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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My friend/sister of the heart is dying of a rapidly spreading re-occuring cancer and her time is very short. It is not a question of if but when. She is of the converted Jewish faith. I have no idea what to expect at her memorial service. Will there be a "wake"? Can someone help me out here? What memorial gifts are appropriate? I am quite in pieces, but I must be ready. It could be any day. Any Jewish backgrownds out there?
 

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I'm sorry you're going through this, Life2K. ((((hugs)))) About the only thing I know about Jewish funerals/memorial services is that they happen very quickly (within 24 hours maybe????) after the death.
 

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I've been to a Jewish burial where they said a kaddish (spelling??) in Hebrew and placed little stones on the headstone. I had no idea what was going on but it was very moving.
 

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<span style="color:#008000;"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":hug:"> L2K<br><br><br><br>
Mom, you know where to find me if you need an ear or a shoulder.</span>
 

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Yes, i meant to say (and then got distracted) (((((hugs))))) this must be hard time for you. May peace be with you.
 

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The burial happens I think within 24 hours, pretty quick ceremony, but then the family "sits shiva" for a week, meaning they stay at home to grieve and receive visitors. This is when it's appropriate to visit the house and bring food for the grieving family. Her family will probably tell you where to go and what to do I imagine. Oh wait, you said she's converted. So is her family Jewish? I would just take cues from whoever is closest to her...<br><br><br><br>
Sorry for your loss.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":hug:">
 

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So sorry to hear what you're going through L2K :-(<br><br><br><br>
I have been to a jewish funeral - in many ways it was very similar to christian ones. The rabbi spoke in praise of the deceased, and family was given opportunity to speak. We didnt go to the burial though.<br><br><br><br>
The most important part really was while the family "sits shiva". People come and visit, and bring LOTS... and I mean LOTS.... of food. Make sure the food you bring is kosher, just in case they keep kosher. Also best to bring something that will keep for a little while, and is easy to put together into a meal, because they end up with a lot of food and sometimes no way to eat it all before it spoils. Plus people have a hard time remembering to eat when they grieve and having easy foods makes it easier.
 

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*hugs* for Life2k. I've never been to a Jewish memorial service, so I can't comment on that part.<br><br><br><br>
Is your friend up to talking about what she would like to have happen at and after her memorial service? She might like to share final instructions. Naturally, you don't want to push the issue if she'd rather not think about it, but I envision if I were in her situation, I'd like someone to ask me how I want to be grieved.<br><br><br><br>
Sitting shiva sounds like a good plan for anyone who's lost a close relative or friend, whether they're Jewish or not.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>skylark</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Sitting shiva sounds like a good plan for anyone who's lost a close relative or friend, whether they're Jewish or not.</div>
</div>
<br><br><br>
Yes, it was very comforting when my grandma died to just have people come over and spend time with us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Her Personal family thinks she's nuts for converting, but her husband is convert also and is a second marriage. I would just be a weeping mess if I went to visit her husband. I don't think that would do him any good.
 

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I've been to several Jewish memorial services. There are usually some prayers in Hebrew and some people who were close to the deceased make speeches. There will not be an open casket. People tend not to wear all black like at Christian funerals. If you are going to the grave, you do not place flowers on the gravesite. Instead, you place a small stone or pebble on top of the gravestone.<br><br><br><br>
I know exactly what you're going through as my uncle is currently having kidney failure and may die soon. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":hug:"> from the bottom of my heart.
 

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a lot will depend on the particular type of Judaism they converted into (and once a convert, there is supposed to be no division, all are Jews). I'm assuming the husband will be the ring leader on this. while your sister of the heart is here, ask him what is OK for you to do, Once he has lost his wife, he may not be able to be an advisor so well.<br><br>
get their Rabbi's name and number & see if the shul has a bereavment society.<br><br>
Perhaps you can help during shiva as the family is to do nothing, that includes dishes!
 

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I am very sorry to hear about your friend's terminal illness.<br><br><br><br>
Her situation may be different since her family is not Jewish. However, I can tell you a few things that are different about Jewish funerals and etiquette as opposed to other religions.<br><br><br><br>
When you visit the home of the deceased's family, you are not to speak until spoken to. All people handle grief differently. Some people may want to speak about the deceased; some people may not and simply appreciate your presence. When you arrive at the home of a deceased Jewish person, again, do not speak until someone speaks to you. (Of course, not all Jewish funerals are like this at all, but you should at least show proper etiquette and respect by doing so.)<br><br><br><br>
When you do speak to a family member (either at home or perhaps later), you might say: Baruch dayan ha'Emet which means "Blessed is the True Judge."<br><br><br><br>
The mirrors in the home will be covered. When one is in mourning, one should not have to worry about how he looks. Therefore, the mirrors are covered.<br><br><br><br>
The casket will not be open, and there will be no wake, as in many Catholic and other Christian religions.<br><br><br><br>
At the funeral, people tear a bit of clothing for mourning. Sometimes, black ribbons are given out instead, and the ribbon is torn.<br><br><br><br>
Do not send flowers at all. Flowers are for weddings and joyous occasions. The funeral home or shul will have information on where you can donate money on behalf of the deceased.<br><br><br><br>
Again, since the person's family is not Jewish, I don't know how much of this will be observed, but these are just guidelines for Jewish funerals and mourning.
 
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