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”)
“Honor, as in kavod av v’em, honoring one’s parents, kavod ha’met, respect for the dead, kavod hatorah, the honor of the Torah. 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”)
“The ritual bath. The waters of the mikveh symbolically purify – they are seen as waters of rebirth. A convert immerses in the mikveh as part of conversion. Many Orthodox married women go to the mikveh following their period and before resuming sexual relations. Couples go to the mikveh before being married. Many, including some men, immerse before Yom Kippur; some go every Friday before Shabbat.” (“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.