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Purification on the Borders of Life and Death

Return to Guide to Death and Mourning for Interfaith Families

Traditional Jewish burial practices have their origins in ancient ideas about purity. According to anthropologists, birth and death, and the blood that attends them, have a quality both of holiness and of impurity in the ancient Israelite religion that we learn of by reading the Torah. These ancient ideas survive in some present-day Jewish practices.

The Guide to Death and Mourning for Interfaith Families is available as a PDF and our booklet Mourning the Loss of a Loved One is available for download.


18Doors is here to support interfaith couples and families exploring Jewish life. We offer educational content; connections to welcoming organizations, professionals and programs; resources and trainings for organizations, clergy and other program providers; and our Rukin Rabbinic Fellowship provides offerings for couples in cities nationwide. If you have questions, please contact


Author: 18Doors