Rebbe Zalman Schachter-Shalomi died peacefully in his sleep at home on July 3, 2014. He was 89. He will be buried at the Green Mountain Cemetery in Boulder, Colorado. In The December Project: An Extraordinary Rabbi and a Skeptical Seeker Confront Life's Greatest Mystery, published this spring, Sara Davidson recounts her two-year conversation with Rebbe Zalman on death and other topics. At one point, he said: "I've been training myself since I was young for the moment I'll die."
For two years, Sara Davidson and Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi met every week at his Boulder home to talk about everyone’s favorite topic: death.
Rabbi ZALMAN SCHACHTER-SHALOMI: Once you begin to speak about the longing that we have and you sing the melodies that bring the longing to the fore, and you express that in prayer, in that longing there is a response that comes from the universe. [It is] the best way in which we can say that this is God.
Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi (Reb Zalman) has led a creative and productive life, founding both Aleph: Alliance for Jewish Renewal and the Spiritual Eldering Institute. He is Professor Emeritus of Religion at Temple University and Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies and former World Wisdom Chair at Naropa University. He is the author of many books, including , , and .