If you’ve never been to a Jewish funeral before, you may not know what to expect. While these services resemble funerals of other religions in many ways, there are some elements and traditions that make them unique. To better understand some of the major practices and themes that are part of a Jewish funeral, consult the guide below.
Key Practices in a Jewish Funeral
Accompanying the Departed
A central tenet of a Jewish funeral is to honor the individual who has died. It is considered a mitzvah, or moral deed, to attend a funeral and help bring the dearly departed to their final resting place. During the actual burial, attendants often pour a small amount of earth on the casket or into the grave to symbolize their accompaniment.
There are several prayers recited and sung during Jewish funerals. One of the most well-known is called the Mourners Kaddish. Recited by all guests in unison, the prayer marks the passing of the deceased while serving as a reminder of God’s continuing presence in the lives of those who are still alive. Another prayer is known as “El Malei Rachamim,” which focuses on remembrance and asks that the deceased may rest in peace.
Judaism dictates the deceased should be buried in a natural, kosher way. That means there isn’t any embalming or cosmetic work done to beautify the body. While mourners will be able to see the casket, it will be closed. It is an important part of the service to honor the dead, and there is a belief that viewing the body will distract from that. Instead, the focus is on remembering the individual through their acts and qualities.
In Fairfield, CT, the professionals at Abraham L Green & Son Funeral Home help to carry out beautiful, respectful Jewish funerals. Known for their warmth and wide range of services, the staff helps to make a difficult time just a little bit easier. To speak with a supportive representative, give them a call today at (203) 255-8993. Visit their website to learn more about what they will do for you.