The Funeral And Mourning Rituals Of Judaism

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How are the customary funeral and mourning rituals of Judaism, Protestant Christianity, Roman Catholicism, and Islam similar and different? Judaism and Islam have similar funeral practices. Both Islam and Judaism appoint the responsibilities of the burial of the deceased within their communities. Both traditions require the dead be buried as promptly as possible. It is for the body to be buried on the same day of the death. Islam and Judaism forbid embalming and routine autopsies as desecration of the dead. However, both religions consider organ donation as permissible. Muslims are strictly forbidden from the process of cremation, while Jewish rules on cremation can vary depending on the denomination. Conservative Jews oppose cremation while the process has become an increasingly more popular and acceptable practice among Reform Jews.
In both religions the body is considered sacred and handled with care. Muslims are obligated to perform a procedure known as ghusl, or washing, on the body of the deceased. This procedure should be done by community members of the same gender. A deceased man should be washed by a male relative and a deceased woman by a female relative. During the procedure all clothes are removed from the body leaving the private areas covered. The deceased is then washed three times with a combination of both water and scented oils. The body is then wrapped in a plain white cloth called a kafan. The kafan is composed of three pieces of material for men and a

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