Shmira: ‘Guarding’ the Deceased – Education Session
Tuesday, November 13, 6:00 – 7:00 pm, Har HaShem
The Boulder Chevra Kadisha and Har HaShem will provide an overview and education session for Shmira – sitting with the deceased (the met or metah) after death and prior to the funeral. Shmira is one of the most sacred traditions in Judaism. The Chevra Kadisha, Holy Society or Burial Society, oversees this ritual as well as its associated ritual, Taharah, the ritual purification of the body prior to burial.
Shmira involves sitting for an hour or two in one of the two funeral homes in Boulder with someone in the Jewish community who has passed. It may or may not be someone you know or is known to you. The ideal is to have a continual presence, day and night, until the funeral to show respect for the met and, traditionally, to accompany the soul on its way after departing the body. Saying the Shema, reading the Psalms or other sacred text, and perhaps meditating on life and death are all that is required.
If you would like to learn more or consider volunteering, please join us. We need a constant flow of new volunteers to do Shmira and honor our deceased.
Doug Sparks will provide an overview of Shmira and members of Chevra Kadisha will discuss their personal experiences in sitting with the met.
An historical view of Shmira is provided in the following link to the ‘Shemira’ page of the Gamliel Institute.
The story of how the Pittsburgh Jewish community provided Shmira for the 11 deceased after the horrific attack at the Tree of Life synagogue is told in this Atlantic article.
This session will be November 13th, 6:00 – 7:00 pm, at Har HaShem, 3950 Baseline Road, Boulder. Please call Doug Sparks with any questions, 303-883-6295.