May the Angels Carry You: A conversation about prayers for the deathbed with Rabbi Simcha Raphael

Rabbi Simcha Raphael
Rabbi Simcha Raphael

In the December 2, 2016 edition of the Jewish Sacred Aging Podcast, the guest is Rabbi Simcha Raphael, founder of the Da’at Institute and author of May the Angels Carry You: Jewish Prayers and Meditations for the Deathbed.  The podcast also includes several selections from the book’s companion CD of music composed and performed by Rabbi Raphael’s wife, Rabbi Geela Rayzel Raphael.

About the Da’at Institute

Da’at Institute is dedicated to death awareness education and professional development training.  Working in consultation with synagogues, churches, hospice programs and other community organizations, Da’at Institute provides educational programs on death, dying, bereavement and the spirituality of end-of-life issues and concerns; professional development training to clergy, health care and mental health professionals and educators working with the dying and bereaved; bereavement and hospice support services to individuals and families through counseling, professional referral and bereavement support groups; rituals of transition for dying, burial, bereavement, unveiling and memorialization, helping individuals and families create meaningful rituals of passage; and printed and audio-visual resources on the various facets of dealing with grief and loss, and on the spirituality of death and afterlife.

About Rabbi Simcha Raphael

Rabbi Simcha Raphael
Rabbi Simcha Raphael

SIMCHA RAPHAEL, Ph.D., is the Founding Director of the DA’AT INSTITUTE. He has worked as a death awareness educator, bereavement counselor and hospice chaplain for over twenty-five years. Ordained as a Rabbinic Pastor by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, he received a doctorate in Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies, and has written extensively on the topics of death, bereavement and the afterlife.





Rabbi Rayzel Raphael brings a rich background in spirituality and ritual, feminism, and music to Judaism. She received rabbinic ordination from Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, 1997. She received a Wexner Graduate Fellowship to attend Rabbinical School, and was awarded a scholarship in the Melton Senior Educator’s Program at Hebrew University of Jerusalem 1988-89. She holds a Masters in Contemporary Jewish Studies from Brandeis University. She serves as Rabbinic Director, Interfaith Family Support Network JFCS, Philadelphia and Rabbinic Director, Jewish Creativity Project of New Legends and JOI. Rabbi Raphael is a singer/ songwriter of over 60 new Jewish songs/prayers, including liturgy, whose themes include women of the Bible. With Rabbi Margot Stein and Juliet Irene Spitzer, she performs in a group called MiRaJ. More information is at her website,

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