Melacha on Chol ha-Moed during CoronavirusApril 10, 2020
Guidelines for Burial on Shabbos and Yom TovApril 12, 2020
April 7, 2020 – National Association of Chevra Kadisha
Among the many trying challenges we face in these dire times is the sorrow of isolation from one another, added to the deeper one of personal loss, as we accompany those beloved to us to their resting places.
Just as the current times demand that we now pray and study at home, the way to give honor to the dead during this pandemic is by staying at home. That is what the niftar (departed) would have wanted and what Jewish law, which warns us to be extremely careful to guard our health, demands of us. We therefore must not congregate at funeral homes, shuls, residences, or on city streets to pay our respects to the niftar and their families.
While we honor the departed through proper Jewish burial despite the challenges entailed, we must maintain a balance. We must remain sensitive and committed to serving our bereaved families as fully as possible, while working to ensure their health and safety, along with the health and safety of the funeral home and cemetery staff.
We recognize that the burial may provide the only opportunity for family to say Kaddish and be offered proper nichum aveilim (comforting of the mourners). As such, the following suggested policies and procedures should be followed at the cemetery to minimize the risk of exposure and to ensure the safety of all.
B’virchas kol tuv v’chag kasher v’sameiach – Rabbi Elchonon Zohn
Click here for the UPDATED Guidelines as of April 7, 2020