TWO summers ago, when Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi was 87, he asked his close friend Rabbi Marc Soloway of Boulder’s Bonai Shalom to allow him to use his backyard for an unprecedented ritual.
It was, to put it bluntly, a rehearsal for death.
“Reb Zalman has been preparing us for death for years now,” Soloway emailed the Intermountain Jewish News after the July 3, 2014, death of the father of the Jewish Renewal movement.
“In fact, he has been teaching us to die with grace and with love.
“But in the way that only Reb Zalman could conceive, he decided he wanted to experience tahara, the ritual washing and preparing of a body before burial, while still alive!”