Death in the Jewish Religion

In: Religion Topics

Submitted By blaine
Words 1628
Pages 7
“Just as there is a Jewish way of life, there is a Jewish way of death.”
When a loved one dies, we feel sadness and grief. Every religion and/or culture has customs and practices when it comes to dealing with death and mourning of our loved ones. The Jewish people have several which will be discussed in detail. Russian Jews also follow the same customs with slight adjustments.
From the time of death until the burial, the deceased is never left alone as a sign of respect. This period of time is called aninut. A person (shomer) is chosen to watch over the body and recite Psalms until the burial service. “This person can not eat, drink, or perform a commandment in the presence of the dead. To do so would be considered mocking the dead, because the dead can no longer do these things.”
The eyes of the deceased are closed and the body is laid on the floor and covered. Before the funeral service, the body must be purified (tahara). The body is washed thoroughly of dirt, body fluids, and anything else that may be on the skin. The body is then dressed in a white cloth-like material called shrouds (takhrikhin). “All Jews are buried in the same type of garment, regardless of wealth, profession, or position in society as all are equal before God.” The color white represents purity and has been referred to as the national color of early Jews.
The Russian-American Jewish community which are mostly reformed Jews usually do not have anyone watching over the deceased. At the time of death, the funeral home is notified and the body is taken to the morgue. A purification ritual is not performed nor is the body covered in shrouds. Usually the deceased is dressed in formal dress attire.
Jewish law forbids the mutilating of the body; for this reason, autopsies are forbidden. Autopsies are only permitted if law enforcement requires it. Jewish law also forbids…...

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