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Learning Basic Details Of Jewish Funeral Ceremonies

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.

The burial should take place within twenty four hours after death. However, there are some instances that may prevent this from happening. If close family members of the deceased are based in far away location, the burial will have to be delayed until the relatives have arrived. However, the funeral should generally be carried out as soon as possible.

The casket is normally kept sealed at the memorial service. It is generally considered rude to look at someone who cannot look back at you. A plain and simple coffin is used. The coffin should be made from wood only as not metal parts are allowed, as metal does not decompose.

Preservation of the body through embalming is not allowed, unless demanded by local laws for health reasons. This is to allow the body to decompose naturally. If the family wishes, they can call a pious society of men and women who have devoted themselves to the task of cleaning and dressing dead bodies as required by tradition.

Short services that last only a couple of minutes are encouraged. Flowers are not present in most memorial services as they are considered unnecessary. Mourners cannot talk and interact with other attendees until after the burial service has been completed.

When leaving the graveside, attendees at a Jewish funeral form a double line facing each other. The mourners pass in the middle and receive consolation messages from others. Any kind words of comfort are offered at this time. Mourners may symbolically wash their hands before leaving the cemetery as a sign of cleansing.


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