Gifts of Wisdom: The Historical Traditions and Values of the Ethical Will

A webinar with Dr. Stefanie Siegmund, Women’s League Chair in Jewish Gender and Women’s Studies, JTS.

Part of the series: Living a Life of Meaning

At pivotal moments that make us think about death—encounters with serious illness, the loss of loved ones, advancing age, or even bringing children into our lives—we turn to lawyers to write or revise our wills. Writing a will is an opportunity to consider our priorities as we plan to distribute our estates to the people, organizations, and causes that we care about. What if you also tried to write a letter that would be read by your descendants, perhaps even at your funeral, about your values? What would you say? How does Judaism inform these values?

In this session we study testaments left by a medieval Jewish man and a late Renaissance Jewish woman to explore their values and their gifts, and to contemplate reclaiming the tradition of the ethical will.

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