The Hevra Kaddisha of Congregation Beth Israel of Chico is a group of volunteers who assist individuals and families after the death of a loved one by providing the services of k’vod ha’met (sh’mirah and tahara), and who work to inform our community about the Jewish traditions and practices when a death occurs.
Sh’mirah is the guarding of the deceased.
A shomer, or guardian, is present at the funeral home, as close to the deceased as is practicable, and recites psalms, reads from Lamentations or studies other religious texts.
Tahara is the ritual washing and purification of the body of the deceased, followed by dressing in the traditional burial garments and placing the body in the casket, all accompanied by psalms and other traditional prayers. Tahara is performed by trained members of the Hevra Kaddisha. Men perform tahara for men, and women perform tahara for women. The work of a tahara team is strictly confidential, to protect the privacy of the deceased and the deceased’s loved ones.
The service of the Hevra Kaddisha dovetails with the service of others in our Congregation, including our Rabbi and the Sunshine and Mitzvot Committee, whose volunteers support those who have lost a loved one in many ways beyond the ritual focus of the Hevra Kaddisha.
For more information, contact Sharon Kaplan at 530-893-2264 or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org .