Bereavement

GENERAL
Suffering a bereavement is always a very stressful time. The Synagogue is here to support families at this time.
This page gives you the contact details to enable you to inform the Synagogue of someone’s passing and information about the traditional Jewish mourning and memorial process:-

In the case of a bereavement:
• Inform the Rabbi via the synagogue office on 0161 428 7746. If you are calling outside of office hours, leave a short message with your contact details, or follow instructions if you need to speak to someone urgently.
• Obtain a Death Certificate from the attending doctor or the hospital.
• Take the Death Certificate to the Registrar of the District where the death occurred (not where they lived) to obtain a Certificate of Burial.
• Take the Certificate of Burial to Ashton Brookes undertakers, Churchside, Church Street, Altrincham, WA14 4DB, tel 0161 928 7816, the firm which conducts all Menorah funerals. Funeral arrangements can not be made until Ashton Brookes receive the Certificate of Burial.
Bereavements during Shabbat and Yom Tov (a Jewish Festival)
The laws of Shabbat can not be put aside in the case of a bereavement. As soon as Shabbat or Yom Tov are ended, phone the synagogue office. If necessary, you will be re-directed to an emergency contact number.
Burials can not take place during Shabbat or Yom Tov, but once we have been notified of the details, arrangements will be made promptly.

SUSTAINING LIFE
Note that in a “life or death” situation, the Shabbat laws may be put aside. You should do whatever is necessary to help a person stay alive, and this includes such things as driving and making telephone calls to get help.

AVOIDING COMPLICATIONS
The ancient traditions of Jewish mourning usually ensure that funerals and Shiva go as smoothly as possible, without upset for the mourners. However, complications can arise when inquests are needed or Sunday burials. Please do try to ensure that you give as much information as possible to the synagogue, together with all appropriate documentation, and especially the Hebrew name of the deceased. We encourage all of our members to put any requests they may have for the time of their passing in writing and to send them to the synagogue office so that such requests can be honoured when the time comes.

TAHARA
It is the custom of our community to perform tahara (the Jewish ritual of taking care of the body and preparing it for burial) for any deceased members, unless we are expressly told not to, or if this is impossible, due to organ donation or post-mortem examination.

SITTING SHIVA
The first week of mourning, Shiva, follows a burial. Low chairs and prayer books are available. There is no charge and you simply need to contact the synagogue office to make arrangements. The number of days of Shiva will be affected by the Jewish calendar. Shiva will be announced on the following Shabbat and funeral and Shiva details are circulated by email, unless requested otherwise.
In the Shiva house all mirrors should be covered and a candle lit.

YAHRZEIT – The Hebrew Anniversary of a Death
Members receive annual notifications of the Hebrew anniversary of their loved one’s bereavement. These are also read out in synagogue on the appropriate Shabbat and it is customary to make a charitable donation on these occasions.

CONSECRATIONS AND MEMORIAL STONES
It is a Halachic requirement to mark a grave and it is customary to lay a memorial stone and hold a service of consecration within one year of a burial. The synagogue office sends out a letter to the family, after a funeral, with full information regarding consecrations and with stonemason details.

MEMORIAL PLAQUES
In addition to the memorial stone, a memorial plaque may be ordered via the synagogue office, to be placed in the ohel on either the Memorial Board or the Founders’ Board.