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Chevra Kavod Hamet

The Chevra K'vod Hamet is a volunteer group of men and women who perform the ancient Jewish ritual of preparing people for burial as an act of lovingkindness. The Chevra creates a personal dimension by caring for the dead and the bereaved and being part of something greater than themselves, thereby strengthening the bond between the Chevra members and the congregation.

The Chevra K'vod Hamet serves as an umbrella over two areas: Shomrim, and Chevra Kadisha (Taharah).

In Jewish tradition, volunteer Shomrim watch over the deceased from the time of death until they are buried because the neshama (soul) is believed to be present until the time of burial. Shmirah is a chesed shel emet, an act of lovingkindness, which is a final act of compassion toward our departing fellow Jews and is greatly appreciated by the deceased's family.

Local congregations have come together to form Austin Shmirah, a Jewish community-wide group to coordinate Shomrim in order to meet the entire community's needs. To sign up for Austin Shmirah, please email Gail Tosto. If you choose to sit for other congregations as well as Temple Beth Shalom, your information will be passed on to the shmirah coordinators at the congregations you indicate and they pledge to use it only for shmirah-related purposes.

If you have never served as a shomer, we encourage you to consider doing so through Austin Shmirah. No training is needed. You may choose to serve just once in your life, or as often as the need arises and your schedule allows. You may serve your first shift in the company of a more experienced shomer if you wish. You may choose to serve only through Temple Beth Shalom or through other congregations as well.

If you have any questions, please contact us.

Chevra Kadisha 
The Chevra Kadisha prepares the met/metah (the body) for burial. The body leaves the world as it entered. As an infant is immediately cleaned and washed when it is born, so it is when a person leaves the world. Upon death, the soul is ready to be reborn into a new spiritual world. Rehitzah (cleansing), Taharah (ritual purification), and Halbashah (dressing in white shrouds) are performed by the Chevra Kadisha.

If you are a member of Temple Beth Shalom and have any questions or are interested in the Chevra Kadisha, please contact us.


Thu, June 13 2024 7 Sivan 5784