Jewish Funeral Rites are Eco-Friendly

By: Matthew Funeral Home
Monday, June 6, 2022

While green burials tend to be a newer concept, making choices in your funeral plans to be more eco-friendly is not. In fact, the Jewish faith and tradition tend to follow more eco-friendly practices. This article will discuss some of the practices common in Jewish burial according to the religious laws of the Faith. While not all those of the Jewish faith follow these traditions, the practices listed below are common among those of the faith. 

Jewish Law and Caskets

Generally, those of the Jewish faith opt for simple, natural caskets. Where possible, wood is used rather than metals. This includes using dowels instead of metal hinges or nails. This is because Jewish custom states that the entire casket should be biodegradable. More lavish caskets are not usually used, as this practice shows that everyone is equal in death. Additionally, vegetable-based glues are used in the making of these caskets, rather than animal-based ones. Lastly, these caskets may have holes in the bottom. This is done to hasten the decomposition and help return the body to the earth. Each of these practices helps reduce the overall environmental impact of the burial and returns the deceased back to nature quicker.

Judaism and Embalming Practices

In accordance with the more natural principles of the Jewish faith, embalming is generally not used. The body is washed before being placed under a burial shroud or in the clothing chosen by the family. Cremation is accepted among some sects of the faith. For example, Orthodox and Conservative sects generally frown upon the practice, while reform Jews often accept it. It is quickly becoming more popular among those of the reformed faith. 

Organ Donation

Organ donation is accepted across all practices of the Jewish faith. Judaism encourages this practice in order to help save the lives of others. Beyond the donation of organs, the Jewish faith shows that respect for the deceased is a vital practice. Therefore, the body should be interred shortly after donations are made.

Jewish Funerals and Flowers

Generally, flowers are not appropriate at a Jewish funeral. Generally, donations in the name of the deceased are permitted and encouraged. Some families may provide names of charities or groups to donate to instead. 
For over 50 years, Matthew Funeral Home has been serving the Staten Island community. We can help with almost every aspect of your loved one’s memorial service. Our family is here to serve yours, every step of the way.

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