Rabbi Gershon Steinberg-Caudill, also known as the EcoRebbe, is
a TOTALLY HETEROSEXUAL MODERN, FLEXIDOX RABBI who believes that it is Creator GOD who truely brings two people together into
a loving and caring commitment relationship. When God brings these two people together, we Jews calls this BASHERT (soul-mates).
Therefore, Rabbi Gershon is acting as a religious go-between, between God, the marrying parties, the two families,
and the State, putting a spiritual seal of approval on the work that Creator has already set in motion and desires to become
As an integral part of his Rebbe work and direction, Rabbi Gershon believes in honoring HaShem (God) by
performing Interfaith and Jewish-based life cycle events.
He happily performs Traditional and Modern, Jewish, non-Jewish,
Interfaith, as well as same sex life cycle events, and co-officiated ceremonies, weddings, and commitments (Brith Ahavath),
helping bind the human mirror-images of the Divine Creator Force into family units.
Rabbi Gershon is authorized to
perform weddings in the State of California. He has ordination (smikha) as a Rabbi (a Rebbe-Rabbi), to perform Jewish
and Interfaith weddings from Rabbi Gershon Winkler, Walking Stick Foundation.
Besides WEDDINGS and FUNERALS, Rabbi Gershon can be there to help you with other LIFE-CYCLE CEREMONIES and events. Below are
listed some other ceremonies that Rabbi Caudill can help with.
BIRTH OF A BABY
When a woman finds out that she is carrying inside of her body NEW LIFE, she is fulfilling the role placed upon her by our
Holy Ancestral Mother, Chava (Eve). Sometimes, however, the expectant mother is desiring to receive an amulet for her and
her child's protection during childbirth. For this, she can get in touch with the Rebbe, Rabbi Gershon Caudill, and he will
make one for her. It is pertinent to create a BLESSING WAY PATH by giving tzedakah EVERY DAY (see the page on TZEDAKAH).
RITUAL WEBSITE LINK (click here)
BRITH MILAH (Circumcision)
On the eighth day after birth, according to the Hebrew calendar, it is the tradition going back 4000 years to Abraham, that
Jews circumcise their sons. As most fathers are not skilled in the art of performing circumcisions, it is traditional for
the father to obtain a skilled MOHEL (or MOHELET) to perform the circumcision in his stead.
At this time the child will also be given his Hebrew name which will be used for all Jewish religious purposes and Hebrew
legal documents. If the father is of Priestly or Levitical descent, the title HA-KOHEN or HA-LEVI is appended to the child's
ALTERNATIVE TO CIRCUMCISION
Some Jewish and interfaith parents are opting NOT to do the TRADITIONAL circumcision of a baby boy. Rabbi Gershon can
help them to find and/or create a baby naming ceremony that is meaningful to the parents and family.
הנה אנכי שלח
לכם את אליה הנביא לפני
בוא יום יהוה הגדול והנורה
והשיב לב אבות על בנים
ולב בנים על אבותם פן אבוא
והכיתי את הארץ חרם
Hinneh, ANOKHI sholeyach lakhem et Eliyahu hanabee lifney
bo yom YHVH hagadol v'hanora. V'haysheev lev-avot 'al-baneem v'lev baneem 'al-avotam, pen avo v'hikeytee et-haaretz cheyrem.
(Lo! I [God] will send the Prophet Elijah to you before the coming of the awesome, and grand Day of ADONAI. He will unify
the hearts of the parents to the children and the heart of the children with the parents, so that when I come, I do not strike
all of the land with utter destruction).
Elijah the Prophet, in his zeal for the fulfillment of the mitzvah of circumcision, took a child away from his parents and
ran with him into the desert to a cave. When the Holy Blessed One discovered him and the child in the cave, the Holy Blessed
One asked Elijah: "What are you doing in this cave with this child that belongs to his parents?" The Prophet Elijah
replied: "I was zealous for ADONAI, our Creator, the God of Israel. The Israelite parents are transgressing their covenant
with You, by not circumcising their male children on the eighth day. So I have brought this child here to see to it that this
covenant of circumcision is performed." Whereupon the Holy Blessed One said to him: "By your life! Inasmuch as you
have been zealous for the commandment of Milah, every time a circumcision is performed, you will give testimony to the children
of Israel that they shall preserve this mitzvah." Since that time we include a chair for Elijah Hanabee, who is also
called the Angel of the Covenant, at the Brith Milah ceremony. (PIRKEI D'RABBI ELIEZER).
