When Abraham Rogarshevsky passed away, Doctor Louis Friedman who had treated him for almost two years prior to his death signed the death certificate and noted the burial arrangements. Normally Abraham would have been buried as soon as possible, but because he died Friday evening after the onset of the Sabbath, the family waited until Sunday to bury him. The body could not be moved because of the Sabbath prohibition against work. After the end of the Sabbath, when it was time to prepare the body for burial, members of the Chevra Kadisha or "holy society" associated with Abraham's mutual aid association would undertake the preparations.
"When we know somebody is about to die, the priest would be called in and what would be done is prayers for the departing of the soul from the body would be read. After the person passes away there is what is called the Panakida, a memorial service. The first one is done at the house of the individual or at the hospital if the person is in the hospital. If the priest can't be done, the family can read the prayers also. The prayers are read, then after that the body would be washed with the water. In some areas they might even use, in some Middle East traditions, they might use rose water. The body would be put in new clothing, they would be laid in the casket and then this (shroud) would be put on. In the funeral homes, in New York City now, we use Urema funeral home, he prepares the body. He knows the way we prepare the bodies also, so he follows our guidelines."