MK Gafni Demands Traditional, One-Tiered Burial
By Yechiel Sever
Knesset Finance Ministry Chairman MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni sent a piercing letter last week to Religious Services Minister MK Yaakov Margi of Shas following a plan he is advancing through his ministry to enable burial in tiers and vaults throughout Eretz Yisroel, with no option for open space burial (kvuras sodeh) in accordance with halacha and the current practice. Despite the right every individual has to be buried according to halacha at the expense of Bituach Leumi, the only exception would be in cases where a special request is filed and an inordinate fee is paid.
Margi's plan would be especially upsetting for traditionalists who assume their loved one is being buried in full accordance with halacha and the widespread practice.
"Your plan for saturation burial, with no option for open-field burial — even for an added fee — is set to take effect," Rabbi Gafni wrote in his letter to Margi. "We view this as an act, by the ministry you head, of coercion against the followers of Maran HaRav Yosef Sholom Eliashiv shlita and other poskim, who want to have kvuras sodeh for their loved ones, and you are imposing your views on many, many Jews who adhere to this practice."