Death, burrial, funeral - Jewish

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  • Created on: 01-06-13 11:41

When close to death

Family and friends should try to be with the dying person to show their love and support.

Jews aim to say the Shema just before they die. This shows theor commitment to the religion and their faith in God.

Everyone should trust in God - He is in control.

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Just after Death

After the person has dies, Jews will say the Kaddish. This is the Jewish funeral prayer, but it is a prayer which praises God.

Jews try not to mourn at this stage. Preparations start for the funeral - if possible on the same day, but if not, the day after.

The person in charge of preparations is called an Onan, and is freed from keeping the positive mitzvot.

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Preparation of the body

The body is washed and dried, before it is dressed in a simple white shroud (tachrichim) and, if a man,a prayer shawl (tallit). The fringes of the prayer shawl are cut to show that the man is now freed from the religious laws which bound him on Earth.

The body is placed in a plain wooden coffin which is sealed immediately.

People sit with the coffin until the time of the funeral.

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The funeral

If possible, the Jewish funeral should take place within 24 hours of death - and certainly within a week.

Jewish funerals are short and simple, and no flowers will be given. This is to symbolise the idea that everyone is equal in death.

Mourners will make a small tear in their clothing (Keriah) to show their grief.

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The Burial

Progressive Jews allow cremation, but this is prohibited by Orthodox Jews.

As the coffin is lowered into the ground mourners say 'May s/he come to his/her okace in peace'

As people leave the grave, the may throw grass and earth onto the coffin and say 'Remember that we are of dust'.

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