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Ivins Funeral Home


Procedures To Know At A Jewish Funeral

A traditional Jewish funeral has certain elements to it. The main aim of these rituals is to honor the dead person, while being sensitive to his surviving family members. Generally, the specific customs carried out depends on the community the deceased person hailed from. But there are general customs that are observed at most burials.

Burial is normally carried out within a day when a person dies. The burial may be postponed for another day or two, so as to wait for any close family member who has to travel from a far place to attend the burial. It's totally up to the family to decide whether the burial should be postponed or whether it should go ahead as required by custom.

The casket is normally kept sealed at the memorial service. It is generally considered rude to look at someone who cannot look back at you. A plain and simple coffin is used. The coffin should be made from wood only as not metal parts are allowed, as metal does not decompose.

The body is not embalmed unless it is mandatory by law. This is to allow for fast decomposition when buried. A sacred society can be called upon to cleanse the body of the deceased and prepare it for burial. They bath the deceased and dress him.

Short services that last only a couple of minutes are encouraged. Flowers are not present in most memorial services as they are considered unnecessary. Mourners cannot talk and interact with other attendees until after the burial service has been completed.

At the conclusion of a Jewish funeral, mourners pass through the middle of the parallel line formed by the attendees. The attendees recite consoling words to the mourners. To symbolically cleanse themselves, mourners can wash their hands when leaving the graveside.


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