PIDYON HABEN (Redemption of the First Born)
The first born SON (today, some parents choose to redeem first born daughters as well), in ancient times, were the ones
whose lives were to consecrated to the lifelong service of God as Holy Priests.
After that role was given to the family descendants of the Tribe of Levi (Levites) with the High Priest's office given
only to the descendants of the brother of Moses, Aaron (also a Levite), the KOHANIM, the first born were required to be REDEEMED
from service (Numbers 8: 14 - 16, 18). The child of a Levite or of a Kohen CANNOT be redeemed from service to God.
The ceremony at which this redemption is done is known as the PIDYON HABEN or PIDYON HABAT.
The redemption ceremony can only be performed by taking the child to a Kohen who performs the ceremony releasing the child
from the obligation of Priestly Service.
It is customary to use five silver dollars or shekels Israeli, symbolizing the five silver shekels that was prescribed
in the Torah as the redemption amount.
ZEBED HABAT (Blessing and Naming of the Daughter)
Among the Sephardim, it is traditional to bring a baby girl to the synagogue to be given a Hebrew name when the mother is
The baby is placed upon a special pillow and brought to the teba (pulpit) by a young bat mitzvah age member of the family
just prior to the father & mother reading from the Torah parashah of the week.
After the Torah reading, the mother recites the Hagomel Blessing, to thank God for having successfully recovered from
the childbirth. This is followed by all of the baby's direct family (mother, father, garandparents, brothers, sisters) coming
to the teba where passages from the Song of Songs is recited by the Rabbi, who then recites a Blessing (Mi Shebayach) in which
the baby is named, followed by Psalm 128.
Modern parents often choose to give parts to the various family members.
BAR AND BAT MITZVAH
Since antiquity, every INDIGENOUS culture, Judaism included, has had ceremonies that celebrate the arrival of their young
people to pubescence.
In preparation for assuming the full duties of adulthood, young men and women are taught in the religious requirements
and skills incumbent upon Jewish adults.
About a YEAR prior to the 13th birthday, the young person should begin learning to chant their Torah and Haftarah portions
They should also become fully familiar with the meaning and message for today's world that is to be derived from the understanding
of these passages of Holy Writ. This information derived from the close examination of this Sacred Hebrew Constitution and
its Prophetic exegesis becomes the subject of the B'nai Mitzvot's sermon, and shows how well the person understands how to
reason and be compassionate.
Rabbi Gershon can conduct weekly, or bi-weekly, classes for the Bar-Bat Mitzvah student, using tapes and supplimentary
materials to help the student become astute and able to perform his/her duties as a "Person of Commandment."
Where to get software to learn Bar-Bat Mitzvah trope
The very first commandment given in the Torah, that Book of the Hebrew Constitution of the Jewish people, is the commandment
to find a mate and to form marriages.
This commandment has two parts.
Part 1 is found in Genesis 1: 26-28, and part 2 is found in Genesis 2: 24.
These texts tell us that we are created in the IMAGE of the Infinite Creator. As the Infinite Creator is both masculine
AND feminine, so we were created. Kabbalah tells us that the Yod and the Vav of the Sacred Unpronounceable Name - YOD-HEH-VAV-HEH-
is the masculine element of the Divine Infinite, with the two HEH's being the feminine aspect of the Divine Infinite (sometimes
referred to as the SHEKHINAH).
When we unite two people who represent these two aspects of the Divine Infinite, we are UNIFYING the two Faces of God
into ONE! GOD IS ONE!
Rabbi Gershon will perform marriages on the Sabbath. For both a Flexidox Jewish and a Reform Jewish argument as to the reasons
for doing a wedding on Shabbat, please click on this link .
