Describe Jewish ceremonies associated with mourning

Describe Jewish ceremonies associated with mourning (4 marks)

This is a very simple A01 question requiring you to recount various rituals and activities that Jews perform once a family member passes away.

The question is pretty straight forward so let’s see that points you can use in an answer:

• Jews sit Shiva for seven days; this is the initial mourning period.
• During the Shiva, Jews don’t shave; wear makeup, nice clothes or leather shoes. They sit on low stools as opposed to chairs and generally don’t do anything pleasurable.
• A torn item of clothing is worn and mirrors are covered in the house so that mourners aren’t focusing on their appearances at this time.
• Prayer services are held at the house of the mourner three times a day where family and friends come to attend services and pay their respects.
• Mourners say Kaddish, a special prayer that is said throughout regular services.

Sample Answer:

Once a deceased family member is buried, a Jews sits Shiva in his house for seven days. During this time they will not shave, wear makeup or nice clothes and lose certain comforts such as sitting on normal chairs or wearing leather shoes. Jews will wear a torn item of clothing to indicate that they are mourning and all mirrors will be covered up in the house. Prayer services are held throughout the seven days where the family say Kaddish for the deceased. Other family and friends will visit during this time to pay their respects.

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