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Arranging a Funeral

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Honoring Jewish Tradition
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Pre-Planning a Jewish Funeral
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A Guide to Jewish Funerals

A Guide to Jewish Funerals
The Funeral Service
Shiva Customs
Stages of Mourning
Monuments
Glossary of Jewish Funeral Terms
Service Schedule

Glossary of Jewish Funeral Terms

Aron / Casket

A wooden casket, in keeping with the Biblical teaching, “dust thou art and to dust thou shall return”.

Chevra Kadisha / Holy Society

An organization of Jewish men and women that prepare the deceased for burial in accordance with Jewish law.

Kaddish

A hymn of praises to God recited during the prayer service. For parents, the mourner’s Kaddish is recited daily for eleven months following burial. For all other relatives, Kaddish is recited for 30 days, which is the period known as Sheloshim.

Kriah / Tearing of Garments

The rending of the mourners’ outer garments; a symbol of their anguish and grief.

Kavod Hamet / Honoring of the Dead

An important principle in the Jewish faith regarding death and mourning that requires the body be treated with the utmost respect from the tie of passing until burial is complete.

K’vurah / Burial

The burial of the deceased in the ground and the subsequent filling in of the grave with earth until a mound is formed. Participation in the shoveling of dirt in the grave is a religious privilege and duty.

Sheloshim

The Hebrew word meaning “thirty, Sheloshim refers to the traditional thirty day period of mourning following burial and is inclusive of the seven day mourning period of Shivah.

Shiva

The seven day period of formalized mourning by the immediate family. Shivah begins immediately after the burial and concludes on the seventh day after the morning service known as Shacharit.

Shmeerah / Watching

The watching over the deceased by a pious Jewish person (shomer), who recites Psalms for the soul of the deceased. Jewish tradition teaches that the deceased should not be left unattended until interment is complete.

Tachrichim / Burial Garments

The traditional white linen suit of burial garments symbolizing all are equal before their Creator. The burial suit is made up of a cap, shirt and pants and is modeled after the clothing of the High Priest worn in the Holy Temple on Yom Kippur.

Tahara / Purification

The cleansing and dressing of the deceased by members of the Chevra Kadisha. In accordance with Jewish laws and customs, men prepare and dress men and women prepare and dress women.

Yahrzeit

The anniversary of death in accordance with the Hebrew calendar. It is customary to recite the Kaddish and light a twenty-four hour yahrzeit candle.

Are You Interested in Preplanning Services?

Assisting with funeral preplanning is a specialty at Sinai Chapels. Our funeral directors are qualified and available to guide you through the many choices that make a funeral service unique and personal.