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The Principle of Honoring the Divine Image in the Human Body

Return to Guide to Death and Mourning for Interfaith Families

Jewish death and mourning practices are based on the principle that human beings are created in the divine image, and that people should therefore treat dead bodies with respect. Jewish legal thinkers consider the appropriate burial of the dead a major mitzvah. The rabbis of the Talmud called burying the dead an act of the highest degree of loving kindness, because the dead cannot reciprocate. It is also a mitzvah to comfort mourners. By being present and compassionate, family and community members, whether they are Jewish or not, participate in one of life’s most meaningful psychological and spiritual experiences.

The Guide to Death and Mourning for Interfaith Families is available as a PDF and our booklet Mourning the Loss of a Loved One is available for download.


18Doors is here to support interfaith couples and families exploring Jewish life. We offer educational content; connections to welcoming organizations, professionals and programs; resources and trainings for organizations, clergy and other program providers; and our Rukin Rabbinic Fellowship provides offerings for couples in cities nationwide. If you have questions, please contact


Author: 18Doors