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I recently attended a Hasidic (Lubavitch) funeral in Southeast Asia for a member of our community who was a righteous convert to the Jewish faith. The funeral was attended by members of our expat Jewish community and also by 200-300 non-Jewish children from a local school who were there to honor their beloved English teacher (who hailed from the US). After the interment and recitation of Kaddish, the Rabbi and members of the community drifted away, leaving the school children and their supervising teachers to organize themselves into a choir whereupon, after an interval of about 10 minutes, they began to sing sotto voce a most beautiful lament. Although I can't be sure, I believe the choir sang in Hebrew. How and by whom they were taught this is not yet known to me. However, I just wonder if such an unusual turn of events, especially the choral singing, would be considered "non-Kosher" in a traditional Jewish funeral service.

  • To clarify, was the funeral in a temple or somewhere other than graveside? There may be different rules regarding this based on the location. – DanF Aug 22 '16 at 17:38
  • @DanF The funeral was at the graveside, a Jewish cemetery in the capital city of a Southeast Asian country where the Jewish community is diverse but very active. The community is led by a Chabad Rabbi but most of its congregants are not Hasidic Jews. The deceased, a much loved American who had converted to the Jewish faith, led an exemplary Jewish existence. There was no temple or synagogue service. A very large numbers of attendees were local (non-Jewish) school children who sang a lament (in Hebrew, I think) after the conclusion of Jewish service. Halachic or not? – Peter Point Aug 23 '16 at 0:41
  • Would some kind soul be kind enough to advise me of the halachic status of choral music sung by a non-Jewish choir (albeit sung in Hebrew!) of students in tribute to their much loved teacher who was a righteous convert to the Jewish faith and an honored expat member of our shul and community headed by a dedicated and much respected Chabad Rabbi. This took place in our Jewish cemetery after most of the Jewish attendees drifted away at the conclusion of the service conducted by our Rabbi. I found this most unusual turn of events to be moving and poignant but am curious to know more. – Peter Point Aug 25 '16 at 4:01
  • They should have asked their LOR first. – DonielF Aug 25 '16 at 4:26
  • If the music was a form of divine worship this could be problematic. Otherwise as long as the words were kosher I don't see the problem. But really, I know nothing. Ask someone more knowledgeable – Naftali Tzvi Apr 2 '18 at 1:10

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