Death & Mourning
Must I shovel dirt into the grave? Why is the coffin not opened for viewing at Jewish funerals? How do I let my friends know that donations to a favorite charity in memory of the deceased would be appreciated? We answer all basics about attending and planning a Jewish funeral.Read more
Preparing for Death
Much attention is paid to treating the dead (and even a dead body) with respect (k'vod ha-met) and to comforting mourners (nichum aveilim).
Jewish tradition invites us to think about our mortality long before our own deaths.
Some hasidic rebbes taught their disciples not only how to live, but also how to die.
On the Jewish custom of leaving a written spiritual legacy for one's children.
Traditional and liberal possibilities for this little-known practice
From planning, to funeral, to shiva and the year that follows.
This article, in question-and-answer format, addresses common questions about Jewish funeral customs.
Mourners, friends, and relatives accompany the deceased to the grave and help with the burial.
What do the stones symbolize? Where does the custom come from?
A Practical Guide to Preparations for Jewish Burial and Mourning
Jewish mourning customs reflect the natural course of grief and recovery following the death of a loved one.
Shiva is observed in the home as an intensive mourning period for close relatives.
During shiva the entire physical environment of the mourner is transformed to acknowledge the immediacy of death.
Because a shiva call requires total sensitivity to the needs of the mourner, the tradition mandates appropriate behaviors for the visitor.
Getting up and walking around the block marks the end of a week of mourning.
Death is not a counterpoint or contradiction to life, but a profound teacher about the meaning of human existence.
The Kaddish is recited in a prayer service, on a daily or weekly basis, after the death of a close relative.
The yahrzeit is a time of remembering the dead by reciting the Kaddish, lighting a 24-hour candle, and remembering the person who has died.
Jews are commanded to honor their parents while they are alive and to continue to show respect when they die--by mourning for nearly a year.
Customs surrounding the Jewish grave show honor toward the deceased and reflect the teaching that all are equal in death.