|While attending Abraham Rogarshevsky's
funeral, friends and neighbors of the family would prepare the apartment
for shiva, the traditional Jewish period of mourning. After
returning from the cemetery, the Rogarshevsky family would first rinse
their hands outside of the tenement and then eat the seudat havra-ah, which
is the traditional mourning meal in the Jewish faith. All of the
food is round which signifies the circle of life that has no end and no
beginning, but goes on and on forever.
"For waking of the body, the body would
be brought into the church since homes aren't used for the faithful Orthodox
Christian. The body would be waked
in the church. There is nothing specific about how long the body will
be waked. The general tradition is three days and on the third day the body
would be buried. Generally when people go home or after the burial, family
members will entertain guests in their home. People generally bring food over.
After the burial there is a memorial meal that the family usually hosts, and
fish is generally served at most memorial meals because it is a symbol of Christ,
Christian hospitality, and love. Fish is general eaten at funeral, repast, as
it is called. During the week people bring food and give support to the individual-
even in NYC that occurs too. Just local tradition and most places keep it. We
had a death of a very close individual in the parish and I was quite surprised
how New Yorkers really came in and prepared meals, in fact some of the women
even came in every day and prepared meals for the family."