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…...

Similar Documents

Andersen Jewish Maiden

...April, 2012 Image of Jewish Women’s Identity in 19th Century Denmark Imagine, how bad can a person’s life be? How about being in the lower class in society, struggling mentally, and being tortured by one’s own identity both sexually and racially? In Hans Christian Andersen’s tale, “The Servant,” the protagonist, named Sara, lives exactly such an unpleasant life. In this paper, Jewish identity, the role of women in 19th century Christian Denmark, and how these two identities intersect will be analyzed. In this tale, Andersen uses the dichotomy of “Deity and Death” to portrait the life of the unique character with both Jewish identity and female identity in 19th Century Denmark. In “The Servant,” Sara’s Jewish identity makes her unable to “formally” accept or be assimilated into Christianity, though she is pro-Christian in her heart. “I can no longer be a silent spectator of the gleaming eyes of the child, and of her deep and earnest longing for the words of the Gospel,’ said the teacher.” (Andersen 488) Sara is forbidden to become a Christian because of her parents’ intervention, especially her mother’s will. Why Sara’s family leaves Sara such a heavy burden? How does Jewish culture relate to Jewish beliefs? What is the idea Andersen trying to express behind? The religious belief among the Jews is so unique that they define how their religion is long time ago. Judaism is the religion, philosophy, and way of life of the Jewish people.......

Words: 2800 - Pages: 12

Religion

...The religions of Christianity, founded, by Jesus and Islam founded by Muhammad are the two largest religions that influence world. We will cover how they lived, how they influenced society, how they are worshipped, and how their message has been carried out. Jesus, according to religious writings, was born of woman but conceived of God, referred to as the "Virgin birth" in the Bible. Before Jesus was born his family, Mary and Joseph, were traveling to Bethlehem for census, which Caesar Augustus had decreed that all people be numbered, effecting better taxation. Jesus was born in Bethlehem but grew up in Nazareth little is known about Jesus' childhood or if he had wives or children (Fisher, 2005). Although there are records of his traveling to the Holy city of Jerusalem at the age of twelve, his ministry seems to have begun around the age of thirty years old and ended at roughly thirty-four years old in his death by crucifixion. Jesus' death which was carried out at the hands of Roman leaders who felt he was a radical and would cause the people to rise up against the Roman government. According to religious text (the Bible), three days after his death Jesus was resurrected arose from the dead, later ascending to heaven. For all accounts, the life of Jesus was a peaceful one that fulfilled Old Testament prophecies of the Jewish faith. Muhammad received revelations from God, referred to as Allah; these revelations recorded in the Qur’an, holy text of the Islamic religion.......

Words: 1364 - Pages: 6

Religion, Culture and Death

...Religion, Culture, and Death The five religions discussed during this week’s seminar have many similarities, and just as many differences, in relation to their specific views on death, dying, bereavement and grieving. Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism all contain their own system of beliefs and traditions that members use in order to deal with impending death. Judaism is the oldest of the three monotheistic religions that stems from the Middle East and follows the teachings of Abraham and Moses. Judaism believes that death was a direct consequence of Adam and Eve eating from the forbidden “Tree of Conscience” (Leming, 2011). There are several branches of Judaism throughout the world: Orthodox Judaism, Hasidism, Neo-Orthodox Judaism, Reform Judaism, Conservative Judaism, and Reconstructionist (Wilkinson, 2008). All of these sects of Judaism can have very different traditions in regard to the treatment of the deceased’s body. Under the old Jewish tradition, the body of the deceased must be buried as soon as possible after death, within twenty-four hours if possible, although the burial cannot happen on the Sabbath. Before burial, the body is washed, anointed with oils and spices, and dressed in a white linen sheet after which it is buried in Jewish consecrated ground. More contemporary Jews are more likely to choose cremation over burial. Jews have a multi-tiered morning practice. For the first seven days after the......

Words: 1224 - Pages: 5

Jewish Hoilday

...Jewish Holy Day Passover Wileena Love REL/134 9/20/13 What is Passover? It is the 8th day of a Jewish Holiday early in the spring that happens on 15th and 22nd of Nissan. Passover comes from the slavery that the Israelites went through in Egypt. Jews come together and experience true freedom that their ancestors went through. This history starts off many decades ago when Israel’s were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt. God saw his people going through the pain and suffering and he heard their cry. So he sent Moses to set his people free, Pharaoh had another plan he refuses to let Gods people go. God sent upon 10 devastating plagues on Egypt clearing out everything including their homes. The Passover also symbolic of the death burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ the Messiah when the plagues took place in Egypt the Israelites were told to place blood over the door to protect them from the death angel which is called the Passover. The death angel went through Israel and killed the firstborn but skipped over the homes that had blood above it. Pharaoh was so brokenhearted and decided to let the people of Israel free but soon after he did that Pharaoh and his army went after Gods people. When Pharaoh trapped them at sea, God spoke to Moses telling him to stick his staff into the water which caused the water to part allowing all of Gods people to walk through on land. When Pharaoh and his army tried to go through the water came down back together causing Pharaoh and his army to...

