Jewish Cemetery Etiquette

By: Danny Amoruccio
Monday, January 28, 2019

Proper conduct at a cemetery is important but is often overlooked. Here we look at some basic etiquette for people to follow at a Jewish cemetery:

1. Drinking and eating must be strictly avoided at the cemetery and is applicable to unveilings as well. As you are there to honor the deceased, conduct yourself with decorum and sobriety. Take care not to be frivolous and violate the serene environment.

2. Attire is an important aspect when you enter a Jewish cemetery or take part in a Jewish graveside service. Ensure that you dress appropriately to maintain the dignity of the place and the occasion. Work attire, sports clothes, body-exposing and fashionable dresses are not considered suitable at the cemetery.

3. The gravestone is not a place either to sit or step on. Always use the seats near the grave or pathways.

4. If you notice flowers blooming on the grave, desist from picking them. You can always trim the plants to beautify the place.

5. Maintain a distance of at least six feet from the grave to conduct daily services. This is true while reciting Psalms in the cemetery.

6. Do not carry Tefillin to the cemetery

Memorial gifts like Bible, Torah, prayer-books are some of the sacred articles you can give to a synagogue and schools. Some mourners contribute Torah ornaments and scholarly works. Gifts such as flowers and fruits are not in keeping with the traditional Jewish spirit.

The synagogue and schools promptly inform the mourners about the receipt of their gifts during Shiva. These gifts can be just tokens and sent through mail. When honoring the dead or their survivors, whatever is done should have a religious spirit as the basis of conduct.

If you want to know about our Jewish cemetery sections, or our cemetery services, give us at Willowbrook Cemetery a call on 203-222-8646 or contact us through our online form.

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