The Jewish faith has many long-standing traditions and rituals surrounding end-of-life matters. For Jewish families facing the loss of a loved one, these meaningful practices help guide them through the process of honoring the deceased while also providing comfort and closure. In this blog post, we’ll explore Jewish end-of-life traditions and how Fitchett-Mann Funeral Services can help families observe them. Preparing the Body The preparation of the body for burial, known in Hebrew as taharah, is considered an act of respect and kindness. Men are buried in a kittel (white robe) while married women are buried in a special dress and head covering. The tachrichim has no pockets, representing how one cannot take possessions into the next world. After washing, the body is wrapped in a sheet and placed in an all-wooden casket. The simplicity of the casket reflects the value of modesty and equality in death. The Funeral Service Once the body is prepared for burial, a funeral service is held, known as the levaya. This usually takes place within 24 hours after death. Traditional levayas are solemn events focused on honoring the deceased. Touching eulogies about the person’s life are delivered, often mentioning their good deeds and positive character traits. Psalms may be recited, and mourners recite the Kaddish, a prayer affirming faith in God.
At the conclusion of the service, mourners follow behind the casket as it is carried to the gravesite. Funeral homes like Fitchett-Mann provides comprehensive funeral services for Jewish customs. Before the casket is lowered, a small bag of earth from Israel may be placed beneath the head, symbolizing the connection between the Jewish homeland and the soul’s final resting place. Mourners take turns shoveling dirt into the grave until it is fully covered. The Unveiling About a month after the burial, a headstone setting ceremony known as the unveiling takes place at the gravesite. A Rabbi will offer prayers, then the headstone is unveiled. Jewish end-of-life rituals have tremendous spiritual and emotional significance for those who observe them. A funeral home that is sensitive to these traditions can ensure services adhere properly to Jewish customs, providing comfort to families during their time of grief.
Whatever your need is, we offer services for a variety of religious funeral services. The service may need to be led by a religious leader, including prayers, religious funeral songs, or any religious funeral poems or readings. We are well-versed in many religious funeral requirements and can happily support these. Whatever the faith of your loved one, we can accommodate a fitting religious funeral service.