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Identification After Tahara

As a member of my Chevra Kadisha, we are often asked if the family may identify the body after the tahara is performed and the casket is closed. We don’t know the answer. Is identification permitted to ensure the correct departed is properly attended to? Thank you.

Answer:

Although there is a halachic preference for the niftar to remain covered, it is the common custom in Israel (the practice of the Jerusalem Chevra Kadisha) for the niftar to be identified again before the commencement of the funeral procession. This is done because there are sometimes a number of funerals on the same day, and identification is required for the family’s peace of mind. For cases in which the niftar has not been left alone at any time, there would be no need for this re-identification, but in any event, it is the common practice.

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