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Jewish Death and Mourning Customs
Death, to Judaism, means the separation of the body from the soul. The washing of the corpse (traditionally clothed in a plain shroud), the laying out, and the burial are undertaken by the burial society (Chevra Kadisha) or a Jewish funeral home. The relatives of the deceased are excused from all religious duties until the burial that usually occurs on the day after the death except on a Sabbath or any Jewish holiday. Cremation is permitted only in Reform Judaism. The cemetery in Hebrew is called the "House of Eternity" and the "House of Life", where the dead are to have eternal rest.
On the first anniversary of the death (Yahrzeit), the gravestone is placed in the cemetery. At each anniversary of the death, a Yizkor candle is lit in memory of the deceased (and a fast is observed by traditional Jews.)

Chevra Kavod Hamet

Traditionally, Kaddish is said from the day of burial, daily for the first eleven months, and on the anniversary of the death. If there is no one to say Kaddish for the deceased, then the Chevra Kadisha will provide this important service.

KADDISH TRANSLATION May the great Name of God be exalted and sanctified, throughout the world, which he has created according to his will. May his Kingship be established in your lifetime and in your days, and in the lifetime of the entire household of Israel, swiftly and in the near future; and say, Amen.
May his great name be blessed, forever and ever.
Blessed, praised, glorified, exalted, extolled, honored elevated and lauded be the Name of the holy one, Blessed is he- above and beyond any blessings and hymns, Praises and consolations which are uttered in the word; and say Amen. May there be abundant peace from Heaven, and life, upon is and upon all Israel; and say, Amen.
May there be abundant peace from Heaven, and life, upon us and upon all Israel; and say Amen.
He who makes peace in his high holy places, may he bring peace upon us, and upon all Israel; and say Amen.

KADDISH TRANSLITERATION Yit-gadal v'yit-kadash sh'mey raba, b'alma di v'ra hirutey, vyam-lih mal-hutey b'ha-yey-hon uv'yomey-hon uv'ha-yey d'hol beyt yisrael ba-agala u-vizman kariv, v'imru amen.
Y'hey sh'mey raba m'varah l'alam ul'almey alma-ya.
Yit-barah v'yish-tabah v'yit-pa-ar v'yit-romam v'yit-na-sey v'yit-hadar v'yit-aleh v'yit-halal sh'mey d'kud-sha, b'rih hu, leyla* min kol bir-hata v'shi-rata tush-b'hata v'ne-hemata da-amiran b'alma, v imru amen.
Y'hey sh'lama raba min sh'ma-ya, v'ha-yim aleynu v'al kol yisrael, vimru amen.
Oseh shalom bim-romav, hu ya-aseh shalom aleynu v'al kol yisrael, v'imru amen. * On Shabbat Shuvah add: ul'eyla.

The following is reprinted with the permission granted December 2000 by This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for Temple of Aaron of St. Paul, Minnesota
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