Before DeathIn the Jewish faith, there are several prayers in place for life’s specific moments and milestones. One of these is right before a loved one’s death. After informing a rabbi of someone’s failing health, the rabbi will generally come to provide advice. Essentially, they’ll experience the positive effects of the rabbi’s presence before selecting a Jewish headstone. This is not solely for the dying individual, but also for their family members, who are obviously experiencing a range of mixed emotions. This meeting relieves the dying person of any unresolved grievances, so that they may pass on peacefully. Additionally, it’s traditional for the rabbi to lead the dying individual in the Vidui. This confessional prayer allows them to express regret for all of their sins, prior to entering the afterlife.
After DeathTraditionally, the rabbi leads those assembled in the “True Judge” prayer. During this prayer, the family aims to help their loved one transition into the afterlife. This prayer is one of the most meaningful, especially before the Jewish headstone’s placement. However, some choose to perform this particular prayer at the funeral instead. Another principle that’s prominent within Jewish burial is that of the protector. Shemira, which is Hebrew for guarding, requires friends to maintain a steady watch over the body. They must maintain this observation from the time of death through the burial, reciting psalms and other important Jewish readings. In doing so, they can ensure that the body is untainted and not disturbed. Non-family members generally compose the shomer. When the family cannot find enough shomers, the rabbi will make arrangements.
Jewish Funeral Services
BurialOnce the funeral is over, the family, mourners and rabbi relocate to the burial site. Here, the rabbi again leads the group in prayer. The Mourner’s Kaddish, which is a way to offer praise and gratitude to God, is important throughout the grieving process. The rabbi generally leads this process. Once this ceremony has concluded, the casket goes into the ground, beneath the Jewish headstone. Family members generally participate through the symbolic gesture of throwing dirt into the grave.
After the Burial
Monument Unveiling CeremonyDuring the Yahrzeit, or one year after a loved one’s passing, the family participates in the monument unveiling process, or the “unveiling ceremony.” This tradition stems from a time when elaborate headstones were common, and others came to respect the hard work of masons and craftsmen. The rabbi again joins the family and delivers prayers from the book of Psalms. Additionally, the rabbi may deliver another eulogy in commemoration of the deceased individual.
Jewish Headstones – From Fox Monuments Long Island
At Fox Monuments, our goal is to streamline the monument purchasing process for all families in mourning. Our staff will guide you through each step, so that you can find the perfect solution for your loved one. Contact us to begin the Jewish headstone purchasing process.