Ask The Rabbi

Ask The Rabbi

category:  Chassidut

Belated funeral

The Rav Name: Rabbi Yitzchak Arad

I have a Russian Jewish friend who’s wife passed away last Thursday. 5 days ago. We live in a small community without a rabbi. My friend has dementia so his daughter (who married a Christian) is letting her gentile husband make all the arrangements for the funeral. She asked me as a knowledgeable jew to do the funeral but they are pushing off the burial for at least 6 days, I assume so they can get more family members to attend. I am uncomfortable with this. Should I ignore halachah and lead the funeral service? I’m not sure if I should be involved in a non kosher funeral.

Shalom and thank you for turning to us. We are sorry to hear about the passing of your friend, and we are trying to answer you as soon as possible due to this situation.  You are concerned that a funeral which is postponed is not in accordance with Halacha, Jewish law. This is true in general,  however in this case, since in any event the funeral has already been pushed off, it is better that you involve yourself since you have a chance to make sure that all the OTHER arrangements should be done in accordance with Halacha.

To this end, we strongly recommend that you look up the local orthodox Rabbi or Chabad Rabbi, in order to receive guidance as to how to take care of the various areas of concern. There are many details involved, such as how to perform the purification process for the dead body, as well as running the ceremony.

We pray that you and the family of the deceased will know only of happy events in your lives.

The happy event that we are all waiting for is the time of the Messiah,  about which it is written that death will cease forever! Not only that,  but those who died in the past will be resurrected! May this happen ver soon!!