Aug 7, 2012

Inappropriate Neighbors Justify Mid-Night Exhumation

Which story do you think is crazier - the fuzzy glasses that were patented and are being sold to some kooks in order to avoid seeing women, or the following story?

Bechadrei is reporting that in the middle of the night last Thursday night a body was exhumed from the Sanhedria cemetery and transferred for reburial in Har HaZeisim, the Mount of Olives.

The reason for the exhumation was due to this person, described as a well-known "person of chessed" of Jerusalem, having been granted new neighbors that were inappropriate to be buried next to. Since he had been buried in his plot 8 years ago, a secular woman and other secular people who have died since.

Even though the fellow had left in his dying wishes that he wants to be buried in Sanhedria, his family was disturbed because of his new neighbors. His family went to various gedolim and rabbonim, including Rav Elyashiv shortly before his illness that left him in a hospital for 5 months, Rav Wosner, Rav Ovadiah Yosef, and Rav Tuvia Weiss of the Eida.

Upon reburial, they were instructed to place a note in the grave asking for forgiveness for having disturbed his rest in the transfer.

It is amazing that being buried next to someone who was mechalel shabbos is a strong enough reason to justify an exhumation. To not be buried in the first place, I know there is a clear preference. But to order a reburial, that is something new to me.

I am not sure the significance of this additional mention, but the article says that the chevra kadhisha of Kehillas Yerushalayim denies any involvement, though they say it actually did happen but had not been coordinated with them. The chevra kadisha of "Chassidim" also denied any involvement. I would assume if they denied it that there was a different chevra kadisha involved. I don't know why they needed to be asked or issue a denial. Who cares which chevra kadisha was involved?

Bechadrei has updated the story with more details, saying that the graves immediately adjacent to the dead fellow had already been populated before he had died, so when he got his plot he already knew, and seemingly had no problem with it, that he would be buried next to secular people.
And, the issue of the chevra kadisha is one of a possible "hasagas gvul". If the family used a chevra kadisha that overstepped its bounds and worked in someone else's "territory, there might be room for a claim against them, though the rep they spoke with says the issue will not be taken further.

Now this is a crazy story! the fuzzy glasses is just stupidity.

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  1. So when the next protest comes over digging up some pagan bones for a new hospital/road/shopping center, how are they going to differentiate between this case in which the head of the Edah allowed bones to be disturbed and that future case in which bones will be disturbed?

  2. Next time a protest comes up, all you need to do is find a secular person willing to temporarily be buried next to the pagans and off you go ...

    or is that like a "graf shel re'i l'chatchila" ...

  3. great idea. I love it! these bones are almost always found in secular areas anyway (in the religious areas they take care of the issues without too much of a fuss), so just say that the bones are dishonored by being left there!


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