Religious Question - Washing the Dead [changed title]

I would like to know wich religion does not wash there relatives after death :confused:

In the wake of the Ebola virus, some cultures have been persuaded not to bathe the dead if there’s a suspicion of the Ebola virus. Previous to that, entire families were wiped out by the virus, which is spread by contact.

I’d like to know what religion requires washing of the corpse before burial. For what reason would this be a religious tenet? :confused:

In Tony Hillerman’s novels about Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee of the Navajo Tribal Police, he writes that the Dineh (Navajo) people ritually wash a corpse with plant juices in preparation for burial. They also reverse the shoes, left-to-right, to confuse (I forget who.)

In Judaism there is a custom to immerse a body in a mikveh before burial. The ritual is called a taharah and is usually carried out my members of the local chevra kadisha (burial society). It’s not an absolute requirement and a body can be buried without one if need be.

Zev Steinhardt

Mine, for one. What a bizarre idea, ranking right up there with embalming and casket viewing as something that would give me nightmares.

The ghost, which gets left behind in this world, and is simply the distillation of all the nasty traits of the deceased.

not corect!
the body is not washed in the mikve.
it is cleaned simply and then barried ;j

Dear sagi,

You will note that I did not state that the body is washed, but merely immersed.

In any event, that is what I have been told by members of a chevrah kadisha. Aside from sometimes doing a shift or two as a shomer, I have never been a member of the CK, and never performed a taharah. As such, it is certainly possible that my information is faulty. If so, I will gladly recant.

And welcome to the boards… ;j

Zev Steinhardt

In islam a corpse must be washed before it is buried.

Descriptive titles help everyone. I’ve changed the title for you.

DrMatrix - GQ Moderator

Not only that, but ghusl and wudu’, or the greater and lesser ablutions that Muslims perform before prayer, must be performed for it. There are some other sunnahs that mainly have practical value, such as (remembering from my fiqh studies way back when) adding camphor to the water and burning incense to cover any smell. One particularly gruesome sunnah (that I’m not sure is actually practiced, as I’ve never had reason to attend a Muslim funeral preparation) is to press on the stomach so the contents are expelled from the body.

In preparing for Eastern Orthodox funerals, the body may be washed, but mainly for cultural not religious reasons. More important are the various adornments that are given to the body once it is placed in the coffen (placing of various crosses and icons, wreaths, etc.)

Here is link I found that seems relevant. No immersion seems necessary, but the washing is highly ritualized.