Jewish Funerals

Jewish funeral rituals follow strict customs set forth by the Torah. They emphasize Judaism and they believe embracing life as praiseworthy can prepare someone for the after life.

If possible, Jewish burial should occur within 24 hours of death, or soon as possible. Simplicity of Jewish funerals is customary so as not to call out he poor. “Tahara” is the washing of the deceased ritual and then using a plain shroud for clothing. “Chevra Kadisha” ar ethe watchers who will stay with the body until the funeral. Funeral services are at the Synagogue or funeral home without a visitation. Simple wood caskets are used in order to obtain natural decomposition. The Jewish rituals do not allow open caskets or cremation. Men wear a jacket, tie, and yarmulkes. Women wear modest clothing with somber colors and no head covering.

The Rabbi conducts the funeral. Photography and video of the service is prohibited. The Rabbi will read more prayers at the cemetery. Family participates in covering the lowered casket with dirt. It is acceptable for the entire funeral to be held at the grave site. A donation to charity is preferred instead of flowers. Food is also accepted.

“Shiva” is the initial mourning time and lasts 7 days. During Shiva guests may visit the home. During Shiva, men refrain from shaving, women refrain from using makeup, and there is no intimacy. The family prays twice each day and will go back to work after a week. “Yahrzeit” is a yearly anniversary when the family will light candles in memory.