Visiting a Jewish Gravesite

Visiting the gravesite is a way of showing our respect to the departed. While visiting the cemetery anytime after the grave marker has been erected is allowed, there are certain days when it is appropriate to visit the graves of our loved ones. It is especially appropriate to visit on the last (7th) day of Shiva, on shloshim, after 12 months of mourning, during Yartzeit, a day before Rosh Hashanah and the day before Yom Kippur.

Unlike in other religion, bringing of flowers to the grave is discouraged. Instead of flowers, a small stone is left on the Jewish headstone to indicate that someone has visited. Rather than bringing flowers when visiting the grave, you can give tzedakah in your loved one’s memory. While visiting, you can recite psalms and  El Maleh Rahamim or study some passage from the Mishnah.

Throughout Jewish history, visiting the grave of our departed loved one has been practiced. This is done to elevate the soul of the departed and to strengthen our connection to them.

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