1091-B Rockville Pike | Rockville, MD 20852 | 301-296-6835
Shomrei Neshama Funeral Home is honored to serve the Orthodox Jewish community of Potomac, MD. We are the only Jewish funeral home in the Washington metropolitan area that sticks to the most exacting standards of Jewish law. We are closed for Sabbath and on all holidays observed in Judaism. We provide Tahara, the ritual washing of your loved one’s remains. We offer simple wooden caskets that comply with Halacha. We do not offer cremation, neither do we embalm remains. All of our procedures are managed by shomer Shabbat staff.
The Sabbath, or Shabbat, is the focal point of Jewish life, and has been since the early days of the Jewish nation. According to the Talmud, Shabbat is equal in importance to all other commandments. It is so central that “shomer Shabbat,” meaning Shabbat observer, is equivalent to “religious Jew” in common speech. Shabbat is the day of celebration and rest, and having the utmost respect for it, we do not offer our services at that time. On Yom Tov, the Torah also prohibits work, and we honor this in our business practices, as well.
There is tremendous beauty in the final rites performed upon the deceased in the Jewish tradition. They are meant to show the highest respect for the departed and to protect his or her dignity. All throughout the Tahara, special prayers and psalms are recited that correspond to the tasks of preparing the loved one for interment. The departed is washed, dried, ritually purified and all jewelry is removed. After the deceased has been ritually cleaned, they are carefully clothed in special garments of white linen, used for all in recognition of our equality in the eyes of our Maker. The loved one is then respectfully shrouded.
Jewish law mandates that the body of the deceased is to return to the earth as soon as possible. For this reason, the casket must be entirely constructed of wood. In line with the concept of equality in death, a basic wooden casket is most appropriate. We offer quality merchandise to accommodate this need. Soil from Israel is sprinkled into the coffin and over the shrouded remains to connect the loved one with the land of his or her forebears.
Since the Torah clearly states that we are to be buried in the earth after passing, we do not offer cremation among our services. Also, we do not humiliate the dead or interfere with the natural process of disintegration through the practice of embalming.