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 or can be downloaded from the Israel Government Portal website, and can be submitted via fax or mail. The death certificate will be sent to the address you designate within two weeks.
Ordering a Headstone (matzeivah)
Many people have the custom of unveiling the tombstone after shloshim, while others wait until the end of the year of mourning. One needs to order the tombstone from a manufacturer, decide what to inscribe, and make sure that the tombstone is 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 headstone the letters . נ.פ.“Here lies”, the name of the deceased and his/her parents (Some only inscribe the name of the father, others include the name of the spouse and children), and the Hebrew and/or Gregorian date of death. Some add a few words, a phrase, or a verse that personify the deceased. At the bottom of the headstone, one generally inscribes the abbreviation ת.נ.צ.ב.ה (תהא נשמתו צרורה בצרור החיים) – May his/her soul be bound up in the bond of life. All costs related to the headstone are the responsibility of the family. The cost of the headstone will vary depending on the type of stone, its size, the form of engraving, and the number of words on the inscription. In addition to the cost of the headstone, there will be an additional charge for its installation, paid to the Chevra Kadisha that does the work.