mourningcustoms

Guidance for Jewish funeral customs and traditions

This section is a general guide to Jewish customs and traditions regarding funerals, mourning rituals, and associated practices. There are many varying customs, and one should always follow one’s legitimate family or community practices. Always consult your Rabbi for personal guidance and to answer questions related to Jewish law, practice and tradition.

Part of the greatness of Judaism is the fact that it affords us concrete ways of working through our grief while, at the same time, allowing us to demonstrate our respect and affection for those, now gone, whose lives touched ours with love and caring. Most often, as we act on those mitzvot, we ease our pain and sadness as well.

This section is by no means exhaustive. Should you wish to delve further into the customs and ceremonies described herein, please consult your Rabbi.


Jewish Funeral Terms & Practices

For greater understanding, view our list of Jewish funeral words and definitions.

stagesofmourning

Stages of Mourning

Read through the steps of mourning which delineates from traditional Judaism.

Funeral Service & Cemetery

See common questions and answers about the service and cemetery.

Shiva

Learn about the first stage that leads mourners back into life of the living.

mealofconsolation

Meal of Consolation

Read the facts on the first meal served to mourners.

Condolence Calls

Learn how and when to comfort those who have lost a loved one.

The Minyan & the Kaddish

See common questions and answers about these two prayers.

Sheloshim

Check out the information we’ve gathered about the 30-day mourning period.

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Monuments

View monuments and markers, an important part of the Jewish tradition.

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The Unveiling

Read what the unveiling (hakamat hamatzeivah) is and why it’s done.

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