Funerals & Bereavement
The loss of a loved one is amongst life’s most difficult times. Throughout the mourning process, Jewish tradition offers comfort and guidance.
Funeral and Burial
A Jewish funeral and burial are customarily held as soon after death as possible. During the funeral, prayers and poems from Jewish tradition are read. It is also customary for representatives of the family and the rabbi to eulogize the deceased. Following the graveside ceremony, mourners traditionally place soil on the casket as a final gesture of care and respect. We are grateful to have in our community Sinai Memorial Chapel, a non-profit Jewish burial home. For more than a hundred years, Sinai Memorial Chapel has been helping families with respect and compassion. In keeping with Jewish teachings, funeral arrangements are to be guided by the principles of simplicity and dignity.
Following burial, the family traditionally observes a period of shivah. During shivah, daily worship is held in the mourner’s home, with friends and community members coming together to form a minyan or prayer quorum. In addition to the daily prayers, including the Mourner’s Kaddish, it is customary to include in the brief service the El Malei Rachamim prayer as well as appropriate readings from Psalms. It is appropriate for a Jewish mourner to observe shivah for both Jewish and non-Jewish relatives. Shivah minyans are led by Shir Hadash clergy and lay leaders.
The yahrzeit, or anniversary of a loved one’s death, is observed with the lighting of a memorial candle and the saying of the Mourner’s Kaddish. On the Shabbat prior to the yahrzeit, the names of Shir Hadash member’s loved ones are read aloud during community worship prior to the recitation of the Mourner’s Kaddish. The names of Jewish and non-Jewish relatives may be included in the yahrzeit list.