Explaining Death to Kids

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Upholding Ancient Rituals Affirms Judaic Heritage

Professionals at THE IRA KAUFMAN CHAPEL follow customs of spiritual guidance and observance that ancestors practiced throughout our history. Priorities are to comfort families, ease the grieving process and focus on a celebration of life. Our greatest assets are the traditions passed from generation to generation.

The Kaddish invokes a world of holiness and peace while reminding us of a central obligation of Jewish life: Tikkun Olam, healing the world. Tikkun Olam calls for making the world so holy that no gap separates our world and the world in which tikkun (healing) is realized. The Kaddish also reminds us of our obligation to continue the tasks of living, extending the values of those who have died and the obligation of Jews to choose life.

Chevra Kadisha (Holy Society)
This trained group prepares a body for burial according to traditional practice. This has long been regarded as the ultimate act of unselfishness. One of the most meaningful tasks performed by the Chevra Kadisha is the religious ritual of Taharah (purification). Taharah usually occurs the morning of a funeral and can best be described as a ritual bath. Taharahs are performed for men by men and for women by women. Following the recitation of prayers, required for taharah is a 2,000-year-old tradition of wrapping the deceased in Takhrikhin (shrouds) before placement in the casket.

Eretz Yisroel (Land of Israel)
As a further symbol of our oneness with God and with Israel, the Chevra Kadisha places Eretz Yisroel, ground soil from Israel, into the casket. This means the body will always be in contact with soil from the Holy Land. Many families provide soil or Jerusalem stones brought home from a visit to Israel, or we can supply the Eretz Yisroel connection to Judaic roots.

Click Here for a glossary of Jewish funeral and mourning rituals.