For them, since we are all created in the image of God, life should be all about infinite value, “regardless of its duration of quality”. Anything that expedites the death of a person or shortens a human life is absolutely a violation to this duty1.
The other end in a Jewish life continuum is that of death. As they safeguard life with supreme care, they also take death with valuable commitment in maintaining their duty of sanctity even in this difficult time. Death in a Jewish community is embraced with intricate ceremonies lasting for a period of time. The seemingly simplistic process of Christian death and its acceptance remarkably differs from the extremely complex process by which this community responds to the same social experience. Contrary to Christian communities’ ritual regarding death, Jewish communities give surety that rituals be carried out in accordance to Judaism religious beliefs which is always to set an example of holiness and ethical behavior to the world. Thus, whether in life or in death, the presence of a community epitomizing the Jewish “covenant relationship” with God is of prime importance.
To honor the dead (kvod hamet), it must be buried at a shortest time possible regardless if a family member is not present to attend its burial. Anything that prolongs the physical body to remain above ground is considered “disrespectful and undignified” and “humiliation of the dead” (Khara, 2009). Moreover, it is necessary that the dead person must never be left alone from the moment he is considered dead until the time he is completely buried. Doing so is an apparent gesture of rendering utmost respect for the departed (mitzvah).
From the moment a Jew dies, a synagogue will make the necessary arrangement for the whole ritual process. When a community is well organized, the services of a sacred burial society or Chevra Kaddisha are acquired in preparation for the burial of the body. It is a rule that in the ...
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