism is an authentic Jewish approach steeped in tradition. It doesn’t mean “do less,” it just means we do Judaism differently.

  • Undule

    interesting and really have learnt something …
    GOD Bless

  • Well said Rabbi Daniel Gropper, a great teacher of Reform Judaism and a leader of the entire Jewish community.

  • Judaism holds many blessings. This period of mourning is one which has helped so many at a time of less. In the Holy Scriptures it is often said such things like: “and when they had completed the period of mourning they returned..etc. Judaism offers us so many blessings. The greatest of which is the Promised Messiah. The Lion of Judah. Yeshua/Jesus. He is the One to Whom the law, the prophets and the writings point us. He is the Prince of peace. And there is no greater peace than trusting Him as Savior and Mashiach/Messiah. He who died was buried and rose again to atone for our sins so that we could have peace with God the Father and everlasting life. May many come to find peace in Him. Shalom

  • Jack

    It’s interesting how, 20 centuries after a near-total Roman victory could have extinguished them both, the Gospel and the Jewish people continue to live and thrive and show every evidence of going on. Through quirks of history that nobody could have predicted back then, they’ve been on oddly separate tracks, but each goes on.

  • Francesca Tate

    As someone who lost my husband not quite as suddenly as Ms Sandberg, I still (two months from diagnosis to death) I greatlyappreciate the Jewish structure and template for S’loshim. Friends and neighbors of mine had me stay with them for the 10 days after Jim’s deat and funeral; and during that time we observed our Shiva period. People brought food and were present for me. The Jewish rituals are very helpful for all branches and even for Christ-centered mourners. Having been raised in an interfaith family, I found myself drawing very heavily on Jewish tradition with my hubby’s death. Thank you for this article.

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