A Fascinating Interfaith Dialogue about End of Life Issues
Podcaster Mark Turnbull is a friend of our publishing house and, in this new hour-long podcast, he talks with our author Rabbi Joseph Krakoff, head of the Jewish Hospice and Chaplaincy Network.
This is a fascinating conversation because both Turnbull and Krakoff began their careers in ministry with congregations. Turnbull is a Protestant minister who moved from serving congregations to his current focus on issues involving the later stages of life. As they talk in this podcast, Krakoff explains that his career has followed a similar path.
Turnbull asks Krakoff what he finds rewarding in this vocational focus.
The rabbi explains that his work allows him to help men and women at a time in life that many people have never paused to consider. “Dying is a life-cycle event—just like birth, bar or bat mitzvah in Judaism or confirmation in Christianity, or a wedding. The life cycle event of dying needs as much attention as the other life cycle events because of the way it affects the individual and family members and friends so significantly.”
However, it’s sometimes challenging to start that kind of conversation and Turnbull asks the rabbi to talk more about the wide range of responses he encounters.
This can be particularly challenging, Krakoff says, with the “half of our community that is unaffiliated, meaning they don’t have a congregation. … When we do reach out, a lot of times we will hear people say, ‘I don’t want a rabbi. I’m not religious and never was.’ But, then, closer to the end, they do want a rabbi, someone to ask about what Judaism says about what happens when we die. … They want to know about verses of the Bible and our teachings around the end and whether there’s something else out there after we die.”
Please, make time to listen to this inspiring hour-long conversation—and please share this with friends.