In the life of every individual and of every family, there are special occasions that call for celebration as well as occasions that call forth grief and mourning. Every people from time immemorial and every religious faith has seen fit to mark these occasions by special ceremonies and special observances.
Hayim Halevy Donin, “To Be a Jew”
Judaism has developed rites and ceremonies as well as rules and procedures to mark life’s critical junctures. These rituals can add beauty and meaning to a family’s simha, healing to a family’s sorrow. They do so by binding us to the past while expressing our dreams for the future. They do so by connecting our lives to the life of our people and ultimately to God.