1091-B Rockville Pike | RockvilleMD 20852 | 301-296-6835

Olney, MD


Shomrei Neshama Funeral Home caters to the Orthodox Jewish community of Olney, MD. We are the only Jewish funeral home in the Washington metropolitan area adhering to the highest standards of Jewish law. We provide ritual washing services, focus on plain wooden caskets and never offer the embalming procedure or cremations. We also do not operate on Shabbat and Yom Tov and are supervised by shomer Shabbat personnel.

One of the most important elements of a proper Jewish burial is when the deceased is prepared for their final rest by the Holy Society prior to interment. This group of specially trained Jews perform this simple and dignified ritual to allow the person to meet his or her Maker with the highest respect. A true Tahara includes cleansing, ritually washing and dressing the loved one’s physical remains. For modesty’s sake, men prepare male remains and women attend to female bodies. Special prayers and psalms are recited, begging the Almighty to lift the soul into Heaven and eternal rest. 

It is a commandment of the Torah to return the body to the earth after the passing since it is written that we shall return to dust. In the United States, most states require by law the use of a casket. However, it is improper to bury the departed in decorative coffins. Jewish traditions mandate that the deceased is buried in a plain, humble casket made of a material that will biodegrade, allowing the body to return to the earth as quickly as possible and permitting the soul to attain final and perpetual peace. We offer a selection of appropriate caskets that accomplish these vital ends. 

Embalming is considered a humiliation of the dead, is forbidden by Jewish law, and we do not offer this service. There are no legitimate sanitary reasons for embalming under regular circumstances. We do not offer cremation because it is an unequivocal tenet of Jewish law that the dead must be buried in the earth.


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