What is the Chevra Kadisha?

A not-for-profit organization dedicated to the mitzvah of providing Jewish burial preparation

Providers of Tahara – the sacred Jewish tradition that respects the body & elevates the soul

MAKE YOUR BURIAL WISHES KNOWN.

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Because death is
not
the end.

According to Jewish faith, YOU are really your neshama (soul) housed temporarily within your body.

Death is the transition of you leaving the body you have dwelled in during your lifetime.

After death, although you are no longer inside your body, you hover near it. You are able to see, think, feel and experience emotion.

You are on your way to the Next World, but can’t depart until your body is buried.

Halacha (Jewish Law) dictates that we protect your feelings and dignity by properly preparing and burying your body according to Jewish customs.

Because death is
not
the end.

According to Jewish faith, YOU are really your neshama (soul) housed temporarily within your body.

Death is the transition of you leaving the body you have dwelled in during your lifetime.

After death, although you are no longer inside your body, you hover near it. You are able to see, think, feel and experience emotion.

You are on your way to the Next World, but can’t depart until your body is buried.

Halacha (Jewish Law) dictates that we protect your feelings and dignity by properly preparing and burying your body according to Jewish customs.

Tahara is traditional Jewish burial preparation. Tahara is performed with reverence, respecting the life lived by the deceased and with the recognition that the soul of the deceased is still present. The goal is to return the body to its most natural state, similar to when it entered the world. The body is first gently cleaned and then immersed in a mikvah or alternatively washed with a continuous flow of water when a mikvah is unavailable. The body is then dressed in traditional linen shrouds made of all natural fibers. Tefilos/Prayers for both the deceased and the Jewish nation are recited throughout the process.

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Tahara – Respecting the Deceased & Elevating the Soul

Tahara – Respecting the Deceased & Elevating the Soul

Tahara is traditional Jewish burial preparation. Tahara is performed with reverence, respecting the life lived by the deceased and with the recognition that the soul of the deceased is still present. The goal is to return the body to its most natural state, similar to when it entered the world. The body is first gently cleaned and then immersed in a mikvah or alternatively washed with a continuous flow of water when a mikvah is unavailable. The body is then dressed in traditional linen shrouds made of all natural fibers. Tefilos/Prayers for both the deceased and the Jewish nation are recited throughout the process.

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Other Jewish Burial Laws & Customs

One of the greatest mitzvot of the Torah is to bury a fellow Jew, a responsibility we take very seriously.

As such, there are numerous laws governing this sacred mitzvah ensuring the dignity of the deceased. For example, men care for men, women care for women, and meticulous steps are taken to protect the modesty of the deceased.

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From the moment of death to the conclusion of burial, the body is never left alone.

Once a body is deceased it can no longer protect itself. It still deserves respect and companionship to protect it and ensure it is treated properly until it is safely placed in its final resting area.

Arrangements for a shomer or guard are made. These watchmen stay with the body day and night, reciting passages from the Book of Psalms. This lends great comfort to the neshama(soul) while it waits for the body’s burial and its ascent to the Eternal World to Come.

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Allowing the body’s natural return to dust to be as swift as possible.

“For dust you are, and to dust you shall return.” Genesis 3:19

“The dust returns to the earth… and the spirit returns to G-d who gave it.” Ecclesiastes 12:7

These biblical teachings are what guide us in selecting a casket. The goal is to allow the body to return to the natural elements as quickly as possible. Therefore, the casket should be made of plain wood without any metal or synthetic materials. Caskets remain closed because viewing the body is considered disrespectful and undignified according to Jewish custom.

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The natural decomposition of the body is of utmost importance in Jewish Law

The soul’s return to heaven is dependent upon the body’s return to the ground. It is a kindness to the deceased to allow this process to happen as quickly as possible. To that end, Jewish Law requires immediacy of burial and forbids any interference in the body’s return to the natural elements, including embalming and mausoleums.

Cremation is unequivocally forbidden and considered a savage form of indignity to the body. The only acceptable burial is directly in the ground, with family members and friends helping to fill the grave completely until a mound is formed.

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Considering Cremation?

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