Adat Jewish Funerals Handbook

Adonai, our Creator, has given us the ability and desire to love. As a result, special bonds are formed with people, family, and others so that when a loved one or a friend dies, we feel sorrow and grief. This is a normal and healthy reaction to grief and we should not to fight the normal reaction to this type of loss.

When death overtakes a loved one, life seems empty and the future dark because death simply transcends and defies human comprehension. The question is asked “What can we know of death, we who cannot understand life?”

Jewish tradition has a deep understanding with sad times in our lives and has outlined ways to deal with death and its grief. Jewish tradition regards death as an inevitable part of life itself. “What man can live life and not see death…?” (Psalm 89:49)

This booklet was written to provide an understanding of customs as observed by Adat HaTikvat Tzion’s Chevra Kadisha. A Chevra Kadisha (Holy Society) traditionally supervises funerals in Jewish communities, consisting of volunteers who aid the bereaved and ensure that appropriate practices are followed. It also follows the Jewish methods instead of the Christian tradition for funeral and burial methodology.