Death And The After Life Essay

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Death and dying is experienced by every person in every culture. No one escapes death, but the ways that the following cultures view death, mourning and the after-life are very different. This paper will explore the different death and dying cultures of Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam. Each of these cultures shares a unique perspective on death that has withstood centuries of living.

The Jewish culture is very traditional and orthodox. In Judaism, death is not a tragedy, even when it occurs early in life or through unfortunate circumstances. Death is a natural process. Our deaths, like our lives, have meaning and are all part of God’s plan. Jews have a firm belief in an afterlife, and this will be awarded to those who have lived a worthy life. Mourning practices in Judaism are extensive, but they are not an expression of fear or distaste for death. Jewish practices relating to death and mourning have two purposes: to show respect for the dead, and to comfort the living.
After a person dies, the eyes are closed, the body is laid on the floor and covered, and candles are lit next to the body. The body is never left alone until after burial, as a sign of respect. Most communities have an organization to care for the dead, known as the chevra kaddisha (the holy society). These people are volunteers. The presence of a dead body is considered a source of ritual impurity. For this reason, a priest may not be in the presence of a

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