A Jewish funeral should in every respect express the dignity and sanctity of a solemn religious service
Two overriding principles govern the Jewish approach to death and mourning.
First is Kavod Ha-Met (Honoring the Dead). It is of the utmost importance to treat the body with respect and care from the time of death until the burial is completed.
Second is the view that death is a Natural Process: Death is considered a natural part of the life cycle and the body is returned to the earth whence it came. Hence everything associated with the body for burial is that which will decompose with the body, facilitating its return "from ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
Chevra Kadisha societies prepare the deceased for internment by performing a ritual purification known as the Taharah. Doing kind deeds for someone who has just died is done with the knowledge that your kindness cannot be repaid by that person and has long been regarded as the ultimate act of unselfishness. Taharahs are performed for men by men and for women by women. Ecclesiastes (Koheleth) stated, "As he came, so shall he go." Just as a newborn child is immediately washed and enters this world clean and pure, so shall a person who departs this world be cleansed and made pure.