Eth­i­cal Wills and How to Pre­pare Them

Jack Reimer and Nathaniel Stampfer
  • Review
By – July 21, 2015

It has been over thir­ty years since Rab­bi Riemer and Dr. Stampfer (z”l) pub­lished their first col­lec­tion of Jew­ish eth­i­cal wills. Their work, built upon ear­li­er col­lec­tions, pop­u­lar­ized the idea of cre­at­ing eth­i­cal wills for a gen­er­a­tion that was not famil­iar with the lit­er­a­ture or the prac­tice. For the unini­ti­at­ed, an eth­i­cal will gen­er­al­ly focus­es not on the mate­r­i­al inher­i­tance that one wish­es to leave to the next gen­er­a­tion, but on the val­ues, lessons, and sug­gest­ed behav­iors that a per­son wants car­ried to future gen­er­a­tions. Since the authors’ work in the 1980’s, they have pub­lished a num­ber of books on the sub­ject and have con­tin­u­al­ly updat­ed their ear­li­er work. This lat­est Jew­ish Lights edi­tion includes a selec­tion of eth­i­cal wills from dif­fer­ent his­tor­i­cal peri­ods and geo­graph­i­cal loca­tions. Par­tic­u­lar­ly use­ful in this edi­tion is a brief guide to begin­ning the work of cre­at­ing one’s own Jew­ish eth­i­cal will. The read­er is guid­ed to a list of sim­ple ques­tions that an eth­i­cal will might address. In addi­tion to being an inter­est­ing book on the sub­ject, it is to be high­ly rec­om­mend­ed for teach­ing old­er teens and adults how to clar­i­fy the val­ues they hold dear and how to com­mu­ni­cate them to oth­ers in their lives. Top­i­cal Index. Notes.

Relat­ed Content:

Rab­bi Arnold D. Sam­lan is a Jew­ish edu­ca­tor and rab­bi liv­ing in Mia­mi, Flori­da. He serves as exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Orloff Cen­tral Agency for Jew­ish Edu­ca­tion of Broward County.

Discussion Questions