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Traditional Rituals

Parkside Memorial Chapels provides all Jewish funeral services. We conduct funerals for Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist plus all other Jewish sects. Any funeral options and merchandise that is necessary is available for a meaningful funeral for your loved one. Continue staying online. Below is a list of the Jewish customs that are related to the Jewish funeral service.

SHMIRA/THE VIGIL

From the moment of death to the moment of burial the body is never left alone. It is customary that when you and your family wish to engage a Shomer (watcher), you let one of our directors know, and we will be in touch with the Chevra Kadisha (burial society) to facilitate that service for you.

TAHARA/PURIFICATION

“The body leaves the world the way it entered”

When a newborn comes into this world, the baby is cleaned and washed. When a person passes away, the preparation is known as Tahara which in Hebrew means purification. When the Tahara is preformed, it is usually done by the Chevra Kadisha (burial society). When the body is dressed, it is done according to Jewish law and customs. When the body is present, according to Jewish law, cosmetzing or any other means of preserving the body like embalming are not supposed to be performed and are contrary to Jewish law.

TACHRICHIM/THE SHROUD

The Shroud is the traditional garment that is used to dress the body by the Chevra Kadisha (burial society). The clothing is supposed to be white and is usually made from linen. The clothing has many different facets, like a hat, shirt, pants, shoes, coat and a belt. There are no pockets because the person, according to Jewish law, is not supposed to take any items or articles with them to the grave. The white color represents simplicity like all Jewish people should be buried, and the Shrouds replicate the uniform that was worn by the high priests in the temple on Yom Kippur before G-D.

ARON/COFFIN

The coffin, also known as a casket, according to Jewish law, should be made entirely of wood and should have no metal material. There is nothing in the Bible that insinuates that the casket be made of pine. However, the casket should not be ornate in any fashion and should not be manufactured from any company that operates on the Sabbath. The casket should be made, according to Jewish law, from softwood. This should keep with the saying of, “For Dust you are, and to dust you shall return.”

KV URS BIKARA/THE BURIAL

According to Jewish law, it is customary that the body be buried as soon as possible, usually within 24 hours of the passing. The body should be placed in the Aron (a casket used for ground burial). The reason for this is that there should not be anything that should delay the decomposition of the body. Cremation is forbidden by Jewish law and above ground burials, such as mausoleums are also contrary according to the law.

* We exclusively use the Chevra Kaddisha of the Vaad Harabonim of Queens and the Vaad Harabonim of Flatbush in Brooklyn.

KOHANIM- For members of the Jewish Community who by Jewish law are not allowed in our chapel have the ability to utilize our state of the art kohanim house. Our house which is situated in the back of our parking lot offers a full service seating arrangement under climate controlled heating and air conditioning. It also allows people who are attending a funeral to watch the service and participate in the service. A rabbi who is also a kohen has the ability to speak from our house so people attending the funeral can observe and listen to the service from inside the chapel.