What does a traditional Jewish burial actually mean?This section provides an overview of Jewish funeral traditions.
TAHARA • TACHRICHIM • ARON • SHOMER
TAHARA – Traditional preparation of the deceased.
If the family wishes, there may be the Tahara, the ritual washing and purification.
TACHRICHIM – Traditional burial garments.
The simple white garment is meant to signify that we are all equal in death and we are judged on our merits and deeds, not material possessions.
ARON – Traditional wooden casket.
The wooden casket is designed to respectfully transfer the deceased to the cemetery for burial. Traditional caskets are only made from wood with not metal in their ornamentation or construction and are never manufactured on Shabbat or any of the Holidays.
SHOMER – Traditional Guardian
Some families wish to have a Shomer, the Hebrew word for “guard”, to sit with the deceased until the time of the funeral. The shomer recites psalms and prayers for the deceased and may also study Torah on their behalf.