The Be.Side Project
The Be.Side Project
Teach Me Something with Rabbi Jessica Minnen

Teach Me Something with Rabbi Jessica Minnen

In this episode Rabbi Jessica Minnen teaches me about the story of Onan and we explore how this text about a guy who pulled out during sex may or may not have led to the word "onen” which is the word for someone in deep grief immediately following the death of a loved one, before the burial.

About Rabbi Jessica Minnen:

Rabbi Jessica Minnen is an educator, writer, and Clubhouse enthusiast. Part of the founding team of OneTable, she now serves as the organization's Rabbi in Residence. Originally from Paducah, Kentucky, she is an alumna of Washington University in St. Louis, the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, Paideia: The European Institute for Jewish Studies in Sweden, Baltimore Hebrew University, and the Jewish Theological Seminary. Jess lives in Denver, Colorado with one little kid and one little pup.

Hebrew and Jewish References Explained:

Onen: Someone who is in a deep state of grief immediately following the death of a loved one but before a burial. After a burial the mourner becomes an "aveil" or "aveilah"

Halacha: The collective body of Jewish religious laws derived from the written and Oral Torah

Karet: A biblical term for someone who has been "cut off" from the community as punishment

Mikvah: A pool of natural waters for Jewish ritual immersion

Niddah: Laws surrounding purity and particularly referencing a menstruating person

Torah: The Hebrew Bible, the first five books of Moses

Yom Kippur: The Day of Atonement, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar

Tikva Frymer-Kensky: Was a professor and scholar of biblical studies, Jewish studies, and women and religion

Sefaria: an online open source free content digital library of Jewish texts

The Be.Side Project
The Be.Side Project
Two years ago I trained as a Death Doula and it wasn't until recently that I realized I'm missing the knowledge about what my religion, Judaism, has to offer around dying. When death is imminent what rituals and wisdom can the Jewish tradition provide? Listen in on conversations with incredible people and join me in shifting how we perceive and talk about dying.
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Sarit Wishnevski