7 Jewish Funeral Terms That All Families Should Be Familiar With

Posted on June 24, 2019 by North Shore Memorial under Jewish Funeral Home
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Are you preparing to plan a traditional Jewish funeral with the assistance of a Jewish funeral home in Jericho, NY? If you’ve done it before, you might be familiar with all the different Jewish funeral terms that are going to get tossed your way. But if you’re a rookie when it comes to planning Jewish funerals, you might not know a lot of the terms that you hear. Here are 7 Jewish funeral terms you need to know before you get going.

Jewish funeral home in Jericho, NY

Aron

The aron is a term that’s used to refer to the casket for a Jericho, NY Jewish funeral. Jewish tradition calls for caskets used during Jewish funerals to be made entirely out of wood with no metal whatsoever on them. Jewish people believe that those who have died go through a process in which they return to the earth over time. This process can be slowed if a casket that’s not made out of wood is used.

Tachrichim

In other cultures, it’s not uncommon to see men and women dressed in suits and dresses when they’re placed into caskets. But in the Jewish faith, the dead are outfitted in burial attire called tachrichim. This attire consists of plain white shrouds that represent the equality among all those who have died.

K’riah

People who come to a Jewish funeral often take part in the rite of K’riah, which is a rendering of garments that occurs right before a funeral service is set to begin. Those who are mourning with the parents, spouses, siblings, and children of the deceased participate in this rite prior to the actual funeral service beginning.

Taharah

Before a person can be buried after their death, it’s customary for their bodies to be cleaned according to a strict set of standards established by Jewish law. These standards calls for a person’s body to go through taharah, which is a purification process that prepares the body for burial. It’s designed to show the ultimate respect to a person who has passed away.

Shmirah

According to Jewish law, a deceased person’s body is not to be left alone prior to their burial. There needs to be someone with them at all times so that they’re not unattended at any point. This act of looking over a person’s body prior to their burial is referred to as shmirah.

Shivah

Following a person’s burial, their immediate family goes through a week-long period of mourning called shiva. It starts right after the burial takes place and features people visiting the family to give them their condolences and lend their support. There is also another commonly used Jewish funeral term shloshim that refers to the first 30 days after a person’s death. During that time period, grieving families may get back to work and school but cannot participate in social activities or other forms of entertainment.

Yahrzeit

Jewish people make it a special point not to forget those who have passed away. They hold what’s known as yahrzeit every year, which is an acknowledgement of the anniversary of the death of a person. On this day, they light a yahrzeit candle that burns for 24 hours and recite the Kaddish.

If you need help mapping out Jericho, NY funeral arrangements for your loved one, North Shore Memorial Chapel & Graveside Service, Inc. is a Jewish funeral home that can provide you with assistance. Contact us at (516) 621-8832 today to get started or stop by 75 Mineola Ave., Roslyn Heights, NY 11577 to sit down with a funeral director.

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