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Different funerals for different cultures

If you are Jewish, Xhosa, Zulu, Hindu or Muslim you will bury your dead in a different way to the next person. We give birth, marry, bury and perform a multitude of rituals and customs in the way that our parents and their parents did things, and each community and culture have their own way of doing things.

Funeral insurance plays an important role when it comes to burying the dead in cultures where funerals are expensive affairs, but not everyone requires funeral cover as this all depends on the custom of the deceased.

For example, it is customary for Jewish relatives and family to pay for the burial of their dead out of their own pockets and very often the funeral is paid for from the estate of the deceased. The Chevrah Kadishah, responsible for the burial of all Jewish Individuals, often have to wait until they are paid out from the estate once it is wound up. Funeral insurance will then, of course, not apply to Jewish individuals.

Who is the Chevrah Kadisha?

  • The Chevrah Kadisha is the oldest Jewish organisation in Johannesburg and boasts being the biggest in Africa.
  • This is a welfare organisation that was established in 1888 during the gold rush and has been taking excellent care of the welfare of all Jewish citizens as well as the rituals and needs of the deceased.
  • The Chev has provided Jewish people with a unifying influence and is accepted as the leaders in developing the Jewish community of South Africa.
  • The necessities and the care of the community ranging include the Arcadia Jewish Orphanage and various old age homes which take care of young and old.
  • When someone dies, the Chev prepare the bodies for burial according to strict custom of the Jewish faith.
  • Support services are managed centrally which range from fundraising, finance as well as operations and is run by a General Manager of each organisation.
  • Jewish people are buried as soon as possible as it is viewed as being disrespectful to the dead to keep the body until decomposition takes place. Leaving a corpse overnight is not permitted although there are exceptions such as relatives arriving from overseas to attend the funeral as well as autopsies that need to be performed. Cremation is also not permitted although there will always be exceptions. In Israel same day funerals are strictly adhered to and sometimes funerals take place at night.

Funeral insurance does play a major role when it comes to burying the dead but it all depends on your culture. The Jewish culture prescribes simplicity when it comes to burials, but there are other cultures that pull out all the stops and make this a grand send-off, hence the necessity for sufficient funeral insurance cover.

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