Words: 768 - Pages: 4

Jewish

...“Parenting as a Religious Jewish Feminist” by Haviva Ner- David Haviva Ner-David’s, the writer of “Parenting as a Religious Jewish Feminist,” talks about the tallit (prayer shawl) and the tefillin (little boxes strapped onto the arm and forehead that contain scriptural passages), both traditionally worn by only men for prayer, which she believes enhances her perception of God and the sanctity of her own body. She mentions that in the bible Michael the daughter of King Saul and the first wife of King David “Wore tefillin and Sages did not protest her action.” It was most commonly understood that the Rabbis exempted women from performing certain time bound mitzvoth, such as putting on tefillin, because women’s time belongs to others their children and their husbands. As a mother of four with Michal being the oldest she talks about how she takes being a Jewish mother seriously. She introduces her children to Toraah and Mitzvot with love. She does not want Michal to grow up feeling as a Jewish female, resentful of her religion or marginalized and irrelevant all of which she often felt as a child and young woman. David goes on about how she would love to see her children adopt the values that she had chosen for herself meaning seeing her daughter pray with tefillin, and hear her son tell her that he refuses to say bracha thanking God for not having created him a woman. Michal and her other daughters may decide to follow in her religious feminist path or may not. As a mother......

Words: 659 - Pages: 3

Religions

...Among the five great religions to which nearly nine-tenths of present-day humanity belong, Buddhism and Christianity have been the most frequent subjects of comparison. And rightly so. Because, together with Islam, and unlike Hinduism and Chinese universism, they are “world religions,” that is to say, forms of belief that have found followers not merely in a single though vast country, but also in wide regions of the world. Buddhism and Christianity, however, differ from Islam in so far as, unlike the latter, they do not stress the natural aspects of world and man, but they wish to lead beyond them. A comparison between Buddhism and Christianity, however, proves so fruitful mainly because they represent, in the purest form, two great distinctive types of religion which arose East and West of the Indus valley. For two millennia, these religious systems have given the clearest expression of the metaphysical ideas prevalent in the Far East and in the Occident, respectively. The similarities between these two religions extend, if I see it rightly, essentially over three spheres: (1) the life history of the founder; (2) ethics; and (3) church history. 1. The biographies of Buddha and Christ show many similar features. Both were born in a miraculous way. Soon after their birth, their future greatness is proclaimed by a sage (Asita, Simeon). Both astonish their teachers through the knowledge they possess, though still in their early childhood. Both are...

Words: 615 - Pages: 3

Jewish Culture - Grief & Loss

...Jewish Culture Although all people experience death, dying and bereavement in all cultures, everyone’s dying process is unique and different. Some people may think of dying as a physical process, but dying is an experience of the whole person and is influenced by a combination of physical, psychological, social, cultural, and spiritual factors. Culture, identity and personal beliefs all have a profound impact on an individual’s choices in the context of dying process. Ethnicity, cultural differences, religion, personal beliefs, individual preferences and choices etc can all affect care needs and social practice at the end of life. People’s experiences of illness and death, as well as beliefs about the appropriate role of healers, are profoundly influenced by patient’s cultural background. This assignment will provide a brief discussion of the beliefs, customs and rituals associated with death, dying and the grieving process in the Jewish culture and discuss the associated theoretical principles of a grief and loss theorist named J. W. Worden. Also while discussing the challenges in applying this theory to the Jewish culture, in an acute care setting. Jewish cultural beliefs have developed a traditional system of mourning concerning death and burial. The Jewish community views deaths as an ending of life, rather than as a beginning of another. Jewish funeral and mourning rituals are centered around respect for the dead. The body is buried within 24-48 hours, so the soul......

Words: 2116 - Pages: 9

Jewish Death

...Introduction Death is a catastrophe of life, our culture, socio economics and religion affect the way which an individual approaches the death of a loved one. However, religion plays a central focus in people’s life. Religion helps to shape our thoughts as well as our beliefs and practices. Religion imbeds its values and ideologies in a person, whereas it teaches one morality and ethics to a high extent. In Judaism life is valued, however, when one dies there are customs that they adhere to during the time of bereavement. This paper will analyze the profound impact of how religion plays an imperative role in funeral practices that are performed by Jews. This paper also aims to highlight how the Jewish community cope with the loss of loved one and how they prepare a loved one for burial .This paper will examine Jewish customs and laws concerning to death and mourning. In addition, it will focus on the post mourning procedure and methods. Statistics/ Jewish meaning of life & death The U.S. Census data in 2010 reported that nearly 2,468,435 died. The five leading cause of death includes heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, and accidents. The life expectancy at birth for all races and both sexes was 78.7 years in 2010. The study displayed that Hispanic females have the longest life expectancy of 83.7 years, followed by non-Hispanic white females with 81.1 years, Hispanic males 78.9 years, non-Hispanic black females 77.8 years, non-Hispanic white......

