What is a Taharah?
With utmost dignity and respect the deceased is washed and then dressed in Tachrichim, the traditional burial shroud. Prayers are recited, asking that forgiveness and eternal peace be granted to the departed. This process is the essence of the Jewish funeral and a major part of Kavod Ha-Met, honoring the dead.
Why a Taharah?
This beautiful tradition expresses the reverence we feel for the body as the receptacle of the Neshama, the G-D given soul. In the belief that the soul is still aware until after the burial, the body is treated gently and with sensitivity. In mature acceptance of the reality and the finality of death, while tradition insists that the body be as presentable as possible, no attempt is made to cosmetize or to create a life-like appearance through artificial means and devices.
Who should have a Taharah?
Every Jewish person, regardless of affiliation or level of religious observance should have a Taharah. Like the Bris (circumcision), the Bar and Bat Mitzvah at maturity, Taharah is the universally accepted religious act that completes the Jewish life cycle.
How to arrange for the Taharah?
All Jewish funeral directors offer Taharah as a choice of preparation. However, while every Jewish funeral home can arrange for the Taharah, at this time one must specifically request this service.