Washington, DC | Shomrei Neshama of Greater Washington P.A. | Rockville MD funeral home and cremation

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

Washington, DC

Shomrei Neshama Funeral Home is at the service of the Orthodox Jewish community of Washington, DC. We are the only funeral home located in the Washington metropolitan area that stays completely within the guidelines of Jewish law. With our focus on simple wood caskets, we design respectful and dignified final arrangements for your loved one. We invite you to pre-pay for our Orthodox package to receive end-of-life services that strictly adhere to the tenets of our faith. We also accept pre-arrangements from most other funeral homes. To prepare a loved one for burial, we provide the Tahara, which is the ritual washing of human remains. We never cremate or embalm remains, and in fact do not offer these services at our funeral home. We also do not provide viewings or visitations. We are supervised by religious Jewish staff and are closed on Sabbath and Yom Tov.

In our faith, we are taught that the body must decompose before the soul can escape to eternal peace and rest. We offer a selection of basic wooden caskets that will break down in the environment, returning us to dust as was intended. We have coffins constructed of pine, poplar or oak, and one of our compassionate funeral directors would be honored to assist you in selecting one that suits your tastes and circumstances.

The Tahara is performed by specially trained members of the Holy Society who cleanse, purify, dress and shroud the loved one in a ritual fashion prior to interment. Valuing decorum and modesty, males prepare deceased men and females prepare deceased women. This important task is done to prepare the loved one to meet his or her Maker with the utmost respect.

As mentioned above, the body must disintegrate before the soul can achieve perpetual peace. Therefore, it is a great disservice to the departed to delay or prevent this process through the practice of embalming. It is considered horrific to cremate human remains by every sector of Jewish thought. As the temple of the soul, the body is sacred. 

Viewing the body shows no respect for the dead, and is questionable as a therapy for the bereaved. It shows disregard for the rights of the dead. The sages wisely pointed out that one cannot and should not comfort mourners as their dead lies before them. 

Because Sabbath and Yom Tov are so central to Jewish life, we cease operations on these holy days. 

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