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Jewish Death Topics

The flow of events around death generally follows this general path in the Jewish world:

  1. Making arrangements for a pending death
  2. Illness or injury
  3. Dying and death
  4. Between death and burial
  5. Preparation of the body for burial
  6. Funeral and burial
  7. Mourning

There are local customs and many variations of the above, of course, depending on circumstances. In order to present what is traditionally done for a Jewish death, the following topics are included in the Hineni tool, listed in approximate chronological order of need based on the above progression.

Big picture and making plans for death:

Jewish Death Practices – an overview, the big picture

Preplanning for Death – an overview of what’s involved in thinking ahead about death

Approaching death:

Bikur Cholim – visiting those who are ill: comforting the sick and dying

Vidui – deathbed confession: who it’s for, what’s it about

Between death and burial:

Shmirah – comforting the soul between death and burial: how it’s done, who it’s for

Taharah – respectful preparation of the body for burial: what’s involved in this

Caskets and Garments – what is traditionally used for Jewish burial and why

Funeral, burial, and mourning:

Kriah – the tearing of garments as a sign of grief: how this is done today

Jewish Funeral – what is involved today

Jewish Mourning – big picture overview of Jewish mourning practices

Burial and Disposition – choices in today’s world and traditional Jewish practices

Jewish Cemetery – what makes a cemetery Jewish, why it matters

Important related topics:

Afterlife in Judaism – traditional views of the afterlife and how this is reflected in our rituals

Chevrah Kadisha – what this organization is and how it is involved in Jewish death practices