What to Expect at a Jewish Funeral

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This is part of a short series on personal conduct at a Jewish funeral.


Lavaya is the Hebrew word for funeral. Lavaya means ‘to accompany’. 

On the occasion of a Jewish funeral the family and community accompany the deceased to their final resting place.  Family and community participate in the funeral – not the rabbi who guides the proceedings or the cemetery workers who prepare for it.

This two-minute video explains the funeral ceremony and some of its religious and ceremonial meaning. It’s useful information for non-Jews as well, since the community plays an important part.

Depending upon local custom a funeral may be held at a private home, a funeral home, a synagogue, cemetery, graveside or any combination of places.  There’s no standard form for a funeral ceremony apart from scripture readings, a eulogy and a memorial prayer.

Respect and dignity are always key portions of any funeral.

Written by Richard J. Paracka

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