Hospice chaplains say many patients and their families feel the need to heal their minds and souls. While chaplains help patients and families come to terms with death, some remove their clerical collars or crosses during hospice visits and often rely on religious traditions that have universal acceptance. "One of the interesting things in my work is that I have to frequently overcome -- particularly from patients who are Jewish -- the 'Rabbi, I'm not religious; I don't need you' or 'I'm not ready for you' response," said Rabbi Herman Blumberg of Hebrew SeniorLife Hospice Care in Dedham, Mass.

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