Jewish Culture in Nursing
The Jewish culture has many concepts of taboo. One of the biggest items found was the importance of remembering the past. Past is a very important aspect in the Jewish community, even the breaking of a glass at the end of a wedding, symbolizes the destruction of a temple during an invasion from the Roman Army. (Giger and Davidhizar, 2008, p. 598) During childbirth, a husband may be in the room with his wife but may not participate other than coaching. He is not allowed to view or see the vaginal area or touch his wife.
After the delivery, he may lean over to his wife, careful not to touch, and say “Mazal tov” or good luck, congratulations. (Giger and Davidhizar, 2008, p. 596) After delivery it is important to be careful around the baby. Jewish people believe that is the nipple is pulled to fast from the child, falling on the head, or failing to place a cap on the head of the infant are all causes of fallen fontanel. The symptoms of this include crying, fever, vomiting, and diarrhea; but modern practice shows us that the causes of these symptoms are from dehydration.
The evil eye, or mal ojo, is a feared illness that is caused from someone admiring a child and that person has a frustrated wish to hold the child, but for a reason unknown, the person is unable to fulfill the wish. Hours later the child has fever, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite. Also, it suggests the child’s eyes will roll in the back of the head, and will become listless. This is probably the result of dehydration, but this is one perceived cause of a chronic illness. (Andrews and Boyle, 2008, p. 132)
If a follower of Judaism becomes ill, it is a common trend for the entire family to pull together and take care of the person. When the dying process starts a nurse should know that there is a strong need for a confessional. (Giger and Davidhizar, 2008, p. 606) If a person of Jewish faith passes away, the body must not be touched by a person of opposite sex. If this happens the body will be considered contaminated. All articles of clothing and any personal items that have come into contact with blood must be left with the body and not be touched.
Blood is sacred and must be buried along with the body. The body is removed to a sacred temple where the body is washed from head to toe in warm water, being careful not to turn the face towards the ground. The body will be dressed in white burial shrouds, tachrichim, and will be buried in a simple pine wood box. This is done so no one can distinguish wealth. (Klug, 2013, p. 1) This is all a part in a traditional ritual of the Jewish faith. This writer doesn’t believe in the above mentioned taboos.
Reading this information has sparked an interest in the cultural beliefs held by Judaism. Current beliefs are influenced by religion and basic humanity procedures for the dying and deceased. Religion has influenced death as a passing of one person to heaven or hell. Humanity procedures that are followed are the cleansing of a body, the placement in a casket, visitation and burial, and grieving by family and friends. 2C. Influence in practice is based off of the religions of the patients request or family beliefs.
As a hospice nurse, personal beliefs do not affect work habits. There are many different patient rights that are noted and followed.
Giger, J. N. , & Davidhizar, R. E. (2008).
Transcultural nursing: Assessment and intervention (5th ed. ).
St. Louis, MO: Mosby. Andrews, M. M. , & Boyle, J. S. (2008).
Transcultural concepts in nursing care (5thed. ).
Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins. Klug, L. A. (2013).
Jewish Life. Jewish Funeral Customs: Saying Goodbye to a Loved One. Retrieved Feb. 5, 2013, from http://www. jewishfederations. org/funeral-customs. aspx? print=1