Colors: Blue Color

The conversation is growing. The fifth annual TEAM Shabbos was held on Shabbos VaY’chi, January 11, and rabbis in over 525 shuls and more than 225 communities across North America enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to discuss end-of-life issues. TEAM stands for Traditional End-of-Life Awareness Movement, and TEAM Shabbos, a project of NASCK (the National Association of Chevra Kadisha), encourages and empowers an estimated 100,000 people to have these difficult but essential conversations.

 On Shabbos, Parshas Chayei Sarah, the world lost a person who, in my eyes, was one of the hidden lamed-vav (36) tzadikim of the world. Berish Teichman was a man who lived his whole life l’sheim shamayim. The first pasuk in Parshas Chayei Sarah states: “And the life of Sarah was one hundred years, twenty years, and seven years.” Rashi comments that all the years of Sarah’s life were equally good. But were they? Sarah Imeinu suffered tremendously in her lifetime. She was barren, she experienced famine, and was taken captive by Pharaoh and Avimelech. However, our mother Sarah always said that everything was “Gam zo l’tovah” – “This, too, is for the good.” She was aware that everything was from HaKadosh Baruch Hu, and therefore it must be good.

Emet Outreach is committed to building Jewish families and ensuring the Jewish future. Each year, the organization guides over 50 couples to the chupah, and it is typical for Emet’s dedicated staff to have the z’chus to attend a wedding almost every week. Emet’s involvement continues after marriage, as the rabbis and m’karvos are actively supporting over 350 couples with halachah and taharas ha’mishpachah assistance. In recognition of the fact that an emotionally healthy couple is the foundation of every Jewish family, Emet has now introduced a new series of couples workshops.