The Components of a Jewish Funeral

  • Tahara (Ritual washing of the body) - Before the funeral, the body of the deceased is prepared for burial by the Chevra Kaddisha in accordance with Jewish law and tradition. This includes ritually washing and dressing the deceased while certain prayers are recited, and placing the body in a kosher casket. Men attend to men, and women to women.
  • Kriah (Rending of one's garments) - During the funeral service, the mourners recite a blessing and rend their garments in expression of grief. This includes one who lost a father, mother, spouse, son, daughter, brother, and sister.
  • Kavod (Paying Respects) - Accompanying the casket to its final resting place: This includes gathering at the funeral home or chapel, or at the gravesite prior to the burial, in order to recite Psalms and to speak of the merits of the deceased.
  • Kevurah (Burial) - Burial in a Jewish cemetery: This includes the recitation of Kaddish and other prayers by the mourners.
  • Nechama (Condolence) - Before leaving the gravesite, all present form a pathway comprised of rows through which the mourners will walk as they leave the gravesite. As they pass, the congregation console the mourners.