Jewish Approach To Death Essay

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Judaism; one of three Abrahamic faiths, is one of the oldest religions in the world that exists today. ("BBC - Religion: Judaism," n.d.) Followers of this religion are referred to as Jews, and their beliefs are based on the idealization that there is only one God. When pertaining to death, an essential principle of Judaism’s belief is in techiat ha-meitim, meaning the ‘resurrection of the dead’. This concept of death not being the end and the idea of the future entailing the restoration of souls, is an underlying influence on the way Jews approach death. Their customs, beliefs, and fundamental standards encourages the rituals performed, the treatment of the deceased, and their approach to the bereaving process.
The first step in dealing with the end of life is understanding that death is ultimately the “dissolution of the bond between body and soul.”("Introduction: Dealing with Death - The Jewish Approach - Death & Mourning," n.d.) Upon
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The first week of mourning is called Shivah, literally meaning seven. During Shivah, mourners are confined to their homes, to “mourn, pray, recite Kaddish, and receive condolences.” ("Jewish Funeral Guide - Jewish funerals, burial and mourning in Jewish tradition and customs," n.d.) Refraining from anything that will bring comfort or pleasure is prohibited during Shivah. Restrictions include but are not limited to:
Mourners sitting Shivah…show their grief by refraining from any pleasurable activities such as entertainment, playing or listening to music, bathing for pleasure, using cosmetics, lotions, oils or perfumes, shaving, haircuts and marital intimacy. One is allowed to wash one’s face, hands and feet with cold water, rinse one 's mouth and brush one 's teeth. One is also allowed to wash (even with hot water) one’s hands and any other areas that became dirty, but may not take a shower, unless required for medical reasons. ("Jewish Funeral Guide - Jewish funerals, burial and mourning in Jewish tradition and customs,"

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