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Featured Funeral Homes:
Tanabe Flying Services
1093 E Avocado Crest Road
La Habra, California

Grinsteiner Funeral Home Incorporated
1601 E New York Street
Indianapolis, Indiana

Hall Jordan & Pretty Memorial Chapel
918 S Main Street
Middletown, Ohio

Gaydos Monument Company
407 Oak Spring Road
Mc Murray, Pennsylvania

Jewish Funerals

 

Jewish Funeral Information and Traditions

Traditional Jewish funerals are by today's standards considered a detailed and fairly invasive affair.  Traditionally when a Jewish individual passes away the first thing a family member would do is contact their synagogue and speak to a Rabbi or another high ranking member of the synagogue.  At this point the synagogue would take over the rest of the details.  The body of the deceased would be washed thoroughly by a member of the synagogue of the same sex, men wash men and women wash women.  During the washing the body will be lifted moved and turned but never rolled completely over on its face as this is a hard fast rule and is degrading to the deceased. 



After the washing of the body it is wrapped in a shroud.  All of the burial shrouds are very much the same and plain, regardless of the persons social standing in life.  Pride and wealth in life is not permitted in death, all deceased Jewish people are handled in the same fashion regardless of how much money they have. 
Once wrapped in the shroud they are placed in a simple pine box and buried almost immediately.  In cases where the person suffered a traumatic death causing blood to be lost and spilled onto the clothing or skin of the body, the washing ritual is skipped.  In Jewish tradition it is believed that the blood of the individual is sacred and should be buried with the body.  Washing it down the drain would be sacrilegious. 

Jewish custom is heavily against the idea of fancy caskets and big ceremonial funerals as well as it does not allow either embalming or cremation; because of this planning a Jewish funeral is a fairly inexpensive and quick process.  According to their custom they should be buried the same day that they pass away, unless it is the Sabbath, or a holiday.  These are the only times where a day's delay in the burial are permitted.  Because of the strict time line most Jewish people will have purchased their burial plots and markers long before they pass away.
In modern times most of the Jewish people are closer to Reform Jewish in their customs and beliefs and will allow a regular funeral director to do the washing of the body.  Usually the shroud is forgone and the deceased is buried in a pine box as soon as possible wearing a suit or dress (or whatever they happened to pass away wearing in some cases).  There are even some cases where a Rabbi will preside over the funeral of a Jewish person who's family decided to cremate their remains.  In some cases for financial reasons cremation is selected in modern Jewish funerals, however that is still rare. 

Whether it is a traditional Jewish Funeral or a modern Jewish funeral Jewish funerals are by far one of the simplest to plan and execute because of their customs and beliefs.  Although they are simple, they are among the most dignified funeral services available as well.

 
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