Burials

Our team has years of experience and extensive knowledge of Jewish burial customs and their religious significance. When you choose Jeffer & Harris, we promise to provide the highest professionalism, respect, and care for you and your family during this difficult time. Every service will honor Jewish funeral and burial traditions that hold importance for you.

Steps To Follow For Jewish Death Rituals

Immediately after you have contacted your Jeffer & Harris Funeral Director, calling your rabbi or a rabbi of the departed should be your next step. According to Jewish tradition, Shomers or “guardians” will accompany the deceased from the moment of death until the funeral procession is over. Our funeral home can provide a specialist who can perform the role of Shomereim whenever a family requests this service. 

We understand that timing your loved one’s service is essential. With this in mind, we will coordinate everything based on the rabbi’s schedule, the family’s time constraints, and the cemetery’s operating times. Depending on the congregation, a service can also be held in a temple or synagogue.

The burial

Our team will guide your loved one to their eternal resting place. Jewish tradition states that mourners should not recite the Kaddish until after the casket is lowered and the grave is filled. For thousands of years, earth burials have been practiced in the Jewish faith and remain popular today. However, if your family prefers above-ground entombment, discuss your arrangements with your rabbi before moving forward. Some of them may be resistant to the idea of officiating at a mausoleum.

If your family is choosing a casket, we understand this can be an emotional process. Our specialists at Jeffer & Harris are here to offer any assistance or information you need. We can help you make the best choice based on your personal preferences. If you need our help, please get in touch with us with any questions you may have.    

Tahara

The Tahara ritual is the first step when preparing for your loved one’s burial. During this process, the deceased is thoroughly cleansed and purified. There are strict procedures for this ritual, and it can only be performed by a member of the chevra kadisha (holy society) or your funeral director. As they conduct this ritual, they will recite prayers and psalms for the deceased. 

Clothes 

After the cleansing ritual, the person in charge will dress your loved one’s body in plain white shrouds,  a torn prayer shawl, or a tallit to symbolize that it will no longer be used. However, some families may dress their loved ones in regular clothes. 

Shomer

An essential part of Jewish burial practices involve a shomer watching over a person’s body from the time they passed away to the burial. This action protects the person’s body and soul. Shomerim also have strict rules during this process, such as eating only in the designated area, remaining silent, and staying in the funeral home for their entire shift. 

Burial 

Once your loved one’s body is ready, it will be promptly buried. In traditional Jewish burial customs, natural burials were the most common and in line with the Torah’s teaching that people should return to the soil. Some families will choose other burial options, such as mausoleums, as their loved one’s final resting place. 

Gravesites

Another crucial aspect of Jewish burials is creating a tombstone for your loved one as a sign of respect. Depending on your congregation’s beliefs, some will wait until after the mourning period to have a specific ceremony and set up their loved one’s tombstone. They usually have Jewish symbols such as a menorah, the Star of David, or other Hebrew inscriptions the family wishes to include. 

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