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In the event of the death of a relative or close friend.
- Edgware Synagogue office – 020 8958 7508.
In out of office hours (or in the unlikely event that the telephone is unattended during the working day) leave a message on the answer phone but also telephone the Rabbi on the below telephone number. Note: the Synagogue office will also notify the Rabbi but nevertheless the family should also notify the Rabbi (*see below) personally.
- Rabbi David Lister – 020 8958 5320 or 07853 179313
- If the deceased was a member of the United Synagogue, phone the Burial Society Office on 020 8950 7767. During out of office hours leave a message on the answerphone (name of person who passed away, which synagogue the person belonged to and contact telephone number of the person making the funeral arrangements)
- If you need to speak to someone urgently when the burial society is closed, phone their night line on 07957 119119. This phone will not be answered on Shabbat or Yom Tov. Any messages will, however, be dealt with after the termination of Shabbat or Yom Tov.
- If the deceased was not a member of Edgware Synagogue, contact the Synagogue Office and Rabbi of the Synagogue where the deceased was a member. If needed, the Edgware Synagogue office, the Rabbi (*see below) or the United Synagogue website (www.unitedsynagogue.org.uk) should be able to point you in the right direction.
- As soon as death occurs light a candle if possible near the departed (if it is not possible as the person died in hospital, light a candle at home as soon as possible) (Yahrzeit Candle)
- It is better to stay with the deceased until he/she is picked up by the Burial Society. Any member of the family or a friend can “watch” (sit with the loved one) in hospital at the bedside, or in the mortuary viewing room, or at home. If you find arranging this difficult the members of the Chevra Kadisha may be able to help you. Before the funeral the Chevra Kadisha will prepare the deceased for burial (Ritual washing and dressing).
- Edgware Chevra Kadisha telephone number for men is 07779 145976
- Edgware Chevra Kadisha telephone number for women is 07889 035309
It is very important in Jewish law and tradition for burial to take place as soon as practicable after death, ideally on the same Jewish day. You should obtain a death certificate from the hospital or attending doctor as soon as possible after death. If necessary you should explain that Jewish law requires burial as soon as possible and ask the doctor to expedite matters. After the death certificate has been issued, it must be taken to the Registrar for Deaths in the borough in which the person died. The certifying doctor/ hospital should provide you with details of the appropriate Registry Office. (The Registry Office is only open for a few hours early in the day, especially over the weekend or at public holidays. You may need to make an appointment. They are usually understanding of Jewish burial requirements but you should impress upon them the need for expediency) The Registrar will issue a green certificate giving permission for burial to take place. Keep in touch with the Burial Society by phone as it will speed matters up considerably.
Once burial arrangements have been finalised make sure you have made arrangements for shivah chairs and siddurim to be picked up from the Synagogue. It is usual for the officiating Rabbi to speak at the funeral and it would therefore be sensible to prepare some notes about the departed. Please note, however, that there are some times of the year that funeral orations cannot be given due to the special nature of the day. Please be understanding of this.
The synagogue office will arrange where necessary for officiants to take Shivah services, usually through one of our Board Members – Michael Rothbart. If the deceased was, or the mourners are, members of another orthodox Synagogue, you may want the Rabbi of that Synagogue to conduct a shivah service.
All mourners sitting shivah are expected to tear an item of outer clothing eg shirt, jacket, jumper. This is known as keriah. This will be done in private at home or in the prayer hall before the funeral service. This garment must be worn throughout the shivah week (except Shabbat) by the mourner. Non leather shoes should be worn after the funeral and throughout the shivah (except Shabbat).
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