Paying respects to the elderly is one of the key values that Judaism teaches. When people pass away, it’s important for family members and friends to honor their memory and time on this earth appropriately — both when visiting the Jewish monument and on holidays.

The Jewish mourning and burial process is coordinated to help family members grieving a loss overcome this grief in a manner synonymous with their faith. Because of this, the funeral and burial normally take place immediately after death. In this blog post, we’ll discuss standard Jewish funeral etiquette, and how you can best comfort grieving friends or family after burial with the Jewish monument.

How Should You Dress for a Jewish Funeral?

Like other funeral principles, dressing appropriately is a crucial part of showing your respect for the loss. Traditionally, people attending a Jewish funeral wore only black clothing. However, over the years some families have grown more lax with regard to this policy. When attending a Jewish funeral, men should generally wear a suit, or slacks with a button-down shirt. While the clothing doesn’t necessarily need to be black, it should be a darker color.

Wearing a head covering is also a sign of respect. Most temples have yarmulkes (or skull caps) available for mourners who don’t have their own. Women, on the other hand, should also dress in darker colors. Suits are a common choice, as are skirts, blouses, and conservative dresses. The customs for funeral attire can vary depending on the house of worship and mourning family. If you’re curious about what’s appropriate, contact a member of the family or somebody close to them. The same rules apply to the unveiling ceremony.

people holding hands during difficult time

Offer Words Of Comfort

When attending a Jewish funeral, be sure to have a comforting presence, especially toward the family. Giving your condolences to the family of the deceased is one of the best ways to show that you fully support them. Expressing what the deceased meant to you, or even sharing a simple memory can help them during this difficult time.


General Funeral Conduct Tips

In Judaism, cemetery etiquette is paramount. So, be sure to arrive early, or at the very least, on time. Arriving late can be a distraction for others in attendance. Also, be sure to remain silent and don’t talk during a Jewish funeral.

While you should offer words of condolence, be sure that you’re not speaking out of turn. For example, if someone is reciting a reading or leading those gathered in the Kaddish prayer, then take care to remain silent. The same rules also apply to people who are near the Jewish monument.

Send a Gift to the Family

After a loved one passes, most close family members are busy making arrangements for the funeral. So, they likely won’t have time to take care of standard household duties or activities.

As a friend or close family member, you can pitch in by contributing to these day-to-day needs. One easy way to do this is by cooking a meal for the grieving family.


The Meal of Consolation

The meal of consolation is a common tradition for Jewish people. The meal of consolation involves members of the community contributing food, which the family eats in the day or weeks following the funeral. You can also help the mourning family during this difficult time by offering a service.

For example, taking care of pets and cleaning the house are both time-consuming activities that you can take on. While the family may not feel inclined to accept the offer, this kind gesture will go a long way. Sending flowers or a donation to the family is another simple way to show your support.

woman bringing food to neighbor

Show Support During the Shiva

While separate from the funeral service itself, the shiva is another integral part of the Jewish mourning process. Once the deceased individual has been buried, the family proceeds to the Shiva home.

The Shiva is a time for distant family members, friends, and neighbors to pay their respects. Comforting the family and sharing pleasant stories about the deceased can go a long way in helping them overcome grief.


Jewish Monuments

Paying attention to these customs can go a long way in having a respectful presence. At Fox Monuments, our team’s committed to creating high-quality memorials that remain an enduring tribute to your loved one for many years to come.