How to Prepare for a Jewish Funeral
Different religions and cultures have different ways of saying goodbye to their loved ones that have passed away. Jewish funerals, therefore, have their own processes, which must be honored and considered when preparing for a Jewish funeral. As always, the main focus is on providing closure for the loved ones of the deceased but making certain that the deceased is cared for and laid to rest in a way that gives them the utmost respect and consideration is also important.
Curious about what steps should be taken to prepare for a Jewish funeral? Then read on and learn just how to prepare for a Jewish funeral.
The time between a loved one passing away and being buried, in Jewish tradition, is supposed to be kept extremely small. Therefore, the burial often takes place the very next day. As such, making funerary arrangements ahead of time can make the process that much easier and less stressful for those involved. Cemeteries can be contacted and tentative plans made such that the funeral can take place as soon as possible.
According to Jewish tradition, the body of the deceased is not to be left alone between death and burial. A shomer, or guardian, is assigned to stay with the body. Usually, this is a family member who volunteers to take on the role but is an important step of proper Jewish preparation. A mortuary will also prepare the body according to Jewish law and codes, such as dressing the body with a simple white shroud, known as a tachrichin.
Expect a Burial, Not a Cremation
Often, Jewish tradition prefers burial to cremation for the deceased, and burial happens in a Jewish cemetery or a communal cemetery that has plots specially made for Jewish patrons. The casket chosen for burial purposes is usually a simple wooden one, which allows for the body to return to the earth that much quicker (and some Jewish caskets even have holes in the bottom of the casket to make such biodegradation that much quicker). Sometimes, a Star of David will also be placed upon the top of the casket, but usually the casket is kept quite simple as over-ornamentation and extravagance is to be avoided.
After the Services
Once the burial has taken place, Jewish funerals then involve a meal, often prepared by the extended family or community, to be taken part in by those that attended. This can happen at the family’s home as others other than the direct family can attend to share in the meal, and the washing of hands takes place when leaving the cemetery, as is the Jewish tradition. The meal is called the meal of healing, or eudat hav’ra-ah, and is intended to help the mourners with their grieving process (that is, to have a meal when they might not feel like eating). This helps the community as well as the family members to grow closer together and to grieve, thus allowing healing to take place.
If you are looking for a place for your loved ones to be laid to rest, then Life Remembered might appeal to you. Contact us today with any questions or if you’d like more information on our memorial parks and services.