DEDICATION OF A HOME
The mezuzzah, commanded in Deuteronomy 6: 9 & 11, 20, is attached to every doorpost in a house (except bathrooms) on the
right side of the doorpost, about 1/4th of the way from the top, slanted so the top points into the home. It is MOST important
to have a mezuzzah on the doorpost entering the house. Nail the top nail and then recite the blessing, then nail the bottom
nail. THEN, have a PARTY! (Wine and cake!)
The blessing is BARUKH ATAH YAH ELOHAYNU MELEKH HAOLAM ASHER KIDSHANU B'MITZVOTAV V'TZIVANU LIKBOA MEZUZZAH! (Source of
blessing are You Infinite Creator Guide of the universe Who sanctified our going and coming by commanding us to affix the
mezuzzah to our doorposts)
Some folks follow the custom of affixing the mezuzzah, then reading Psalm 30, or Psalm 67, or Psalm 121. This is followed
by a passage from each of the Jewish Sacred texts:
Torah: Deuteronomy 22: 8; or Deuteronomy 6: 10-12; or Genesis 49: 25; or Deuteronomy 33: 12; or Deuteronomy 28: 1-8.
Prophets: 1 Kings 6: 11-13; or Isaiah 54: 2; or Isaiah 65: 21-24; or Jeremiah 29: 4-7; or 2 Samuel 7: 27-30.
Writings: Psalm 30; or Psalm 127.
Mishnah: Sanhedrin 10: 1; "The rabbis say that all Israel have a share in the World to Come (the future). In this
sense they interpret the words of Isaiah, 'Thy people shall ALL be righteous and shall inherit the land everlastingly. They
are the shoot of My planting, the work of My hands wherein I glory."'
Mishnah: Uktzin 3: 12; "Rabbi Simeon son of Halafta said that the Holy Blessed One found no vessel other than PEACE
to contain assured blessings for all Israel. Even so, the Psalmist sings, "The Infinite Eternal will give strength to
the people, the Infinite Eternal will bless the people with PEACE."
THE SEPHARDIC HAMSA
Among the Jews of North Africa, the Levant, and Mesopotamia, it is customary for guests at a home dedication and mezuzah attaching
ceremony to bring a HAMSA as a gift.
A HAMSA is an object, usually made of silver or copper or brass, shaped like a hand, and about the same size, with the
five fingers extended downward. It represents the Hand of God and is an amulet of protection for the home.
The five fingers represent the Revelation of the Five Books of the Torah on Mt. Sinai.
In the center of the "wrist" part is an "EYE" with a BLUE pupil. The "eye" represents the
protective Eye of God watching over the home. Blue is the color of purity and goodness.
In the "fingers" figures of birds and fish are often engraved. Birds represent the ability of prayers to "take
wing" and thus, to be heard in Heaven. The birds are representative of ANGELS. Fish represent prosperity and fertility,
and the wish that the home be blessed with both.
It is customary to place the first HAMSA received over the main entrance to the home. The second hamsa over the back entrance,
and subsequent hamsot (plural of hamsa) over the windows of the house.
Although LIFE is ETERNAL and DEATH is but an ILLUSION, we humans experience the death of a loved one, or our own imminent
death with great sadness.
This is like the child in the womb mourning over its soon leaving the safety and comfort of the womb, where all is a Garden
of Eden, where all is provided, for the unknown element of BIRTH!
Death is a process in the REBIRTH of the ETERNAL SOUL BREATH (NESHAMAH) that each person possesses. Death allows that
Breath of God that was breathed into each of us at birth to return to God just as every drop of rain eventually returns to
the Sky to be rained again.
Our death rituals allow us who remain behind to aid the dead soul in fully becoming AWARE that they have indeed died,
and now it is important for that soul to direct its attention to unifying itself with the Divine Light.
Only when this reunification is completed can the soul be purified, and eventually, REBIRTHED.
Kaddish by Rabbi Daniel Brenner
Make the God-name big.
Big and holy.
Do it in this world,
This creation sprung from consciousness,
And bring some order to this.
