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Old 03-04-2014, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Lake Worth, FL
388 posts, read 316,793 times
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I have not been to a Jewish funeral since my Grandfather passed away (I was 4) and I'm going to a funeral tomorrow. Anything I should know for tomorrow that is specific to a non-Orthodox Jewish funeral?
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Old 03-04-2014, 08:34 PM
 
3,964 posts, read 3,348,129 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tikva View Post
I have not been to a Jewish funeral since my Grandfather passed away (I was 4) and I'm going to a funeral tomorrow. Anything I should know for tomorrow that is specific to a non-Orthodox Jewish funeral?
I've never been to a non Orthodox funeral. I can't see how it would be different, though. I suspect all Jewish funerals, no matter the denomination, are going to be ballpark similar. I'd be curious to see if anything otherwise is the case.

One thing: Jews bury their own dead. That typically means they shovel the dirt on the coffin until the entire ground is full. If that's not the case at this funeral, you are free to scoop way more than just a few shovels full. I'd say give no less than 5 minutes of shoveling, if you are physically capable.

May you be comforted along with the mourners of Zion and Yerushalayim.
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Old 03-04-2014, 08:38 PM
 
864 posts, read 734,322 times
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Quote:
I can't see how it would be different, though.
I've seen them. This is how they're different:

1. Mixed gender crowd
2. Flowers
3. Attendees in their best suits
4. Fancy casket

Condolences, Tikva.
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Old 03-04-2014, 08:41 PM
 
3,964 posts, read 3,348,129 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iwishiwerethin View Post
I've seen them. This is how they're different:

1. Mixed gender crowd
2. Flowers
3. Attendees in their best suits
4. Fancy casket

Condolences, Tikva.
None of those are deal killers from a halachic perspective. They may seem foreign to us, but as long as they are paying respects to the nifter (departed Jewish soul), then the details are not so critical.
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Old 03-04-2014, 09:18 PM
 
Location: Lake Worth, FL
388 posts, read 316,793 times
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It's my father's friend's husband. Very nice people, I'm going for support.
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Old 03-04-2014, 09:26 PM
 
3,964 posts, read 3,348,129 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tikva View Post
It's my father's friend's husband. Very nice people, I'm going for support.
It's a big mitzva to go and comfort mourners.
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Old 03-04-2014, 09:38 PM
 
Location: Eretz Yisrael
21,376 posts, read 24,142,259 times
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Not really. Just dress in single colored conservative modest dark (black if possible) cloths.

This link may answer some of your questions:
What to Expect at a Jewish Funeral | Reform Judaism
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Old 03-05-2014, 03:35 AM
 
Location: Long Island
1,721 posts, read 1,390,820 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theflipflop View Post
One thing: Jews bury their own dead. That typically means they shovel the dirt on the coffin until the entire ground is full. If that's not the case at this funeral, you are free to scoop way more than just a few shovels full. I'd say give no less than 5 minutes of shoveling, if you are physically capable.
In my community, the men of the chevra kadisha (group who prepares the body for the funeral) does the majority of the work. Everyone else typically puts in one shovelful.
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Old 03-05-2014, 05:34 AM
 
3,964 posts, read 3,348,129 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JB from NC View Post
In my community, the men of the chevra kadisha (group who prepares the body for the funeral) does the majority of the work. Everyone else typically puts in one shovelful.
It's a big mitzva to give the Jewish deceased a proper burial. It sounds like the men in your community are letting the chèvre kadisha get all the merit when they too could and should participate in this important mitzva.

Tikva: the first three shovel fulls, you are supposed to lift the dirt with the back of the shovel and place the dirt in the grave. With the fourth shovel of dirt and onwards, you can use the shovel as normal. This is done to signify that you are unhappy that the deceased has died.

I'd say with all these Jewish burial customs, you can always opt out and bury the dead in the manner of the rest of the nations. You get that choice.
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Old 03-05-2014, 07:46 AM
 
Location: Eretz Yisrael
21,376 posts, read 24,142,259 times
Reputation: 8873
Quote:
Originally Posted by iwishiwerethin View Post
I've seen them. This is how they're different:

1. Mixed gender crowd
2. Flowers
3. Attendees in their best suits
4. Fancy casket
As a side note to this thread, In the US and Canada I've never seen flowers at a Jewish Funeral. Also in relation to the casket I've never seen a adorned casket outside of having nice handles. Nearly all have been in a light colored pine with a Star of David on top. Unless the person was of high importance most wear conservative cloths in line with the occasion. As to mixed gender, it depends on how mixed you mean. From what I've seen the immediate family is mixed, but otherwise the men have been towards the front of the group and women have been to the rear, side or opposite side.
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