Did you know that hospice is one of the few areas of the American health care system that requires spiritual care be provided? Melissa Apter writes about the work of hospice chaplains, including JSSA’s own Rabbi David Rose, in Washington Jewish Week.
Faith, Jewish or otherwise, is not a prerequisite for receiving chaplaincy services. The JSSA hospice is open to patients of all faiths or none at all.
“This is a time of intense meaning, of intense spirituality and that’s very different from religion,” said Rose, who spent 28-plus years as a congregational rabbi, most recently at Congregation Har Shalom in Potomac. “Sometimes my most spiritual interactions are with people who are agnostic or atheist.”
When a dying patient is considering their legacy, they often engage with a part of themselves that “we just can’t put our finger on that spirituality points toward,” said Rose.
He added, “This time that someone is in hospice is pregnant with meaning. The hospice team helps deliver that meaning and that meaning is such a source of comfort for the families.”