Sunday, September 17, 2006

Thursday 13









My husband's grandfather recently passed away. His family is not Jewish nor Messianic so it was a little strange to me to not mourn along with Jewish culture and beliefs. I thought it would be interesting to state 13 things about mourning in the Jewish culture and religion.

It should be noted that my comment section on this particular TT is not a place for you to share your disagreement with my religious beliefs. Say something nice, or don't say anything at all.

1. It is customary to cover the mirrors in the home. This shows that you are too preoccupied with the death of your loved one to care about your appearance.

2. It is customary to sit low to the ground, showing that you are in a valley or low spot of your existence.

3. A period of seven days from the burial called "Shivah" is observed in which many of the customs in this list are carried out.

4. Flowers are not normally a part of a Jewish funeral.

5. Family members often have their shirt torn as a sign of their immense grief. The side of the shirt that is torn depends on who has passed away.

6. All Jews are buried in the same type of clothing. This is because we are all the same before God.

7. The anniversary of the death is traditionally remembered and observed, this is known as yahrzeit.

8. Some families throw or shovel dirt onto the casket at the graveside.

9. The back side of the shovel is often used if the dirt is shoveled into the grave.

10. Charity is often given at the time of the yahrzeit.

11. The non-judaic customary "3 days" is usually not observed after the death of a Jewish person.

12. The reasoning behind this fast burial is that the body is all that is left and the person is now with God.

13. These traditions help some mourners feel that a process is occurring, thus helping them heal faster.

34 Comments:

At 8:49 PM, Blogger Maribeth said...

I think that those are beautiful. Some of those traditions we actually observe in my family. #7,8,10 and 13. Of course being an Episcopalian we have others, but basically it is recognizing grief and honoring the person who has passed and also honoring our grief.
This is a beautiful list. Thanks for sharing it with us.

 
At 12:17 AM, Blogger Laura said...

sorry about your husband's grandfather. my father in law died Friday too.
thanks for visiting my tt.

 
At 12:34 AM, Blogger ...my 2 cents said...

I am sorry about your husband's grandfather's death.

This is a very interesting list. Thank you for sharing.

I find #2 on your list interesting, I am not Jewish at all but several years ago when a friend passed away I only wanted to sit on the ground for a couple of days afterwards.... and every time I thought of her death, I would just sit on the ground or the floor. I find it strange that I wanted to do that and it's interesting to learn that that's actually a custom in another culture.

 
At 12:40 AM, Blogger FRIDAY'S CHILD said...

Traditions are traditions. Irregardless of what religion you come from. I respect whatever traditions or superstitions anyone might be practicing.
Mine's up too.

 
At 1:10 AM, Blogger Gattina said...

I respect all religions that is a personal choice or inherited by your parents. A funeral for me personally should be done the way the dead person wished.
But your 13 points are very interesting, I know most of them because I have some jewish friends.

 
At 2:27 AM, Anonymous Francesca Gray said...

I'm sorry about your loss. Thank you for sharing the information about these traditions, I found them really interesting.

 
At 2:47 AM, Blogger Caylynn said...

Sorry to hear about your husband's grandfather's death. Thank you for sharing those traditions with us. I went to a Catholic high school, and one of our courses was in World Religions, which I found absolutely fascinating. It's so interesting to learn about other beliefs, and the differences and similarities among religions.

Happy TT.

 
At 3:12 AM, Anonymous SilverWillow said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I think the traditions listed are very eloquent and I thank you for sharing them with us. My Grandfather was Cherokee and he would mourn when there was a birth in the family and rejoice when a death occurred. He explained that when one leaves their body they are lifted up to join the Great Spirit, for there... great happiness is achieved. When a baby is born, we sorrow for the soul, for all life's trials and personal suffering are yet to come.

 
At 3:55 AM, Blogger Wendy Ann Edwina D'Cunha e Pereira said...

Thank you for sharing with us... It is interesting to hear about the way death and mourning is handled in different religions...

Happy Thursday

 
At 5:15 AM, Anonymous Kailani said...

Thank you for educating me on the Jewish faith. I'm so sorry about your husband's grandfather.

 
At 6:25 AM, Blogger Goofy Girl said...

I'm sorry to hear that about your husbands grandfather. All the traditions are really interesting, I didn't know about a lot of those.

 
At 6:40 AM, Blogger Carmen said...

Sorry about your loss. Hugs being sent to you.

I didn't know this about the Jewish culture. Thank you for the education. Now I won't make a fool of myself in front of any of my jewish friends.

