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Ippolito-Stellato Funeral Home


The Facts Of A Traditional Jewish Funeral

Just like all communities, Jews have certain customs that they observe when they are burying a loved one. The strictness of the customs observed normally depends on whether the family of the deceased are radical Jews or conservative Jews. The customs carried out at a Jewish funeral are meant to provide respect to the dead person as well as the mourners.

Burial should take place as soon as possible. This is normally on the same day that the person has died. However, since it is not always possible to have all the family members around when the person dies, it may be necessary to delay the burial for sometime until all the mourners have arrived. It is up to the family to decide if they will delay the burial or not.

Viewing of the body is not allowed. The casket is normally sealed during the memorial service and burial. The casket chosen should be simple and be made out of wood only. No metallic parts are allowed as metal is not biodegradable.

For the process of decomposition to take place naturally, embalming is not allowed. However, since Jewish customs are subject to local laws, it may be necessary to have the body embalmed. This is so as to satisfy the public health regulations set by the local council.

The burial ceremony does not take a long time. It can be completed in less than half an hour. Flowers are normally considered as frivolous adornments, so they are often avoided at burials. If you wish, you can choose to have a small floral tribute, as long as the officiant is not opposed to it. Mourners cannot talk to the attendees until the whole burial ceremony is over.

At the conclusion of a Jewish funeral, mourners pass through the middle of the parallel line formed by the attendees. The attendees recite consoling words to the mourners. To symbolically cleanse themselves, mourners can wash their hands when leaving the graveside.


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