Ordering a Tombstone (Matzeivah)
Many have the custom to unveil the tombstone after shloshim (the 30 days of mourning) while others take care of this at the end of the year of mourning. One needs to order the tombstone from a manufacturer, decide what to inscribe, and ensure that the tombstone will be delivered to the correct place (the location of burial plots are carefully marked and numbered) by the correct time. Some cemeteries want all their tombstones to be uniform so they specify the type and size of stone and the wording of the inscription. Other cemeteries allow you to choose. Generally one inscribes on the tombstone the letters
" Here was buried", the name of the deceased and his parents (Some only inscribe the name of the father, others inscribe also the name of the spouse and children), and the Hebrew date of death. Some add a few words, a phrase, or verse that personify the deceased. At the bottom of the tombstone, one generally inscribes the abbreviation
May his/her soul be bound up in the bond of life.
All costs related to the tombstone are the responsibility of the family.
It is customary to visit the grave and erect a tombstone after 30 days
When the deceased is immediate family (spouse, parent, sibling, or child), the chevra kadisha will reserve the adjacent plots for 90 days. If you want to buy these plots, you need to inform the chevra kadisha within 45 days after the deceased's death and pay for them (since the government does not subsidize pre-purchased burial plots). A spouse has first priority to these plots, then the parents of the deceased, and only then siblings and children.
Obtaining a Death Certificate
Approximately two weeks after death, the Interior Ministry's records will be updated, and the death certificate can be issued. This document is important for settling the deceased's financial assets. The form for issuing the documentation is available at the local Interior Ministry office. If you visited the branch for burial permits at the Health Ministry to receive a burial permit, you may have already filled out this form. After returning the form to the Interior Ministry with the deceased’s ID card, a death certificate will be sent to the address you designate. Any relative or person with power of attorney can have a death certificate issued. In general, the deceased's ID card will not be returned, and the deceased's name will be removed from the official list of residents.