Can a pregnant woman attend a Jewish funeral?
My uncle recently passed away and one of my cousins told me my pregnant wife should not attend the funeral. Is this really a tradition?
The question of a pregnant woman attending Jewish funeral speaks to a wide range of customs that are still in evidence in our community. This custom is linked to beliefs that somehow the ambiance of the funeral and death will impact the fetus and thus the child. This custom has currency among some communituies and generations. In my practice and experience, I always encouraged the mourner, if possible, to attend a funeral and be part of the "mitzvah" of comforting the bereaved. This custom is not rooted in any rational thought and so, when health and circumstances permit, that pregnant family member should try and attend the funeral of a loved one.
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