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The following letter is designed to be printed and completed. Copies should be forwarded to family members, Rabbi and attorney.

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My dearest children (or nearest kin),

I know that this is not the kind of letter you like to receive from me and that its contents concern matters which we do not like to think about. But this is a matter of extreme importance to me and therefore I will state my feelings in a straightforward manner and trust that you will honor my last and most fervently held wishes and desires.

Although I admit that I have may lived my life not always in complete accordance with Jewish laws, customs and traditions, I strongly desire to leave this world fully in accordance with the practices of our eternal people. In the haste and grief which always accompanies the passing of a loved one, often irreparable harm is done to the soul and body of the deceased. Therefore, I plead of you to treat my last rites with compassion in accordance with my sincere wishes.

This is what I want:
 ¨      No autopsy.
 ¨      Under no circumstances do I wish to be embalmed.
 ¨      No viewing of my remains after death.
 ¨      The Tahara (purification) and Tachrichim (shrouds) to be taken care of by the Jewish Sacred Society of Chicago. Please call them immediately upon learning of my demise. Their 24-hour telephone number is (773) 743-0074.
 ¨      Shmira (watchman) to be provided for at the funeral home.
 ¨      I insist on a kosher wood casket.
 ¨      I insist on being buried underground, not in a mausoleum.
 ¨      I ask you to observe the customary Jewish practices of Kriah, Shiva, Kaddish, and so forth. If you have any questions, please contact the Jewish Sacred Society of Chicago at the number above.

For adherence to my wishes, may the Creator grant you health and happiness, and the satisfaction of knowing that you have complied fully with my instructions. May He wipe the tears from your eyes and console you among the other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

Love,

Signed ________________________________________________ 

Date Signed ________________________________

Address _______________________________________________