Rabbi Mitelman and David DeSteno discuss how rituals can be used and adapted to help people find forgiveness, comfort, togetherness, and resilience in these difficult times, particularly the relationship between presence and connection, and the Jewish bereavement rituals of Shiva, Kaddish and Sheloshim walk mourners through the complicated, interwoven stages of grief.

This interview is part of the How God Works Conversation Series, a web series from Dr. DeSteno and PopTech that welcomes people to explore a new way to think about the science behind spiritual practices and the ways in which they might boost wellbeing. Through their rituals, religions offer tools of sorts — spiritual technologies that that have been debugged over the centuries — to help people deal with the challenges of life. It’s time for science to explore these practices to see when, how, and why they work, and whether they can be adapted to help people find joy and meaning, deal with grief and stress, and build a more compassionate and resilient society.

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