The collection of customs and folklore we're about to mention, comes from the "Philological Writings" of YIWO Jewish Scientific Institute of Vilnius, 1928. There  is mentioned the research about "Beliefs and customs related to death". This research was requested to pupils of the "Seminar of Yiddish Teachers of Vilnius", in 1925. Took part of it 23 pupils, among them KOVAL and GRAIEVSKY from Kartuz Bereza. From that research we next present the Kartuz Bereza-related material


Because of the belief that souls rested in garbage, it was forbidden to say: "There's a lot of garbage in your house". This sentence would bring, God forbid, the disappearance of some member of the house.


A curse: "May the earth eject your bones".


Anyone who's born on Saturday, dies on Saturday (according to a reference from the post-biblical treaty "Gemara").


The angel of death is a black angel of thousand eyes. When dogs bark, the angel of death is in town. One have to turn shoes and glasses upside down (paraphrasing a Gemara's saying)


A raven sitting on the roof is a bad sign.


Cows are mooing: a fire will happen soon.


Hens are crowing: bad sign. One have to measure house's area with a hen until the threshold: if the tail touches the threshold, it's necessary to cut it; if the head is touching the threshold, then the hen must be slaughtered and it's forbidden to eat its meat.


If a man thinks somebody has called him at his name, but nobody has, it means that he'll die soon.


If a house is located on a place where formerly was a forest, members of that house will die.


To lose a ring is a bad sign. To find one is a good sign.


Future can be predicted according to a match's flame. In the past, people used to foretell  weather according to smoke and fire, then man's destiny was foretold this way too. Tomorrow's weather can be foretold with a lit match. If the match burns and remains in one piece, it's going to be good weather. If match is broken, a storm is coming.


It's forbidden to live in shadows; otherwise someone could come along and slap you in the face.


If a man dreams of a dead person giving him something, the dreamer will live many years.


To change an ill's name is a healing virtue.


It's possible to heal an ill if somebody gives "teeth" to him, but it must be the very donor's teeth.


If a dying person moves his nose and bites his nails, it's a sign of his soon recovering.


A dead man can resuscitate if he's called by his name three times, but this won't extend his life very much. That's why is not really useful to revive dead...


It's forbidden to point at the sky with a finger, and if somebody does, he must bite his finger (specially children).


To die on Saturday's eve is a good thing, at least you're exempt from hell, since it's closed on Saturdays.


Righteous and pious men usually die on month "Elul".


When a man dies and there's a lot of people in his house, they must stand on two lines, in order to clear the way for the Angel, as if (symbolically) they were facing a bride. Kids are not allowed to stay in the house. The more candles are lit around the dead, the better for him. The water used for the dead man wash, must be collected and thrown far from human settlement.


It's forbidden to tight the thread when the shroud is being sewed. Only old women can sew the shroud. Above the shroud a white coat or "ritual robe" (talit/tales) is placed.


When the dead lies in the house, you must turn over the chairs and sit there.


It's dangerous to look through the eye of a needle when a dead is in the house, because you can see Satan or the angel of death. The angel of death wets his knife's edge on three houses near dead house, two on the same sidewalk and another in front of it. If there's no Jew living there, the neighbor of the nearest house must throw the water away.


If the dead lies a whole day, a copper coin, bread and salt must be placed on his belly. If a bird eats the bread, it means that the man died from hunger and he's coming back to eat, or his soul comes dressed like a bird in order to take care of the dead.


If we move our ears closer to the threshold of a room where a dead lies, we'll hear his laments asking for his sins forgiveness, but if somebody hears it, he'll die immediately. Therefore, listening is inadvisable.


Dead must be carried on the palms if the cemetery is near. This is the procedure for common dead, but righteous and pious must be carried on the palms even if the cemetery is far.


If two righteous die on the same day, "shofar" (ritual music instrument made of ram horn) must be played. People on the dead house must tear their clothes. The person who tears the clothes must be aside the dead, and the one whose clothes are being torn, must be on the other side. The prayer for dead (kaddish) must be made in the cemetery.


If a bride dies after her wedding dress was made, she must be dressed on that dress and a veil. If the wedding dress wasn't ready, she must be covered only by the veil.


If a child dies, his body must be removed through the window; thus other children won't die. Nobody must pass through that window, or he'll die immediately


When coming back from cemetery, people shouldn't enter the house immediately. First they have to throw the water outside (TN: in which they washed their hands) , and the receptacle must be placed on the ground. After wetting hands,  receptacle must be thrown and picked up from the ground. Hands must be dried off in the walls, and if a handkerchief was used, it must be never used again.


Before going to bed, the ground must be swept, for that night angels are coming to visit, and the house must be ready.