 
At 6:43 AM, Blogger Lazy Daisy said...

Wow, thanks for listing them. They were very interesting.

 
At 7:03 AM, Blogger Amanda said...

We're Catholic from India (Portuguese legacy). But we have some similar customs. We follow - the 7 day and year marker. We wear black for a year. The family members shovel dirt into the grave...

 
At 7:06 AM, Blogger Tanya said...

They are beautiful traditions. Thanks for sharing. Hope your family recovers from your loss soon.

 
At 7:46 AM, Blogger Shannon said...

Great traditions, I think. And it was great insight for me.

Enjoy your Thursday!

 
At 7:58 AM, Anonymous KarenW said...

I am sorry for your loss. Thanks for sharing that list. I didn't know any of those traditions.

 
At 8:43 AM, Blogger Knitting Maniac said...

I love this list... very interesting!
Happy TT and sorry about the passing.

 
At 9:21 AM, Blogger The Schooligan said...

I also believe that rituals and traditions help with dealing with loss. Nice list.

 
At 10:25 AM, Blogger mar said...

Sorry to hear about your husband's grandfather. But he was privileged to have him as an adult, I lost mine when I was a kid, all 4 of them. And this was a very interesting list. Thanks for visiting my TT and for your kind words on my (almost) blogiversary!

 
At 2:33 PM, Anonymous mominprogress said...

Thanks for sharing. I find it interesting to learn about other religions :)

Happy TT

 
At 3:20 PM, Anonymous Janet said...

I think those traditions are very sensible and anything that helps one cope with griefing is good. I'm sorry to hear about your husband's grandfather.

 
At 3:25 PM, Blogger Kimmy said...

Wow! That was a great T13! Very educational. I enjoyed learning the tradition and the "reason" behind it. Thank you for sharing... especially during this difficult time!

 
At 3:49 PM, Anonymous Jennifer said...

Sorry to hear about your husband's grandfather. Thank you for sharing things about this that I was unaware of. I actually learned something today from your post. Thank you.

 
At 6:57 PM, Blogger Lindsey said...

Thank you so much for your TT - it's so interesting to learn about different traditions! Happy TT!

 
At 1:31 AM, Blogger Tigersan said...

"It is customary to cover the mirrors in the home."

In Japan... everything gets covered. Me thinks this is to make sure attention doesn't waver from the loss.

 
At 9:02 AM, Anonymous Chi said...

I would like to express my condolences to your husband for the loss in your family.

I also want to thank you for sharing some of your customs & beliefs.

Don't waste your time visiting me...nothing new today....I'm being lazy.

 
At 12:30 PM, Anonymous Christine said...

This was very interesting to read. I hate to admit it, but I know virtually nothing about the Jewish religion. I didn't even know what shivah was until they mentioned it on Grey's Anatomy the other night. I'm so out of it. Thanks for educating me.

And I'm sorry to hear about your loss.

 
At 10:05 AM, Blogger Zeus said...

Those are some lovely traditions. I especially like the ones concerning the mirrors and the act of sitting close to the ground. I feel like I learned some new things as well, and for that, I am grateful for you sharing!

 
At 12:10 PM, Anonymous Melissa said...

That's interesting. I didn't know all of that.

I am sorry for your loss.

 
At 7:24 AM, Anonymous Alethea said...

Hey there. Good choice of post. I am glad to see some serious TT's sometimes - although the light ones are fun of course. I've just been through it with a close family member, and my brother and I chose the traditions that pleased us most. And they weren't the same - he was surprised I was covering/turning mirrors. I was surprised that I wanted to follow many of these traditions, but without trying to prove anything to anyone else. A cousin brought flowers to the interment so we threw in both the flowers and the stones; the officiant bounced back pretty well and talked about permanence and impermanence to good effect. It was a comfort to me, in any case, to have a sort of ready-made "mourning kit".

 
At 7:01 AM, Blogger Carmen said...

oh where, oh where have you gone. :)

I was wondering, can I ask a question? If I was going to get a lawyer to sue my crack-smoking condo association, what KIND of lawyer would I be looking for in the yellow pages?

 
At 8:03 AM, Anonymous Debbie (Fruitful Spirit) said...

Girl you must be some kind of busy lawyer! Hope you are winning your cases!

You are missed so take a few and tell us all hello! Or have you left for that trip? Hmmm not sure! But I do miss you!

Take care!

 
At 2:35 PM, Blogger Vicki said...

I enjoy learing of the heritage of Jewish faith. Peace and comfort.

 

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