About Sinai Chapels

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Arranging a Funeral

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Casket Selection
Local Cemeteries
Yahrzeit Calendar
Honoring Jewish Tradition
Planning in Advance

Pre-Planning a Jewish Funeral
A Guide to Jewish Funerals

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

Stages of Mourning

Traditional Judaism delineates a series of steps, beginning with the moment of death, as follows:


The period from death to burial.


The first seven days of mourning.


The first thirty days of mourning beginning with the day of burial; the complete mourning period for all, except for a parent.

Yud-bet chodesh

The twelve Hebrew months following the day of death; the mourning period for a parent.


The anniversary date of the death per the Jewish calendar.

What is an Onen?

During the period of Aninut, an individual who has lost a loved one is referred to as an Onen. Jewish tradition recognizes the enormous pain and shock of loss, so an Onen is freed from the responsibility of performing any mitzvot, aside from during Shabbat. An Onen does not have to recite the shema or put on tefilin during this time. In addition, even close friends are instructed not to express condolences but rather to wait until after the interment to offer supportive words to the Onen. Therefore, the words “May the Almighty comfort you among all the other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem” are said as the family leaves the cemetery.

The Period of Avelut

Following the period of Aninut is Avelut, a Hebrew word meaning “lamenting.” During this time, mourner is referred to as an avel. Avelut encompasses the mourning customs of shiva, sheloshim and, when a parent has died, Yut-bet chodesh.

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.