"Wailing Lore" in a Yemenite-Israeli community: Bereavement, expertise, and therapy
AbstractThis study explores Yemenite-Jewish wailing as an example of how a traditional community copes with bereavement in contemporary Israel. Observations of wailing events and interviews with Yemenite-Israeli wailers and mourners are analyzed in order to understand the respondents' perceptions of wailing as a psychotherapeutic expertise and experience. These findings are further used to substantiate a theoretical reconsideration of models of bereavement, exploring the interplay between the modern, self-centered, and detached psychological model (the "clinical lore") and the traditional, other-oriented, and continuous anthropological model (the "wailing lore"). The article concludes by discussing criticisms of the Western psychotherapeutic paradigm as it relates to bereavement and asking where a mourning ritual such as wailing fits into our understanding of the subjective experiences of grief.
Wailing Bereavement Psychotherapy Continuing bonds Yemenite-Israelis Ritual Israel