Common Jewish Funeral Traditions

By: Danny Amoruccio
Wednesday, November 2, 2022

The Jewish funeral ceremony is grounded in millennia of tradition and adheres firmly to a set of practices per the principles of the Torah. Some Reformed Jews have made changes to certain customary Jewish funeral traditions, while the Conservative and Orthodox Jewish communities continue to place a strong emphasis on them. When Jewish families need funeral and burial services, they should approach a funeral home that can customize services for them.

Facts about Jewish Funeral Traditions

If you are attending someone's Jewish funeral, it's essential to know what traditions mean. Here is some information from the experts at Willowbrook Cemetery:

  • Traditional Jewish burial customs include shredding a garment ( keryah) or cutting ceremonial black ribbons that the mourners afterward wear. This may occur just before the funeral ceremony in a small chamber with the officiating Rabbi. As an outward gesture of mourning and acknowledgment of death, shredding clothing is a familiar ritual. A benediction, or prayer of thanks to God, is also often said at this time.
  • Jewish funeral traditions dictate that the ceremony be held at funeral homes or the gravesite, with the odd ceremony conducted in a synagogue.
  • The funeral would be short and straightforward, serving to pay respects to the deceased and provide mourners with an opportunity to express their sympathy to the family.
  • Readings, eulogies, and prayers may all be a part of a Jewish burial ceremony.
  • Flowers are often not offered at Jewish funerals. An alternative would be to make a gift in the person's name to a Jewish charity or other groups they were active with in life. The family would appreciate a kosher food present, which is acceptable.
  • Even though there are many variants of the Jewish funeral service, most Conservative and Orthodox Jews are buried in a plain wooden casket in a natural burial location in a Jewish cemetery.
  • The Chevra Kadisha, a group of specialized caretakers, will give them a ceremonial bath and wrap them in a tachrachim, or burial shroud. From the moment of washing until the time of burial, the caretakers will help the family.

For more information about Jewish funeral traditions, contact Willowbrook Cemetery. We can help you pick the ideal final resting place for the departed soul at our serene cemetery. 

Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

Is It Important to Have a Public Viewing?

When faced with the loss of a loved one, the decisions around funeral arrangements can be overwhelming. Among these decisions is whether to hold a public viewing. This practice, where the body of t...

Navigating Your Rights: Funeral Home Choices in Privately Owned Cemeteries

Making decisions about funeral arrangements can be a daunting process, especially during a time of grief. For those who have taken the thoughtful step of pre-planning by purchasing a cemetery plot ...

The Vital Conversation We Often Shy Away From: End-of-Life Discussions

Death is a certainty of life, yet the conversation around it remains one of the most neglected, with families often unprepared for the eventuality. However, this shift towards open communication is...

What Are Prepaid Cremation Services?

Planning for the inevitable end of life is an overwhelming responsibility most of us would rather avoid. At Willowbrook Cemetery, many people ask us - What are prepaid cremation services? Preparin...

Qualities To Look For In A Good Funeral Home

Choosing a funeral home is a deeply personal decision that requires careful consideration. During grief and loss, you want to ensure that your loved one's final arrangements are handled with the ut...

How To Get Through The First Couple Of Weeks After A Death

The days and weeks immediately following the death of a loved one are some of the most difficult times you'll ever face. Profound grief often leaves you feeling numb, overwhelmed, and completely ad...

4 Funeral Etiquette Tips You Need To Know

When we attend a funeral, we want to display respect for the decedent and show support for their family. However, funeral etiquette can become baffling, and there are more than 4 funeral etiquette ...

A Complete Understanding Of Funeral/Cremation Pricing

When a loved one passes away, families are faced with the difficult task of making funeral arrangements while navigating the emotional and practical challenges of grief. Among the many decisions to...

4 Funeral Etiquette Tips You Need To Know

When attending a funeral or memorial service, we all want to show respect for the deceased and support for the bereaved. However, funeral etiquette can sometimes feel confusing, and there are more ...

How Does Compound Grief Affect Our Grieving Abilities?

Grief, a natural response to loss, is a deeply personal and often challenging emotional journey. When individuals experience multiple losses within a short timeframe, it can lead to compound grief,...