Soc.Culture.Jewish Newsgroups
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

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< Q11.6.6 TOC Q11.6.8 >

Question 11.6.7:
Death and Burial: Are Jews buried facing West?


The custom is that the body is buried with its feet facing east, so that when the Messiah comes and we awake from our slumber, called death, we will already be on the right path toward Jerusalem. So, if someone were buried in South Africa, their feet would face North. As a matter of fact , many Lubavitch Hasidim communities bury their loved ones with walking sticks for their eventual pilgrimage to Jerusalem. However, many Jews are buried with their heads towards Jerusalem (i.e. East) to be closer to that holy city.

The FAQ is a collection of documents that is an attempt to answer questions that are continually asked on the soc.culture.jewish family of newsgroups. It was written by cooperating laypeople from the various Judaic movements. You should not make any assumption as to accuracy and/or authoritativeness of the answers provided herein. In all cases, it is always best to consult a competent authority--your local rabbi is a good place to start.

[Got Questions?]Hopefully, the FAQ will provide the answer to your questions. If it doesn't, please drop Email to The FAQ maintainer will endeavor to direct your query to an appropriate individual that can answer it. If you would like to be part of the group to which the maintainer directs questions, please drop a note to the FAQ maintainer at

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© (c) 1993-2002 Daniel P. Faigin <>