Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Going out in style

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This elegant carved and painted wood carriage was made in Szarvas, Hungary, in the 19th century.
Would you believe?--it was used for funerals!

The sign next to it at the Israel Museum says this about the Chevra Kadisha (Jewish burial society) carriage:
Accompanying the dead on their final journey towards burial is part of the tradition of honoring the deceased and is already mentioned in Rabbinic literature as one of the essential deeds "for which one is rewarded in one's lifetime and also earns a reward in the world to come."
Funeral processions were held with due ceremony, and the deceased was carried in a special vehicle, such as this majestic carriage from Hungary.


Please enlarge the photo to read about our Jewish way of death and mourning.
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Julie's Taphophile Tragics is about cemeteries and the interesting stories in them, but I think this wagon might qualify for the meme.
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10 comments:

cloudia charters said...

Thank you, Dina.

I appreciate your inviting post-title, but perhaps in a day or two you should change the title to something like 'Jewish Burial Customs' so those searching for such info online can find these gems of info.


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crystal said...

The rituals sound very dignified and wise. Here, as you know, burial and mourning practices are all over the place. Catholic almost always are buried - it used to be verboten to cremate - but all my family (all not Catholic) have been cremated.

luluberoo said...

Pretty fancy..but I want to wait many years for my ride in the carriage!

Pietro said...

So interesting, Dina. I hope that death signs the beginning of a totally new shining existence.

cieldequimper said...

One might as well go in style...

Nicola Carpenter said...

Stunningly beautiful carriage. There is always such beauty in death.

Herding Cats

VP said...

An elaborate carriage for one's last trip...

mirae said...

hello beautiful Dina, what a treasure this wagon is.
This is an awesome post.These mourning rituals would be healing in a spiritual and psychological sense.(to whatever extent there may be a diference.)

Thanks for your visit.-
Yes I am enjoying my new profile. The script is sanskrit.
thanks for appreciating the photo chalice of light.A very elderly lady that lives in my high rise is a nun and she spends ten hours a day cultivating a flower garden by the apartment and I will give her that photo to thank her.

shalom love and light.
HUGS have a beautiful magical day.

Julie said...

Absolutely does qualify, Dina. You find some fascinating accessories!

This must be so very similar to a carriage that my memory has Queen Victoria being carried to her final resting place.

I would hazard, though, that carriages such as this were for the upper crust exclusivley, not for the like of thee nor me.

Kay said...

Going Out in Style is the perfect title for your post. That is an amazing funeral carriage. The Jewish mourning ritual is very interesting. A lot of it reminds me of Buddhist practices too.