Jewish Funeral Traditions Essay

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Jewish Funeral Traditions

At a Jewish funeral a candle is placed by the deceased and they are never left alone. The reason the body is not left alone is because the soul stays near the body after its separation and is aware of the love and respect for its body.

Shomrim, those who stay with the deceased, are assigned to stay and say prayers over the body on a 24-hour basis so that the holy prayers comfort the soul.

The body is cleansed, washed thoroughly from head to toe (Taharah). The faces of the deceased are not allowed to face down out of respect for the deceased. The body is then dried, everything is done by the members of the Burial Society and they also dress the deceased in a
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The funeral takes place in the cemetery grounds and stresses the merits of the deceased and a trust in God's justice.

In the service it is affirmed that one day god will conquer death,

"He maketh death to vanish in life external; and the lord God wipeth away tears from off all faces…" Isiah chapter 25 verse 8.

Everyone fulfils the mitzvah of taking the body to the grave and the body is buried in a single grave. The deceased closest relatives help bury the body they shovel a few shovelfuls of mud into the grave each. After the funeral in the hall, as a parting greeting to the mourners, people say "May God comfort you among those who mourn for Zion and for Jerusalem". This is also said by anyone who visits the mourners in the week after the funeral. A popular greeting is 2I wish you a long life".

When the mourners go back to their house they sit Shiva, they sit on low stools and recite Kaddish for seven days, it is called Shiva because Shiva means seven days.

Within the first year after the funeral a stone is put by the grave and every year on the anniversary of the deceased death a candle is lit which is called the Yorzeit candle.

B) Explain how belief in afterlife may influence the life of a Jew
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