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L J Griffin Funeral Home


Facts To Notice When Attending Jewish Funerals

The rules of etiquette that apply to the burial customs of this religion have many similarities to all funerals. Jewish Funeral Etiquette dictates, as all funerals do, that it is a time to express sorrow. Family and beloved friends all talk about the good times they shared with the decedent.

The body is not left alone from the time the individual dies until the time of burial. A family member will be present during the preparation for burial. As the body is washed it is not proper to allow it to lie face down.

Males complete the preparations for males. Females prepare the female decedent. Each individual is washed and then covered in a white shroud. Males are buried with prayer shawls that have a tassel removed. Everyone, rich or poor deserves a decent burial. By using simple garments for all, equal treatment and respect is assured.

The coffin is all wood with no metal parts permitted. Holes drilled in the bottom are to make certain the individual will eventually be turned into dust. Mourners tear at their outer clothes to show their grief.

The burial must take place within 48 hours of the time of death. A closed casket is customary. A rabbi will pray at the memorial service in the Hebrew language. Family members will offer eulogies.

Conservative clothing in dark colors is the customary clothing for family and friends to wear. No casual clothes are permitted, such as sandals or shorts. That would show a lack of respect on this solemn occasion.

The family members are the only ones who attend the graveside service. After that, the family sits shiva for the next week. Visitors come to offer their expressions of sympathy. It is customary to bring casseroles and other prepared meals.

Kosher foods and other meals are all acceptable gifts. The family is supposed to be able to avoid cooking during the mourning period. Visitors share memories of the deceased in the form of anecdotes and stories. Jewish Funeral Etiquette encourages showing that the one who passed away will be missed and remembered.


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