Honoring the Body: Taharah
Rebecca Sheir


University of Iowa, USA, 2006
Re:sound, TCF Winners
Body, Death, Religion
15 45


The Jewish burial ritual places great importance on treating the deceased with the utmost honor and respect. This is especially important during the ceremony of taharah, which involves the physical cleansing of the dead body.

In this documentary, three people who have taken part in taharah share their experiences. 

Honoring the Body: Taharah won a Best Documentary: Directors' Choice Award in the 2006 Third Coast / Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition.


Rebecca Sheir came to Alaska by way of Iowa City, where she received her MFA from the University of Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program in May 2006. While in the heartland, Rebecca worked at WSUI, Eastern Iowa’s NPR news station, as the producer and co-host of Weekend America: Iowa Edition; guest host of Talk of Iowa: Live From the JavaHouse; and local drive-time voice of All Things Considered. She also designed and taught the undergraduate radio essay/commentary course, Radio VoicesBefore moving to Iowa, Rebecca lived in New York City, where she received her BA from Columbia University and worked in off-Broadway theater production and casting. Her work has aired on public radio stations across the country.


Honoring the Body: Taharah was first presented as part of Rebecca's MFA thesis at the University of Iowa. 
Hear more audio work from Rebecca Sheir.