Most religions have rituals and ceremonies that take place after
the death of one of their members.
Judaism is no different. In fact, Jewish law dictates certain
elements a casket must have in order to be considered kosher.
All of the caskets in Aurora Casket Company's Jewish Orthodox line are
made in accordance with Jewish law. Victoriaville, Aurora's partner in
wood casket manufacturing, is counseled by a rabbi to ensure that these
units meet Orthodox Jewish standards. Some of the standards these units
must meet are as follows:
Jewish tradition requires a simple, plain casket to reaffirm that
we are all equal in death.
Wooden dowels should be used instead of nails or screws.
If glue is used, it should be vegetable-based, not animal-based.
Jewish law requires the body be allowed to return to the earth as
soon as possible. Therefore, the casket must be made entirely from
wood, with several holes drilled in the bottom
to hasten decomposition and the body's return to earth.
The casket cannot be manufactured on the Sabbath.
The entire casket must be biodegradable, so only natural materials
are used in the interiors.
Because the casket needs to be biodegradable, the beds are not adjustable.
A special type of bed, called "wood wool," is used in the
manufacture of orthodox caskets. Wood wool is similar to steel wool
except, as the name implies, wood wool is actually wood, and the individual
strands of wool are larger than what's found in most steel wool. Wood
wool beds are large mattresses that typically fill about half the
casket, leaving the other half for the deceased.
Some Jewish Orthodox units have bottoms that are
pieced together out of four or five pieces of wood. In these caskets,
it's common to see 1/8" to 1/4" gaps between the boards instead
of holes drilled through the bottom.