Tradition & Innovation

Jewish Mourning Rituals: Caring for the Body

By BimBam (formerly G-dcast)

In Judaism, traditions around death have two purposes: to comfort the living and to show respect for the dead. Understanding some of the more nuanced Jewish traditions and rituals for caring for a body before the funeral may help provide some support in a grieving process. 

Here are a few translations of the words used in the video: 

Nihum Avelim" (“לנחם את החיים” meaning “comfort the living”)

Kavod Ha-Met” (“כבוד המת” meaning “Honoring the Dead”): to show respect for the dead.

Levayah” (“לְוָיָה” Hebrew for “funeral”)

Shmirah” (“שמירה” meaning ”watching" or "guarding the body”): it is traditional to never leave a body alone.

Tehillim” (“תהילים”, "praises” or “Psalms”) 

Taharah” (“טָהֳרָה” meaning “the Ritual Purification of the body”)

“Chevra Kaddisha” (“חברה קדישא”, meaning “a burial society”) 

“Mikveh” (“מקווה” meaning “a collection"): a bath used for the purpose of ritual immersion

As part of Ritualwell's partnership with BimBam (formerly G-dcast), we present a series of videos that share personal stories about Jewish lifecycle events. 

BimBam (formerly G-dcast) is a new media studio making Jewish videos, apps and animated series that are joyful, empowering introductions to Jewish ideas and life for kids & adults. To learn more about BimBam (formerly G-dcast), visit http://www.bimbam.com

The Lifecycles Project was made possible with generous support from The Koret Foundation, as part of their Initiative on Jewish Peoplehood.

Ritualwell content is available for free thanks to the generous support of readers like you! Please help us continue to offer meaningful content with a donation today. 


Sign up for our newsletter

Ritual Component

Join now!


Want the latest news from Ritualwell?

Subscribe for the latest rituals, online learning opportunities, and unique Judaica finds from our store. Plus special discounts for subscribers!

* indicates required