Words: 405 - Pages: 2

Religion

...one of the symbols most commonly associated with the Jewish people. Many Jews wear any jewelry with a star on it because it symbolizes that they are Jews.   This is the most important sacred text which is called the Torah. This is a book which is mostly read by Jewish people. It is composed of the Five Books of Moses and also contains the 613 commandments (mitzvot) and the Ten Commandments. The word Torah means to teach. This is a very important part of the Jewish religion. This piece of clothing is a Yakama. It symbolizes the humbling relationship between man and God. Man must never let his ego rise above a certain level, for he is and always shall be a creation of God, never better than.  Christianity This guy is Jesus he is known for the god of the religion Christianity. Jesus was the founder of their faith. He is a really important person because he died on the cross to pay for their sins and hence restored their relationship with god. This is a holy text called the bible. It is known as the book that is written 10,000 years ago. This book is to teach Christians how to live life in a moral way. The bible is also known as the word of god. All in all, the bible has the principles and guide rules on how to live a perfectly spiritual life and in the end make it to heaven. The cross is a representation of Christian faith. The cross was where Jesus died for the sins on mankind. It is a reminder that death comes to us all but through him there is hope for......

Words: 353 - Pages: 2

Jewish Mysticism

...Jewish Mysticism Essay #1 Reality is an illusion; the world around us is created merely by our reaction to its existence. Without the world, we would have no perception of its being, and without perception, we would have no understanding of the world. Thus, reality exists outside of our human minds, and it is how we construct, through our senses, our surroundings and the roles we play within them that determine our beliefs, behaviors, and teachings. Through this lens, it is beneficial to view a society as a map, and its peoples’ practices, standards, and conduct as their means of direction, allowing them to transport to their designated place in society and perform tasks expected of them. However, a map only represents an abstraction of reality, portraying only the necessary points, lines, and information required to fulfill its purpose, and the directions used to travel this map are products of this abstraction. Similarly, people’s perception of the society they inhabit are abstract, and entirely dependent on the eyes of the perceivers; so, the norms regarding beliefs and behavior are also products of an abstraction, and can be adjusted in response to varying contexts. This assertion has arguably held true for all of time, and can help explain the indisputable relationship between religion, culture, and society that has materialized throughout history. In particular, the development and discourse of medieval Kabbalah is attributable to the cultural context of the medieval...

Words: 2796 - Pages: 12

Jewish

...Kadisha - The organization of Jewish men and women who see to it that the bodies of the Jews are prepared for burial according to Jewish tradition and are protected from desecration, willful or not, until burial. El Malei Rachamin - A funeral prayer used by the Ashkenazi Jewish community. Hasped - This word has direct physical meaning of "enclosed with a hasp" as thus used in Garth's 'Dispensary'. Kaddish - Hymm of praises to God found in the Jewish prayer service. Central theme is the magnification and sanctification of God's name. Kever - The custom of visiting the graveside of parents or close relatives and praying there. ( grave of the fathers) Kriah - Hebrew word meaning tearing. It refers to the act of tearing one's clothes of cutting a black ribbon worn on one's clothes. Levaya - Hebrew word for funeral. Menorah - A 9 branched candelabrum lit during the eight day holiday of Hanukkah. Mogen David -Means "shield of David" but is used to refer to the six pointed Star of David. Rabbi - Jewish scholar or teacher of the Torah. Meaning "My Master" Shabbat - Jewish day of rest and the seventh day of the week, on which religious Jews remember the Biblical creation of the heavens and the earth. Shivah- Jewish Sabath - Mourning period following the funeral and lasting for seven days, observed by Jews for a deceased parent, sibling, child, or spouse. Sholoshim - 30 day period of mourning Shomer - Jewish legal guardian, entrusted with...