Do it fast, soon, in our lives, in the days ahead, in the life of the
people we call home.
Everybody join with me: May the name be blessed forever and ever!
Blessed, whispered, sung out, shouted, honored, this holy name.
The name is beyond any song, poem, or comforting words we could ever speak.
Eveybody say: That’s the truth!
May a big peace descend from the heavens, a life-giving peace for all
of us, for our beloved people,
Let everybody say: May it be true!
Make that peace in the heavens, great peacemaker, great One who brings
wholeness to our people.
May it be true.
TRADITIONAL Jewish Funeral Information (Link-click here)
Rabbi Gershon Steinberg-Caudill's Compassionate DEATH, BURIAL, MOURNING, AND MEMORIAL OBSERVANCES PAGE
Rabbi Caudill can officiate at the funeral of Jews and non-Jews, or for Interfaith families. He can do traditional or innovative
ceremonies designed by the family with the Rabbi's help. Rabbi Caudill has a strong belief in the need to help the soul of
the departed transition into it's next phase of "life eternal." He also recognizes the need of the family of the
deceased to be comforted and consoled concerning their loss.
To contact Rabbi Caudill to help you with a funeral or dedication ceremony or to lead shiva services, go to the top of
the page and click on CONTACT US.
SITTING SHIVA AT THE HOUSE OF MOURNING
Sitting shiv'a is
about taking care of the person in mourning, but there is a huge tendency for each mourner to try to take care of each person
coming to visit. That's why the halakhah (Jewish law) set out the following guidelines:
1. Don't try to cheer up or
reassure the person mourning. Don't ask them "how they are doing?" which then pulls for them to reassure you that they are
fine when they are probably not fine (unless they are completely detached from the death that they are mourning).
spiritual psychological process of the Jewish mourning process is that you let people get fully into the grief, not distract
them from it. For that same reason, the topic of conversation is about the person who has died, not about all the other topics
that could distract attentiion or make the whole thing "less heavy."
2. Let the mourner initiate conversation, rather
than the other way round.
3. It's traditional not to say "hello" or greet or say "goodby" to the mourner. Instead,
one says, "I'm sorry" when greeting and "may you be comforted with all the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem" when leaving.
UNVEILING A TOMBSTONE
A year after the death of a loved one, we set up the tombstone and
invite friends and relatives of the deceased to come to honor him/her.
The Rabbi recites the following:
ויהי נעם יי
אלהנו עלינו ומעשה ידינו
כוננה עלינו ומעשה ידינו
Veehee no'am YHVH Elohaynu 'alaynu, uma'aseh yadaynu konenah 'alaynu,
uma'aseh yadaynu konenayhu
(May the pleasantness of ADONAI, our Creator Force, be upon us, and may the work of our hands be established for us -
yes, establish the work of our hands).
A Source of blessing are You, ADONAI, our Creator Force, Guide of the Universe;
By Your established law You have formed us, by Your law You have endowed us with life, and by Your law You sustain us continually.
By Your law You determine the number of all Your children, and by that law You will return us to renewed life hereafter. ברוך אתה יי מחיה
המתיםBARUKH ATAH YHVH MECHAYEYH HAMEYTEEM!
(Source of blessing are You, ADONAI, who renews life to the dead).
Recite passages from the following Psalms;
Psalm 16; Psalm 23; Psalm 86; Psalm 90; Psalm 91 or Psalm 103.
EL MALAY RACHAMIM
Great Power of Compassion
אל מלא רחמים
El malay rachamim sho'chain bam'romim
המצא מנוחה נכונה
ham'tsei mn'nucha n'chona tachat kan'fei
ha'sh'chinah lenish'mat (name of the deceased)
Translation: Great Power of Compassion who dwells in the Realms
of the High, bring forth true repose beneath the wings of your Presence to the spirit of (name of the deceased)
עשה שלום במרומיו
הוא יעשה שלום שלוה נחמה
וכח זיכרון עדנה עלינו
ועל כל יושבה תבל
Oseh shalom bim'ro'mav
hu ya'aseh shalom, shal'vah, ne'chamah, v'ko'ach zee'karon ed'nah, aleynu v'al kol yosh'vei tey'vel
who creates harmony in the Realm of the High, also bring to us harmony and peace of mind, consolation and strength of nurturing
memory, upon us and upon all who walk, swim, and fly across this earth. (translation by Rabbi Gershon Winkler)
HADIN - JUSTIFICATION OF THE DIVINE DECREE
Tzadeek Atah ADONAI veyashar mishpatekha
You are righteous, O LORD,
and Your judgments are just.
