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uncovered. The washing being thus finished,
. the body is now to pass under the ceremony of Taharah, or purification. The operators wash their hands in clean water, and wipe them very dry with a towel. Four persons now hold a clean sheet over the corpse; the wet sheet is removed, and nine cabbin of clean cold water are poured upon the bare body, commencing as before, from the head downward. Previously to pouring this water of purification, they are to repeat as follows: "And he poured of the anointing oil upon Aaron's head, and anointed him to sanctify him. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye
shall be clean ; from all your filthiness, and from all your idols will I cleanse you. And ye shall be holy; for I, the Lord your God, am holy.
Purification ! Purification! Purification !” The body is then well dried with a clean sheet.
When the cap is put on the head, they say the following: “ And he put the mitre upon his head.” When they place it in the coffin, they
" say, “ May he go to his appointed place in peace.”
The purification board is then carefully cleaned and dried; and also the water spilt on the ground must be well dried. The water used for purification must not be poured out where human beings might pass over it, but carefully lodged in a secluded place. The coffin is generally made by Jews, and is exceedingly simple. It consists of only deal boards, merely smoothed and screwed together, without any adornment. No distinction is made between the rich and poor. The corpse is dressed, according to the Jewish custom, with a cap, breeches, shirt, neckcloth, a kind of surplice and girdle-all of which are made of linen, or common cotton. Lastly, the Talith, or veil, is put on the head, with one of the fringes torn.
In Great Britain, however, this custom is not observed. The general way of dressing the dead, is, after putting the cap on its head, to place a sheet in the coffin, and wrap it over the corpse as a mantle; and then put on the Talith in the same way as the deceased used to wear it when alive. Å small quantity of Jerusalem earth is then placed with the dead. Before the coffin is removed, the relations and friends of the deceased are admitted to pay it their last visit. The face and feet are uncovered, when each, alternately, takes hold of the large toes of the feet, and asks his pardon for every injury they have done to him; and beg of his favourable mention of them in the other world. The mourners are now present-who are, parents for their children, children for their parents; husband and wife for each other, and brothers and sisters for each other. The rabbi stands on one side of the coffin, and the mourners approach in succession, on the other side, leaning on it; when the rabbi takes a knife and cuts the edge of the upper garment, near the neck, and then tears it about a span further; which is Keringah, rent. This is always made on the right side of the garment, and either in the coat or waistcoat of the male ; but at the death of a parent, it is made on the left side, and in all the garments the mourner may have on, excepting the under linen garment, and overcoat or mantle.
This rent may be stitched up after the seven days of mourning, and properly repaired after the thirty days, except at the death of parents; then it can only be stitched up after the thirty days, but never thoroughly repaired. The coffin being now closed, and covered with a black cloak, the corpse is carried to the grave, when the funeral procession follows. No female is permitted to join. In older times females formed a separate procession; and lamentations were chorally sung by them and the males. The females and the music are now, however, entirely dispensed with. As it is considered a meritorious act to assist in the interment of the dead, the Jewish funerals are generally numerous; and every one is expected to aid, were it but for a few steps, to convey the deceased to his last resting place. When they arrive at the burial ground, the coffin is carried into a hall built for the purpose, called Beth Chaiim, i.e., house of the living. The coffin is then opened, to see whether anything has been displaced ; if so, it is adjusted. The lid being again closed, the rabbi repeats a prayer on the occasion. The corpse is then carried on a bier towards the grave.
When they have advanced a few paces, they put it down, and all present say as follows: “ Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who has formed you (the dead) in judgment; fed and cherished you in judgment; and killed you in judgment; and knowest the number of you all in judgment; and in a future time wilt cause you to live again in judgment. Blessed art thou, O Lord, the restorer of life to the dead.” The corpse is then carried forward to the grave, which lies from north to south ; and whilst it is lowered into the earth,
“Let it come in peace to its appointed place." Returning from the grave, each plucks some grass and says,
those present say,
spring forth from the city, as the grass of the earth ;” after which they wash their hands at a pump which has been erected for that purpose,
“ He (the Messiah) will swallow up death for ever ; and the Lord God will wipe away all tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people will He remove from off all the earth; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.”
HISTORY OF A YOUNG CONVERT.
A YOUNG BELIEVER.
ANOTHER of those lately baptized at Warsaw is Sarah, now Caroline Auguste, a young Jewess aged eighteen years, who was brought up in great ignorance, but anxious to be better informed. She had been for four years in the service of a reader in the synagogue, but in consequence of her wages being withheld by her master on the ground of a pretended and unfounded charge that she had spoiled or defiled his kitchen utensils by trepha (viz., unclean) meat, she left her situation and went to the house of a Gentile neighbour, a Roman Catholic, expressing her wish to become a Christian. This neighbour, however, said to her, “If you wish to become a Christian, don't become a Roman Catholic, for then you would only get from one mess into another; but come with me to a friend, and he will direct you better than I can.” This friend was a Protestant Christian, a nice old man, and a regular attendant at our prayer and missionary meetings at the Institution, where I used
to see him always in the same place, and very attentive. To him they went, and he brought them directly to me, saying, “Sir, we have brought you a Jewess who wishes to become a Christian; we commit her into your hands.” So saying, they were going to leave, when I stopped them to ascertain further particulars about her. They gave me an account of her history as above stated, for the Roman Catholic had known her for some time, and gave her a good character; and having heard the whole, and knowing also how much ignorance there is among the Jews on the subject of the differences between Christian communities, I first stated the various points on which Roman Catholics and Protestants were agreed, and then also gave an account of the various points of difference, in the correctness of which the Roman Catholic, who had listened all the while, fully concurred. After this I said to the Jewess, “ You have now heard what the views of Roman Catholics and Protestants are with regard to Christianity, if you now wish to become à Christian, which will you prefer?’ She immediately said, “I wish to become a Christian according to the Protestants.” This being settled, I enquired whether she had a passport and her daily tax receipt, which every Jew or Jewess requires who is not a native of Warsaw. The poor girl had got neither, and I was obliged to tell her to get first these necessary documents, as else we could not give her instruction without great risk. The result of her application was, that for want of a passport, and for neglect and inability to pay the arrears and fines of the daily tax, she was arrested, and after having spent a most miserable life in prison for a whole week,