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ASK RABBI DAN
by: Rabbi Dan S. Wiko PhD
  See the rabbi's bio.
 
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This Month...

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On Thursday, March 09, 2006 I was asked the following question:

As I read one of your entries, certainly there are Senior Rabbis of congregations that are Kohainim. How do they officiate at the funerals of their congregants? Their presence is essential to the living and the rabbi of a congregation has a responsibility to his congregants.

Can you please cite examples?

This was my response:

In the Orthodox way, a rabbi of Kohanic lineage may officiate at a funeral. However,he may not be in the same building with the dead. It is customary, when a Kohain officiates, that the deceased remain outside the building (i.e. in the hearse). At a cemetery, the rabbi may officiate from off the grounds, while the deceased is at the grave site.
Attending to the living has no restrictions at all. The rabbi may console the survivor and conduct Shiva services at the home of the deceased.

If you have questions about a personal matter, or jewish practices and customs, you can submit them to me by e-mail. I answer all queries directly, or through this column, when the question is informative to our community.

Thank you for your kind attention and this opportunity to share with you,
Rabbi Dan S. Wiko
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