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Jewish Death Practices:
Overview / Summary
Origins and History
Visiting the Sick or Dying 

Phases of Death Observance
    Approaching the Time of Death
    Between Death and Burial
    Burial and Cremation 
    Mourning Practices

Spiritual Aspects
Funeral Homes
Funeral Contracts


Chevra Kadisha:
Articles about Chevra Kadisha

Tahara Manuals and Procedures
Tahara Training
Tahara Stories
Tahara Supplies Lists
Funeral Home Supplies


Organ Donation


Infection Control


Next Conference
Previous Conferences


Learning & Resources:
Gamliel Institute

KNIT Resource Center
    Contacts for Answers
    Catalog of Articles
    Additional Links

FAQ About Death and Dying
Modern Dilemmas
Guided Learning
Jewish Sources and  Responsa
Synagogue Brochures
Community Education

Tahara Manuals

Title Author Chevra Kadisha Date Published Notes
Tahara Manual of Practices


Rabbi Mosha Epstein

Bridgeport, CT 3rd Ed, 2005  
Handbook for Hevra Kadisha Members Lynn Greenhough   2008 This is not a manual laying out the tahara liturgy. Rather it is a compilation of practices.

Practices and Policies of the Chevra Kadisha of Northern New Mexico

Rick Light Chevra Kadisha of Northern New Mexico   Sep 2013
Tahara Guide   Kehilath Jeshurun
New York, NY
Taharah Manual Rabbi Regina Sandler-Phillips  Park Slope Jewish Center Hevra Kadisha 
Brooklyn, NY 
September 2009 - 2nd Edition revises the December 2005 first edition Elegant layout; includes diagrams for knot tying; suggested niggunim to accompany each part of the process; de-briefing; end-notes. 
  From Rabbi Regina: This week's Torah portion of Hayyei Sarah ("The Life of Sarah") has traditionally served to focus attention on the importance of burying the dead and consoling the bereaved.  As we read of how the widowed patriarch Abraham struggled with complicated financial negotiations and other last-minute arrangements for his wife Sarah's funeral, we can learn how to meet the contemporary challenges of preparing for what we still would rather not think about in advance. 

A recent New York Times opinion piece underscores the spiritual significance of these issues across cultures.

With all this in mind, I am pleased to announce the online publication of our sacred burial fellowship Taharah Manual in its second (September 2009) edition.

Taharah ("Purification") refers both to the entire Jewish process of caring for the dead and to the central ritual of that process.  Our Manual was compiled on the basis of a comparative study of 10 contemporary taharah guides from throughout the U.S. and across the denominations, and also incorporates material from the classic 17th century text Ma'avar Yabbok and other historical sources.

In the four years since our Manual was first published online, it has helped to guide sacred burial fellowship development in communities from New Jersey to New Zealand.  The new edition features updated notes and a revised, multicultural selection of accessible songs and chants to accompany the process--from vigil-keeping through washing, purifying, dressing, and laying out the dead.

As Thomas G. Long concludes in the recent New York Times article, "People who have learned how to care tenderly for the bodies of the dead are almost surely people who also know how to show mercy to the bodies of the living."  Those who would like to organize an interactive study program on the basis of our Manual in their home communities may contact me at the e-mail address below.

Rabbi Regina L. Sandler-Phillips, MSW, MPH


Guide to Taharah Practices - Men    Ohr Kodesh Funeral Practices Committee
Chevy Chase, MD
Guide to Taharah Practices - Women 5764
Reconstructionist Tahara Handbook for Women and Men   Adat Shalom Chevra Kadisha 2005  
Tahara Demo powerpoint