Tzadeek ADONAI bekhol-derakhav; vechaseed bekhol-ma'asav
The LORD is righteous in
all Your Paths; and lovingkindness is in all that You do.
Tzidkatekha tzedek le'olam; veToratekha emet
is an everlasting righteousness; and Your Torah is truth.
Mishpetey-ADONAI emet; tzadku yachdav
of the LORD are true; and altogether just.
Baasher devar-melekh shilton; umee yomar-lo mah ta'aseh
As the word
of the Sovereign is supreme; who can say, "What is this that You do?"
Vehu veechad umee yesheevenu; venafsho ivtah
God alone is God; Who turns God's Will aside? That which the Divine Spirit wills, it does.
pa'alo; kee khol-derakhav mishpat
The work of our Rock is perfect; and God's Paths are just.
El emunah veayn 'avel;
tzadeek veyashar hu
God is faithful and has no imperfection; a righteous and true Judge is God.
Dayan emet; shofeyt
God is the True Judge; who judges with righteousness and truth.
Barukh dayan haemet; kee khol-mishpatav
A Source of blessing is the True Judge; whose judgments are all right and true.
Jewish Prayer for the Dead (by Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi)
(name of the deceased)
to the realm from which she (the soul) had
originally come to
with us in this life. May this
soul be intertwined with your
great spirit, the source of all life,
and in the warmth and serenity
of your wings. May this spirit be
joined with the spirits of [her/his] (for Jewish
person: our) ancestors (for Jewish person: Sarah and Abraham),
and with the spirits of other
great women and men who
dwell in the Bliss of Paradise.
Source of all Blessing are you,
Yah, breath of all life, who created
of the deceased)
and graced us with the gift of her/his
presence in our lives. You chose
to bring him/her into
being on our plane,
and you chose to call her/him back to
your realm, in your own
mysterious way. We thank you,
of life and death for the time we had
with our beloved and ask you to comfort
us now for our sense of
loss in our lives
and for our somber encounter with our own
mortality in this moment. Renew in us
the faith that
-- in your unending love --
death is but a journey of the spirit from
the finite realm of physical being to the
realm of your eternal embrace.
For the soul of the human is a spark of
the divine. Wellspring of blessing
you, Yah, breath of all life, who is
with us in life and in death.
MOURNER'S KADDISH (Ashkenazi)
in the presence of ten people. Stand.
Yit-ga-dal v'yit-ka-dash sh'mei ra-ba, (A-mein.) b'al-ma di-v'ra chi-ru-tei,
v'yam-lich mal-chu-tei [ v'yats-mach pur-ka-nei, vi-ka-reiv m'shi-chei. (A-mein). b'chai-yei-chon uv'yo-mei-chon uv'chai-yei
d'chawl beit Yis-ra-eil, ba-a-ga-la u-viz-man ka-riv, v'im'ru: A-mein. (A-mein.)
Y'hei sh'mei ra-ba m'va-rach l'a-lam
ul'al-mei al-ma-ya. [ Yit-ba-rach ]
Yit-ba-rach v'yish-ta-bach, v'yit-pa-ar v'yit-ro-mam v'yit-na-sei, v'yit-ha-dar
v'yit-a-leh v'yit-ha-lal, sh'mei d'ku-d'sha, b'rich hu, (b'rich hu) [Some Chassidic and Sefardic congregations say
"A-mein"] l'ei-la min kawl bir-cha-ta v'shi-ra-ta, tush-b'chata v'ne-che-mata, da-a-mi-ran b'al-ma, v'im'ru: A-mein. (A-mein.)