Words: 526 - Pages: 3

Historical Background ( Jewish)

...statistics of the problem and/or sociology demographics features of the population selected. Major ethnic groups in US (Jewish) The Jewish nation was the most singular that was in the world and even negligible for political but in many ways is worthy of consideration for humanity. It is the only peoples who live scattered and without alliance with any nation are perpetuated between foreign and constitute a people apart from the rest of the world. Almost everyone who wrote the history of the origin of this nation have referred through miracles, everything is miraculous in it. What distinguishes the Jews from other nations is that their God is the only true, which it is not lawful for us to doubt. The Christian religion and the Muslim recognize the Jewish as their mother. Solomon's time was the most flourishing of the Jewish people, and all the kings of the world together could not hold an equivalent treasure possessed Solomon, his father was King David. When Solomon died twelve tribes that made up the nation were divided; it was torn in two small provinces kingdom, one Judah and the other Israel was called. Nine and a half tribes formed the Israelite province and half past two composed only of Judah. Then there was between the two provinces and implacable mutual hatred because although they were relatives and neighbors professing different religions. Jerusalem was sacked many times; was tax; slave; three times taken by Nebuchadnezzar and finally......

Words: 593 - Pages: 3

Jewish Sacred Texts

...Jewish Sacred Texts Week 5 04/24/2011 University of Phoenix Jewish Sacred Texts The HeBrew Bible or also known as the Jewish Sacred Text is a book of religion that the Jewish go by. This bible or sacred text is based upon them way that they live it involves things like: sickness, health, recovery, wisdom, medicine, and law. Their sacred text is arranged in accordance to this and it leads the way they live their lives. There are six different categories that their sacred text can be broken down to. Divine Healing: They believe that God has the powers to cause suffering and to heal suffering. They recite a prayer daily to help with heeling this can be done more often if someone is very ill. It is said that by using the prayer they are asking for assistance from God to heal the person and to conceder him or her worthy to continue their life. They pray on a daily basis for various different reasons. Some of the reasons that they pray for is for their health, wellness for a healthy baby, strength and calmness, and healing of the body and soul, sometimes is not only in prayer but also in a chant. Unlike some religions they do not participate in things like exorcisms, rites for restoring health, relics, or saints. Health Wisdom: Jewish religion centers itself about physical health and mental wellbeing they look to have long healthy lives. They believe that if you have a strong mind you can get over all of your health concerns. It is sort of like mind over matter the......

Words: 1054 - Pages: 5

Religion

...chief priests, who at that time were the Jewish representatives before the imperial power. They use to make a very serious interpretation of the Torah, without falling into the numerous anecdotal issues of the Pharisees, and therefore underestimating what those considered as the oral Torah. As opposed to the Pharisees, the Sadducees did not believe in life after death, nor shared their eschatological hopes. They did not enjoy popularity nor popular affection, which the Pharisees use to enjoy, but they had religious and political power, which use to make them very influential. Jews suffered from the Greek invasion in the fourth century BC. Since that historical fact, they were divided into at least two religious groups: Sadducees and Pharisees. While the Sadducees use to advocated a compromise between the Mosaic Law and the Greek customs and was represented mainly by priests, The Pharisees did not accept that "miscegenation." They had the support of most of the scribes and obtained the almost unanimous support of the Jewish people. As I said before, The Sadducees were usually rich and occupied prestigious positions in Israel, as the priest. They were also a majority in the Sanhedrin (council he thought matters of Jewish law and criminal justice in Judea and in other provinces). They had a great concern to abide by the decisions of Rome (which dominated Israel during that period), giving often more importance to politics than religion. The Sadducees were not well seen by......

Words: 671 - Pages: 3

Jewish Holy Day Paper

...these words what comes to mind: menorah, dreidel, and gelt? Hanukkah is known as the Feast of Lights or the eight-day Jewish celebration (Molloy, 2010). When the menorah is all-light up on the eighth day, what a beautiful sight. Hanukkah marks a great day in the Jewish history. Throughout this paper, the following will be cover in regards to Hanukkah: the time of year, historical origin, religious practice(s), and cultural differences in observance of this day. Hanukkah occurs during the early winter (Molloy, 2010). This year in 2012 Hanukkah will begin on the evening of December 8 and end on the evening of December 16 (History.com, 2012). Each year is different depending on the year. There are times that Hanukkah can land in late November and early December. Hanukkah dates back to 165 B.C. (Gitelman, Jan/Feb 1997), this is when the Second Temple was rededicated. The rededication of the Second Temple occurred in Jerusalem. This is what happens for Hanukkah to occur. Antiochus IV Epiphanies son of Antiochus III, the Seleucid king of Syria, wanted the Jews to discontinue their worship to one God. He wanted the Jews to worship the Greek Gods. During this time, he outlawed the Jewish religion. Many Jews were slaughter like the pigs that were sacrificed for Zeus as they overtook the Second Temple. Matthias the Jewish priest fought back until his death, his son Judah then took over and within two years was able to defeat Antiochus IV (History.com, 2012). That day......

Words: 719 - Pages: 3