What Makes A Jewish Casket Different From All Other Cultures.
Society has various different methods to pay tribute to the deceased and as a result has just as much variety in funeral ceremonies. These ceremonies are as unique as the cultures adopting them. Almost all burials involve religious and cultural beliefs in as many ways as there are cultures. The ancient Egyptians had unique beliefs when it came to burying their dead. They believed that the dead need all the amenities the living have. Affluent Egyptians would commonly bury utensils, furniture, weapons, ornaments and even servants to follow the deceased into the afterlife. Even with such bizarre customs the Egyptians employed other customs not much different than the ones we use today. Burial caskets are one such example of a carryover from the Egyptian bereavement customs to the customs used today for death.
Funerals are heavy with emotion, and that sentiment follows every aspect of the funeral, including the casket. Decorating the casket with flowers and engravings or ornaments imbedded is a common practice of the day. Preparing the body for the casket is part of the complete process as well. Bathing and clothing the body has been an ancient practice as has embalming the body with chemicals and perfumes and placing the body in a specially designed casket. Caskets come in all shapes, sizes and colors with prices to match, and can even be purchased online.
With the emotion that is involved, care must be taken to find the casket that best honors the loved one. As a result there is a variety of caskets to choose from, up to 20 categories of good quality burial caskets within the undertaking business. These different categories are created by distinctions such as wood types. As an example of the distinctions possible, the different kinds of wood that are used are ash wood, cherry wood, mahogany, oak wood, and maple wood. The use of wood is popular as it decomposes with time and allows the body to decompose as well. Caskets must be able to cater to a range, including the unfortunate sizing for infants; there are also accommodations for size exemplified with the huge majesty size casket. Another distinction would be in the form of military specialization. The US burial management services have their own special categories of caskets such as military, religious, art, and custom-designed.
As for the procedure before the casket, the details should be looked after by the undertaker. Undertakers collect the body from the home or hospital, and then they bath and embalm the body based on the family's wishes. These services are specific to the burial plan chosen and paid for by the family of the deceased. The casket containing the body is placed in a chapel and then decorated with flowers and candles. These caskets may be closed or open to allow the family to have a last look at the deceased. This is known as the visitation service and is presided over by a religious figure of the community.
What makes a Jewish casket different is the orthodoxy of their burial procedures. Their funerals are very simple as are the caskets. Jewish burial caskets are usually black without any sort of embellishment. Part of the Jewish orthodoxy involves not allowing the dead body to be exposed. The main intention behind this is to honor the dead. Another peculiarity, Jewish caskets are designed to decompose fast along side the body as per the religious belief from dust to dust. Any form of special material used in making a casket will delay the decomposing process, which is against Jewish religious belief. For this reason embalming of the body is not permitted in the Jewish community. A Jewish funeral is mainly concerned with consoling the bereaved and respectfully laying the deceased at rest.
In closing, what is most important is to find the most appropriate way to honor your loved one based upon your own background and traditions whether it be by orthodoxy and tradition, or by the way the burial is arranged, or by the casket chosen.
About the Author: This article about Jewish casket info as well as funeral coffin sent in by Chad McDonald from: http://www.jewish-casket.info