Y'hei sh'la-ma ra-ba min sh'ma-ya, v'chai-yim [ to-vim ], a-lei-nu v'al kawl Yis-ra-eil, v'im'ru: A-mein. (A-mein.)
O-seh sha-lom bim-ro-mav, hu ya-a-seh sha-lom a-lei-nu v'al kawl Yis-ra-eil, v'im'ru: A-mein. (A-mein.)
TRANSLATION OF RABBI BURT JACOBSON
The great essence will flower in our lives and expand
throughout the world.
May we learn to let it shine through so we can augment its glory.
We praise, we continue to
praise, and yet, whatever it is we praise, is quite beyond our grasp of all these words and symbols that point us towards
We know, and yet we do not know.
May great peace pour forth from the heavens for us, for all Israel, for all who
struggle toward truth.
May that which makes harmony in the cosmos above,
bring peace within and between us, and to
all who dwell on this earth,
and let us say, Ameyn.
ABOUT THE KADDISH
Tradition says that the word "Kaddish"
comes from the word "Kadosh" (to be holy). The saying of the Kaddish dates back to the 7th century; only from the 13th century
has it come to be used as a prayer for mourners.
Tradition says that the Kaddish can only be recited with community,
thus a minyan (10) is required in order to recite the Kaddish. It is considered a mitzva to be included in a minyan for the
recital of the Kaddish for a mourner.
VISITING THE CEMETARY
**Tefillah 'al hakibur (Prayer on visiting the grave of a loved one)**
Barukh Atah ADONAI Elohaynu melekh ha'olam asher yatzar etkhem badeen. Vehecheyah etkhem badeen. Vezan etkhem badeen.
Veyodeya' mispar kulkhem badeen. Vehu 'ateed lehachayotkhem badeen. Barukh Atah ADONAI mechayeh hamayteem
(A source of blessing are You, ADONAI, our Creator Force, Guide of the universe, who, by established laws has formed us,
and by established laws continues to allow us to enjoy life, and by established laws You aid us in sustaining ourselves. By
Your laws You determine the number of human beings on the planet, and by Your laws You reincarnate us to a new life after
this one. A source of blessing are You, ADONAI who revives the dead).
Shalom aleichem. Peace be with you, my beloved (name of the deceased). May your soul breath be bound up in the bond of eternal
life with the Divine Breather of Life.
Peace be with you, and may peace be with you in your resting place. Happy are those who have walked in the paths destined
by their Creator, paths which have ushered them into the life of the World to Come. You have passed on to the World of Goodness,
a World of Shekhina's continual Presence. May ADONAI hasten your re-incarnation, and when our time comes, may we meet you
in the newness of the glorious, effulgent celestial World of the Spirit.
May the merit of your having sought to live a life of doing good deeds and treating others with love and compassion, no matter
their religion, race, ethnicity, or sexual identity, uphold us in our need and serve as a shield against those who would cause
us to be degraded or lessened in any manner. May you bear our prayers into the very presence of ADONAI, our Creator, that
they might be caused to become part of the Forces of Healing and Transformation. Because of the merit of you, and those who
have gone before you, and because of the merit of all who have sought to live a life of righteousness and good deeds, and
because of the great and generous mercy and love of ADONAI, as felt individually through the indwelling Spirit of the Divine
Feminine Shekhina Presence, may Creator's love and compassion protect and guard us, (our wives/husbands), our children and
other little ones, and all those who are seeking divine unification of universal teachings of love and peace and good-will.
May ADONAI save us from all hurt, grief and distress, and please hear our fervent prayer of our heart.
To all those holy souls who rest in this cemetery, who have entered into the heavenly bliss built upon their virtue, may
your rest be in glory. May the merit of your good deeds and your devotion to loving compassion uphold us, our households,
all those associated with us, and all of those who wrestle with the principles of goodness and doing the right thing to every
person. May your soul-breaths abide in happiness in permanent survival. May your soul-breaths, transformed in glory, enjoy
Gan Eden, and be brought into a good re-incarnation with love and divine favor for all of Creator's creation and for all who
are slumbering in the dust. May this be God's Will, Amen.