An Interview with Rabbi Bunny Freedman                  

“I am scared to die” are not words that you would expect to hear from a leader of the Jewish community who also is the Executive Director of the Jewish Hospice & Chaplaincy Network. Rabbi E.B. ‘Bunny’ Freedman knows a thing or two about the dying process. We met with him for a couple hours to discuss the issue of death and dying.

Rabbi Bunny discussed a variety of subjects from Jewish tradition, the purpose of hospice to why humans are afraid of death. “I don’t want to leave my life – my loved ones – no one does.”

The good Rabbi explained his thoughts about death. We as humans don’t like to be alone. That is an aspect of dying that terrifies most. When the time comes and we go wherever it is that we go, we do it alone. Not only are we going alone, we are facing the unknown alone. That is a scary proposition. It is important to understand this but also understand, that it is OK to be afraid of the unknown. It is part of being human; everyone dies.

As well as being the Executive Director for the Jewish Hospice & Chaplaincy Network he also works with families as a chaplain. He is familiar with the grieving process and the benefits of it. He explains that, “tears of sadness, as painful as they are, are a good thing. It reminds us that we are human. Grief is a healthy process. It’s when someone dies and no one cries. Now that is sad.”

Our sit down with Rabbi Bunny was thought provoking to say the least. He will undoubtedly be someone that we see again as we continue The Embrace of Dying documentary.