Planning a funeral is extremely difficult: not only have you just faced a significant loss, you immediately have to make decisions with your loved one in mind. In the Jewish faith, the mourning process is sacred and funerals are an important part of saying “goodbye.”
The purpose of a Jewish funeral service is not to comfort the mourners, but rather to honor the deceased instead.
The first thing you should do when planning a funeral, is to find someone to conduct the funeral service. Having a designated rabbi to speak at the funeral is a vital detail. With the help of the funeral home, arrange a date and time to hold the service itself and call around to see what rabbi might be available. If you are in the Atlanta area, Rabbi Lebow will guide you through the process necessary for a proper Jewish funeral and burial.
You’ll also need to talk with the rabbi about what you’d like to be included in the service, and whether a family member or the rabbi will give the eulogy or hesped of the deceased.
The funeral home can help you arrange transportation for the close family of the deceased from the service to the burial site and back home. Consider taking advantage of these services to make the day easier.
Notify Friends and Relatives
Notify the friends and relatives your loved one’s passing right away, and alert them of the funeral services as soon as arrangements are made. It is important that loved one’s get the opportunity to celebrate the deceased’s life. You can also place an obituary in the local paper so anyone who wishes to pay their respects can attend.
Meal of Healing or Seudat Havara’ah
It’s tradition for the family of the deceased to welcome visitors at their home after the funeral service for a meal. Place a pitcher of water, a basin, and towel outside your entrance funeral returnees to use before entering your home. Many people prepare hard-boiled eggs for this meal, which symbolize the cyclical nature of life.
If the family plans to sit Shiva, the rabbi can often help the mourners prepare.
Here at Atlanta Jewish & Interfaith Weddings, we will take you by the hand and help you with mourners, the gathering and procession of them, accompanying the dead for burial, and more.