Aug 24, 2009

Keep the lid on

To follow up on the story of Mitch Pilcer discovering the crypt of Reb Yehoshua Ben Levi (HaKapar?) when digging in his plot to build a new bungalow, today the courts in Tiberias are due to rule on whether the Antiquities Authority should be allowed to open and examine the grave, or if they will need to wait until all proper permits have been applied for and granted.

Pilcer is concerned about letting them in before proper permits are in order. He is concerned that it will incite protests and ruin his business. That along with what he previously described as the need he feels to protect and guard the newly discovered site.

On the one hand, who is not curious as to what will be discovered under the earth of the Galilee, and what it will tell us of previous generations.. On the other, how can we approve of opening and examining graves just because they are old? This is an historic site, and it is of our ancestors. If they are to be allowed to defile this grave just to satisfy curiosity and even for a higher goal of education and knowledge, who is to stop them from defiling anything else that is sacred? Will you allow them to open your bubbe and zaidy's grave just because some might want to know more about them, and discover who they were?

Graves are meant to remain closed, at lest in Jewish tradition and law, whether they are 5 years old, 500 years old, or 5000 years old, or in this case about 1800 years old. Except in extreme circumstances, of which this is not.

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