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Shiva Prayers 

Judaism teaches us to honour the deceased at a funeral and comfort mourners at a Shiva (nichum aveilim).

During Covid we had no choice but to conduct Shiva prayers by Zoom or other online or phone communication. Although we are now able to conduct Shivas in person, we have learnt that on some occasions due to geographical distances or accessibility needs a combination of zoom shivas or streaming people in can still be appreciated. 

Click here to download a printable PDF of our Shiva prayer book.

The best method for arranging a Zoom Shiva is probably for a tech-minded member of the family or friendship group to create the Zoom link and send round the invitation, publicising it through the Synagogue if that is wanted as well. Otherwise the synagogue can create the necessary link or phone line.

A full Minchah or Ma’ariv service can be held on Zoom. This may be followed by one or more family members or close friends speaking words of affection and appreciation about the person who has sadly died. This may precede or follow the Memorial Prayer and the Mourner’s Kaddish.

In terms of Zoom protocol, it works best if the service leader says words of welcome, then asks everyone to mute themselves, except for one or two key parts of the service, for example, the first paragraph of the Shema and the Mourner’s Kaddish. Online services are best lead relatively slowly with most of the prayers spoken out loud.

Everyone else should be on mute while words of affection and appreciation are shared by the family.

The service should close with a traditional greeting by the leader, such as Hamakom Yenacheim – May God bring you comfort (among all the mourners for Zion and Jerusalem.)

 

Eulogies

We have created an online space here where people can place the eulogies they have given, if they are comfortable in doing them. Sharing a hesped or eulogy is part of kvod hamet, respect for the person who has died. Tributes by family and friends are always moving, often colourful and sometimes humorous. They enable us to appreciate the person, his or her life story, family, values, wisdom, interests and foibles. They help all of us, near and far, carry the memory of someone special in our hearts. We plan to add a link so that people can add their consolations, greetings and further memories of that person.

Sat, 13 July 2024 7 Tammuz 5784