Losing a loved one is a complex experience. However, honoring and respecting their faith can help to make the process a little easier. A Jewish funeral is a time for family, friends, or community members to come together to honor an important person they just lost, remember their life, and grieve in peace.
If you want to learn more about their traditions and how Jewish funerals work, keep reading. Below, you’ll find a guide to what happens before, during, and after a Jewish funeral.
Frequently Asked Questions About Jewish Funerals
Jewish funerals are usually held within 24 hours of a person’s death, except in some situations when family members travel long distances and require another day. It is customary for the ceremony to start at a synagogue or funeral home before continuing to the Jewish cemetery.
Upon entering the synagogue or funeral home, guests will be greeted with a yarmulke for men and a veil for married women to cover their heads adequately. Orthodox men and women are expected to wear black hats.
What Happens At The Viewing
In the Jewish faith, the right of viewing is reserved for close relatives before any funeral proceedings. As mandated by their customs, embalming should never be done to permit natural decomposition and adhere to Jewish tradition. As a result, burial must take place promptly. Henceforth, caskets are made from untreated wood with no nails or decorations of any kind included.
Prior To The Jewish Funeral Arrangements
During the ceremony, those closest to the deceased – parents, children, spouses, and siblings – will be in a separate room wearing a black ribbon on their chest. This ribbon must remain for an entire week as part of shiva. Once all other attendees have taken their seats, family members should move towards the front row, and other attendees shouldn’t attempt to console them at this time.
How The Jewish Funeral Ceremony Works
To start the ceremony, a rabbi or cantor will read aloud from the Book of Psalms and then lead a period of silent prayer. Subsequently, they will deliver words in remembrance before closing with an El Malei Rachamim prayer that all guests should stand for. Throughout this meaningful service, Jewish costumes will be honored.
Upon completion of the service, attendees will leave while family members return to a private room in anticipation of the funeral procession. The family will be first out, followed by pallbearers (who are not related) carrying the casket to its final vehicle. At this point, attendees will line up in what’s known as a ‘funeral caravan’ where everyone drives toward their destination at the cemetery.
Following the casket’s ceremony to its final resting place, a short service will commence as it is put into the ground. To complete this solemn occasion, those in attendance are invited to honor their loved one by adding a shovelful of dirt. Afterward, those who have gathered may show respect for the family during the shiva period.
Trust In Fairway Memorial Gardens For A Respectful Jewish Funeral
If you were searching for a “Jewish cemetery near me,” Fairway Memorial Gardens is the best place around. With beautiful scenery and comprehensive staff members, we are here to help you fulfill the customs of your faith with grace and dignity. We understand your traditions and religious practices and will strive to provide you with a peaceful, respectful experience.
Contact us today if you need more information about how to plan a Jewish funeral. Fairway Memorial Gardens will ensure that your loved one is handled with the utmost care and respect.