The Jewish Hospice Difference

November 18, 2021

The Gift of Connection & Comfort During Life’s Final Stage

We’re all familiar with the passage from Ecclesiastes, “There is a time to be born and a time to die,” but often, when that time comes, the individual is flooded with a tangle of emotions and the desire to heal old wounds, repent, make peace and offer forgiveness—even make room for joy. Hospice care gives the patient the opportunity to make the most of the life the patient has left, while allowing them control over their life during their final months or days.

But for Jewish patients, choosing a Jewish-sponsored or Jewish-affiliated hospice provider completes the circle, uniting the health care component with the Judaistic spiritual guidance patients are so often seeking, especially at the end of their life. While Jewish-sponsored hospice providers serve people of all faiths, there is knowledge, training, and ritual preparedness specific to the Jewish people that are observed. 

“I am a fulltime chaplain and ordained rabbi, so I am able to say the traditional Jewish blessings—the Vidui, the confessional prayer, and the Shema—that are said before dying,” says Legacy at Home’s Rabbi Holly Cohn. “I have the skills, background, and education to serve our Jewish patients and to thoroughly train our staff about our customs; I am able to explain to them what emotions the patient might be feeling and what might be weighing on them at certain times, like during Yom Kipper, when they may be feeling down or reminiscing.”

A deep understanding of the religion allows a Jewish hospice to provide the emotional and spiritual support for patients yearning to study or talk in depth about Jewish-related topics. “I read to patients and sing hymns, like the Alienu—in Hebrew or English. “It’s comforting to the patent to experience the traditions and hear the sounds they’re used to,” says Rabbi Cohn. “Our hospice also provides streaming of High Holiday and weekly Shabbat services.” Many Jews who haven’t been observant in the past often return to their faith near the end of their life, which makes these observances particularly comforting and necessary for patients. 

Rituals and traditions are at the core of the Judaic religion, and a Jewish hospice provider is uniquely equipped to assist and provide resources relating to burial rituals and support, well after a loved one has passed. Calls and letters of support to family members of patients and bereavement counseling for 13 months after the patient has passed are among the additional services offered. 

And while hospice of any religious denomination is a gift, for Jews, selecting one with ties to their faith offers an unparalleled spiritual intimacy that grants peace for the patient and their family members.

For more information on The Legacy at Home Hospice, call 972.244.7700 or visit The Legacy Hospice page here.


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