Burial, Shiva and Yartzheit
From the Moment of Death
From the moment of death until a body is buried Jewish law and custom are focused on honoring the deceased. The body is ritually washed and watched over until the moment of burial, which takes place as quickly as possible. Jewish tradition includes burial in the ground, and our clergy do have a policy on cremation and interment in a mausoleum. While we will always assist your family in the bereavement process, our clergy do not officiate at cremations or memorial services following cremations. For interment in a mausoleum, while we will not officiate at the funeral itself, we will participate in a memorial service following this type of burial.
Rabbi Sultar will discuss mourning customs, and you will decide to what extent you would like to observe certain customs. Shiva, which is traditionally observed for seven days, is very helpful to most individuals and families in beginning the grieving process in community. Our Ritual Committee will provide you with prayer books, kippot (head coverings), and traditional mourning chairs, and leadership for shiva minyanim in your home.
Beyond the week of shiva, many Congregation B'nai Jacob members who have gone through the mourning process have found great comfort and strength in attending the daily minyan in order to say kaddish among a community of individuals who understand the meaning of loss and mourning. We invite you to join us at these minyanim. Please see the Event Calendar on this website for times and locations.
If you have a yahrzeit (an anniversary of a death), we have a daily minyan so that you can say Kaddish in memory of our loved one.
The Jewish tradition for helping individuals and families through the bereavement process is well developed and wise. From the funeral through shiva through the year of mourning andyahrzeits, Jewish rituals of death and bereavement help guide us through terrible moments of loss and towards healing.