Jewish Funeral (Explained)

Funerals are an emotional time for friends and family.

In Judaism, there are different Jewish Laws and Customs surronding funerals.

Allow us to explain these all to you:

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Funeral Process

A Jewish Funeral will occur 24-72 hours after the individual passes away.

Jews do not cremate the body.

Once the loved one has passed, Jews will call Chevra Kadisha to come and prepare the Jewish Body for Burial.

Who are Chevra Kadisha?

Chevra Kadisha means Burial Society.

These societies exist across the world to assist in proper Jewish Burials according to Jewish Law.

Preparing for Jewish Burial

The body of the deceased is washed by Chevra Kadisha to ensure it is cleansed properly.

Once it has been cleansed, Chevra Kadisha will dress the deceased in a plain white shroud (Tachrichim).

Shemira is the guarding of the Jewish deceased body up until it is buried in the ground.

It is the relatives responsiblity to guard the body up until burial.

However, there are Shomrim (plural of men + women) who perform Shemira on behalf of the relatives.

There are charities that provide Shomrim and accept donations as a form of payment.

Shomrim can be paid as this Mitzvah of watching over the deceased is relieving the burden of the relatives responsiblity.

Jewish Funeral

Jewish friends and family of the community will be notified of the funeral and will attend wearing formal clothing.

Men will wear a head covering (Kippur) at the funeral.

The Jewish Funeral is not the time to be approaching the family members to comfort them.

There is a guest book at the where you can write down to show that you attended but the Shiva, which will be explained later on, is where you visit the mourners in their home to comfort them.

The funeral will be around 45 minutes long. Sometimes slightly shorter, sometimes slightly longer.

It is common sense to talk quietly if you see someone you know at the funeral and respect the family who are mourning.

Orthodox Jewish Men who wear Tzitzit are instructed to tuck them into their trousers to avoid making any Jewish Souls jealous that they can no longer do the 10 commandments in Heaven.

When leaving the Jewish Cemetery, it is a Jewish Custom to wash your hands.


The Shiva happens after the funeral.

It is a seven day mourning period where the family will stay at either the deceased home or the family relatives home and Pray.

During the 7 day period, there are three daily Prayer services that happen and the local Shul that the family belong too will make sure that there are at least 10 Jewish Adult Men to attend in order to form a Minyan.

When friends come to visit the mourning family during Shiva, it is important to wait for the mourner to approach them. They can still come into their home, however it would be expected that you give the mourner space and if they want to approach you then they will.

During the 7 day period, the family are meant to confront the fact of death. Therefore, they must not shave, take a relaxing bath or engage in any physical intamicy during mourning.

Stone Setting

There is a Jewish Custom that after the one year of mourning is finished, the Jewish family will have a stone setting ceremony to commemorate the loved one who died.

Stone setting ceremonies may be arranged for around 6-12 months after the passing. It will vary for each family.


Following on from the passing, every year the Jewish family will light a Yahrzeit Candle on the day that the deceased left the Earth.

A Yahrzeit Candle burns for 24 hours and is used to honor the loved ones' death.

Visiting The Jewish Grave

When visiting the Jewish Grave, it is a Jewish Custom to put a stone on the Grave.

When the Jew dies, a part of their soul still remains at the Grave so putting a stone on the grave comforts the Soul.

It was difficult writing this article.

We hope it helped answer questions surronding Jewish Funerals.

Judaism does believe in an afterlife, however this is a whole article in itself that we will cover.

Till next time.


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