Ask the Expert: Caring for Jewish Bodies

What's the appropriate post-mortem care for a Jewish person?

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Jewish law considers blood to be part of the body, and therefore deserving of burial. If a person dies because of a wound or injury, and there is blood that soaked into the clothing, that clothing will be buried along with the person. In cases that involve wounds or injuries it is best not to disturb the body, or discard any bloody dressings. These will also be collected by the burial society.

These are the primary issues that you're likely to face in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or hospital. Additionally, it may be helpful to foster a relationship with someone at a nearby Jewish funeral home so that you can call them with any specific questions you may have. If there is a Jewish chaplain that serves the nursing home, he or she is another good resource you may want to consult regarding Jewish residents.

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