The Intersection of Spirituality, Jewish Orthodox Mourning Rituals and Modern Grief Psychology
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The goal of this paper is to operationally define and understand what a spiritual belief system looks like, as well as the effect it has on an individual who is grieving. This paper will show how spiritual belief can serve as a mechanism for post-traumatic growth, that is, altering one’s life in a positive way not despite of, but because of a recent loss. Understanding the effects of spiritual belief systems can allow clinicians to better understand their patients and help them tap into their fundamental belief systems in order to assist them in their growth in the face of loss and trauma. Many studies have been conducted regarding general spiritual belief or religion, however few studies have focused on specifically Jewish customs in the context of grief and bereavement. Thus, this paper also seeks to understand the underlying philosophy and psychology of various Jewish grieving customs. An in-depth analysis of various sources including ancient biblical passages, Jewish customs, talmudic law, modern Jewish thought, theology, philosophy, psychology and upcoming research, will bring the wisdom underlying ancient Jewish tradition to light.
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