Study Guide

This Is Where I Leave You Chapter 4

By Jonathan Tropper

Chapter 4

  • Judd is carrying the casket at his father's funeral. He's helped by Paul, his older brother, and Barry, his brother-in-law. His youngest brother, Phillip, still hasn't shown up. Typical.
  • After they're finished, Judd stands next to his mother Hillary. She tries to coach him through his grief using her award-winning skills as a pop therapist.
  • The service is being led by Rabbi Charles Grodner. Back in the day, Charles was known in the Foxman home by a different nickname—Boner.
  • Suddenly, a Porsche pulls up and a Philip runs out looking disheveled. He greets the family and accidentally calls the rabbi "Boner" in front of the whole congregation.
  • Paul goes up to read his eulogy. To Judd, it sounds more "like an acceptance speech for the Most Dedicated Son Award" (4.31). Unlike his siblings, Paul stayed in town to run the family sporting goods business, so that actually might be a legit comparison.
  • As is customary at Jewish funerals, the family of the deceased pours the first scoops of dirt onto the casket. Everything goes fine until Phillip's turn. When the youngest Foxman throws his dirt onto the casket, he falls to his knees and sobs like a three-year old with a crush on Justin Bieber.