Leaving the Cemetery

It is advisable that before leaving the cemetery, the mourners sit on a low stool or bench, formally initiating the Shiva mourning process.  This is so that they can count this day as the first day of Shiva.  Some have the custom to place some money in a charity box, or make a pledge to do so later, in honor of the deceased.  On the way out of the cemetery, it is customary to pull out some grass and throw it back over the shoulder.

Washing the Hands

All those who attended the funeral should wash their hands ritually, once outside the cemetery area. Take a large cup of water in the left hand, pour it over the entire right hand, covering up to the wrist. Take the cup in the right hand, and pour it over the entire left hand, covering up to the wrist. Repeat two additional times. It is customary to place the cup upside down after washing, and not to dry one’s hands with a towel or paper, so that the memory of the deceased lingers.