Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

12 Adar 5761 - March 7, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Chevra Kadishos to Have Public Board
by Eliezer Rauchberger

At a convocation held by the Knesset Interior Committee, Chanania Shachor, director of the Kehillas Yerushalayim Chevra Kadisho, announced the founding of an impartial public committee. The committee will serve as an address for the public concerning chevra kadisho operations throughout the country. The convocation was attended by 200 Israeli rabbonim and chevra kadisho heads.

Mr. Shachor clearly stated that in contrast to rumors, chevra kadishos do not demand fees for their burial services, except from those who seek to bury their beloved ones in nonstandard burial plots. He said that more than 70% of the general population in Israel receives free burial services paid for them by Bituach Leumi.

He also discussed the fact that the chevra kadishos are prepared to institute modern burial methods, such as burial on levels and other methods enabling maximum use of burial areas.

Chairman of the Interior Committee MK David Azoulai (Shas) said that we must not accept quietly the fact that the State does not subsidize the real costs of cemetery development. "This is an intolerable situation. It is time for the State to allot land for burial and subsidize cemeteries. This will decrease the citizen's burden and enable the chevra kadishos to lower the costs of plots. They will be happy to do," he said.

Chief Rabbi of Israel Yisroel Meir Lau said: "A Jew in the State of Israel has an absolute right to be buried according to halocho. In Russia, a Jewish grave was an anchor to ward off assimilation, and one of the channels for the transmission of Jewish heritage from generation to generation."

Knesset members from various parties objected to the image attributed to the employees of the chevra kadishos. They noted that they must acquaint the public with their difficult, dedicated work performed in the capacity of gomlei chessed shel emes.


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