Death and Mourning
The death of a loved one is painful. We at Temple Beth Shalom want to provide the information, support and resources to care for our congregants at this difficult time. We hope that this section of our website proves to be a worthwhile resource.
Preferences Form - The purpose of this form is to make it easier on family members when making funeral arrangements. We ask that you indicate your current preferences; we understand that these wishes are subject to change.
Cemetery Plots - Temple Beth Shalom maintains a Jewish cemetery where burial plots are available for purchase by both members and non-members. Burial in our cemetery is available to non-Jews who are immediate family of our members. Funeral services are done with sensitivity and always with the values of bringing honor to the deceased and comfort to the family. For more information, you may review Temple Beth Shalom’s Cemetery Policies or contact Sam Scheer at 512.343.1733.
Documents you need before death - Recording a few pieces of information can spare your loved ones needless work and aggravation and maximize the financial assets to take care of your family.
AS DEATH APPROACHES
Since ancient days, it has been part of Jewish tradition that one would want to return to God in the same state of ritual purity and innocence as when one is born. In order to accomplish this, it became traditional for an individual to offer a final confession shortly before death, the Hebrew term for which is Vidui (you may recognize this term from the Yom Kippur liturgy). In most cases, Vidui is offered by a rabbi on behalf of the person as death approaches but it can be offered by individual themselves (if they are so inclined) or a family member.
WHEN DEATH OCCURS
Temple Beth Shalom maintains an active and loving Chevra K’vod Hamet (Society to Honor the Deceased) to meet the needs of families immediately following their loss. The Chevra K’vod Hamet is a volunteer group of men and women who perform the ancient Jewish ritual of preparing people for burial as an act of lovingkindness. The Chevra K’vod Hamet also serves as an umbrella over three areas: Shomrim (guardians for the body between death and the time of the funeral), Chevra Kadisha (provides ritual washing and preparation of the body), and Hineinu (provides assistance to the family).
If you are a member of Temple Beth Shalom and have any questions or are interested in the Chevra K’vod Hamet, please contact Joan Edelstein at 512.340.0330.
In the face of death we are confronted by powerful emotions and questions. It is at this time when Judaism gives us important rituals of mourning to perform, rituals which convey a sense of control and dignity. There is comfort and security in the knowledge that centuries of tradition lie behind each of these practices. More information regarding funeral practices is available here.
AFTER THE FUNERAL
- Jewish mourning rituals help mourners fully participate in their grief. These traditional mourning periods offer protection from the demands of daily life and allow adequate time for psychological adjustment, with a gradual re-emergence into society.
- Hineinu provides support and services to congregants who have faced a loss.
- Legal Steps After Death
- Purchasing a Gravesite Marker
- Ordering a Yahrzeit Plaque