Jewish Funeral and Mourning Customs

Sharon Ann Soudakoff

Jewish Funeral Customs
I have been to funerals for family members and friends who passed away. All funerals have different procedures depending on the deceased persons religion and desires. Each religion has its own customs. When my mother passed away recently, I became aware of my friends wanting to pay respect but felt awkward as to what customs and procedures were being used. Several readers suggested that an article be written in JDCC News on these customs and what readers need to be aware of.
Judaism, just like other religions, does have many laws and customs regarding funerals and mourning.
Which Family Members Mourn
Naturally everyone who knew the deceased person is in various degrees of mourning depending on the relationship with the person who passed away. Judaism, however, specifies seven immediate family members who are expected to directly observe the mourning period: the mother and father, son and daughter, brother and sister, (including half-brother and half-sister), and husband and wife.
Clothing And Mourning
These seven certain members of the family in mourning do not wear leather shoes, put on make up or use perfume, shave, take haircuts, or bathe, and no marital relationships take place. All mirrors in the house where the family is . . . . . .

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