Funerals are sacred. They provide survivors the opportunity to say goodbye, and begin the grieving process. They pay tribute to a loved one. They acknowledge the end of a life with beauty, dignity, and respect, and in so doing they honor life itself. Funerals are sacred and powerful acts of love.
The Jewish funeral service is relatively simple. It consists of passages from Jewish sources, both ancient and modern, of great beauty and wisdom. These help put words to the complex soup of feelings we experience when someone close to us dies. Jewish funerals include the ancient hymn “El Male Rachamim/God Full of Compassion,” and the sacred Mourner’s Kaddish. Funerals typically include a hesped/eulogy, written by the rabbi in consultation with the family. They conclude with burial, aided by the hands and devotion of those who loved the deceased most. They may be conducted at a chapel or entirely at graveside. Family and friends typically gather at someone’s home following the service to begin shiva. Some families mark all seven days of this period of mourning; others abbreviate the observance.
In addition to conducting funerals, Rabbi Shapiro officiates at memorial services, when the body is not present, or at the interment of cremated remains. He is available to guide a family through the entire process of making pre-need arrangements, working with the mortuary and cemetery, planning the service, and shiva.
There is no charge for the funeral, memorial service, or interment of a member of the Temple Emanuel community. There is a charge for non-members.
Please contact Rabbi Dean with questions.
About a year following a death, loved ones gather at the grave to dedicate a memorial. This simple ceremony is called an “unveiling.” It provides the family and close friends an opportunity to reconnect with each other. They acknowledge the passage of time and the new shape their lives have taken. Family members are invited to speak to the deceased and to each other.
Although they can be very public, unveilings are typically private, understated events.