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Jewish Question

Early yesterday morning a young Orthodox couple was killed in a Brooklyn car accident. The funeral was in the afternoon. Why the rush to bury?

by Anonymousreply 8603/21/2013

Burial is fast in Judaism.

by Anonymousreply 303/04/2013

Delaying burial unnecessarily is considered humiliation of the dead.

by Anonymousreply 403/04/2013

It goes back to the days of hot countries when bodies needed to buried fast for sanitary purposes.

A year later Jews have the 'stone setting', that's in many ways the real funeral.

by Anonymousreply 603/04/2013

Judaism doesn't believe in an afterlife, right? No Heaven or Hell?

by Anonymousreply 703/04/2013

No, I think the Jews do believe in an afterlife.

by Anonymousreply 803/04/2013

By and large Jews do not believe in an afterlife. Although of course certain Jews do (some Jews follow mystical traditions, some Jews are also Buddhists).

by Anonymousreply 903/04/2013

It's the unveiling of the headstone that takes place a year after the death.

by Anonymousreply 1003/04/2013

On the web, there is a photo of a pile of chunks and the leg that used to be that Israel astronaut killed when Shuttle Columbia disintegrated in 2003. Just for him to go into space, the rabbis of his sect had to issue all sorts of dispensations about prayer times and the Sabbath because the sun rose and set for him every 90 minutes or so and alot of Judahism is based on cycles of the sun, so I remember there was another meeting to deal with the delay in finding the rest of his body and when and how it was returned since he was all messed up and couldn't be buried as quickly as is customary.

by Anonymousreply 1103/04/2013

[quote]were they buried, or cremated, though?

Religious Jews are always buried, never cremated.

by Anonymousreply 1303/04/2013


by Anonymousreply 1403/04/2013

Islam is the same way. Burials can happen on the same day as the death.

by Anonymousreply 1503/04/2013

Jewish law says to bury within 24 hours, unless the next day is the Sabbath and then they can be buried on Sunday. Exceptions can be made if the family of the deceased has a long way to travel, but obviously in this case that was not the situation. Jewish people as a general rule do not cremate. I am not positive but I think it is because the burning of the body is considered desecration. Before anyone asks, if you have a tattoo you can be buried in a Jewish cemetery (although I highly doubt this couple had any). That was a myth that even I believed until I read that was incorrect from a rabbi.

by Anonymousreply 1603/04/2013

That's why the Nazi ovens were the final insult and humiliation.

by Anonymousreply 1703/04/2013

They shoulda worn seatbelts.

by Anonymousreply 1803/04/2013

R10, the unveiling must take place within a year of the burial.

by Anonymousreply 1903/04/2013

OP, I was wondering the same thing. I know it's their "tradition", but why? Why is there such a rush? How do they throw together a funeral within hours of learning a loved one has died? I don't see how that can be healthy emotionally, pushing yourself like that while grieving. At least take a day or two to rest.

by Anonymousreply 2003/04/2013

In the olden olden olden days, Jews lived in the hot Middle Eastern desert, so it was best to bury the dead quickly, before they started decomposing.

by Anonymousreply 2103/04/2013

R21 Fair enough, but it isn't the "olden" days anymore. So again, why the rush now?

by Anonymousreply 2203/04/2013

Because r22 it is a law. A very old law, but still a law. And they seem happy with it, so I don't see a problem.

by Anonymousreply 2303/04/2013

Who cares? The families I grew up with all turned on me when they found out I was gay. I am not a big fan of religion.

by Anonymousreply 2503/04/2013

What are you talking about R26??

by Anonymousreply 2703/04/2013

Me neither, R25. But I do love history & enjoy learning about different cultures. So it's interesting to know the practical reasons behind theological customs.

by Anonymousreply 2803/04/2013

R7, The concept of Hell is part of a Christian belief system. How do we really know what happens to you after you die, and why are people so focused on the afterlife? We should be concerned with doing good deeds for others here on Earth. Then we will be in good standing no matter what happens when our souls leave our bodies.

Orthodox Jews follow the original laws and traditions, as strictly as possible. Modern Orthodox has some revision. Conservative, Reformed and Reconstuction branches of Judiasm have completely different interpretations, and follow what's truly important to them.

by Anonymousreply 2903/04/2013

Wow, so much casual hatred and prejudice in this thread, and hardly anyone bats an eye.

by Anonymousreply 3003/04/2013

I read that the taxi they were driving in had its ENGINE ripped off and it landed in the back seat of the taxi. The woman ejected out of the taxi and was thrown under a parked truck. The husband had to be pried out of the car with those jaws of life. Her baby was eaten by a dingo.

by Anonymousreply 3103/04/2013

[quote]Burial is fast in Judaism.

Also in Islam.

by Anonymousreply 3203/04/2013

[quote]That's why the Nazi ovens were the final insult and humiliation.

Well, that was just a bonus of the process. It was really about maximizing "production".

by Anonymousreply 3303/04/2013

It is incredible that their baby was born an orphan.

by Anonymousreply 3403/04/2013

In pictures of the couple, the husband is shown wearing a really ugly and huge cylindrical hat. Why do they dress like they just walked out of 18th Century Russia?

by Anonymousreply 3503/04/2013

I am a Jew. I'm going to address this to those that are genuinely interested and not the as*holes making the trolling remarks. Jews don't believe in embalming so funerals occur quickly. The way it's always been explained to me is that you're supposed to be buried in the same condition in which you were born - not filled with a bunch of artificial chemicals. Cremation is verboten. When my grandmother died, she was wrapped in a shroud and buried in a wooden coffin. It was actually a lot nicer than it sounds. No open casket, etc.

by Anonymousreply 3603/04/2013

R35, Chassidic Jews cling to their cultural traditions. Modern Orthodox and the more liberal sects of Judiasm are more open to innovation.

by Anonymousreply 3703/04/2013

My grandfather died in Spain and was buried the very next day. We got the phone call after he'd been buried. I guess they do it quick there too.

by Anonymousreply 3803/04/2013

These hasidic Jews are a sect/faction of the Jewish population, and although growing, are a distinct minority. They are extremely religious/observant and observe all of the antiquated traditions, including their dietary restrictions and manner of dress. The are intensely homophobic and sexist. Most american jews are more along the lines of the Jerry Seinfeld or Steven Spielberg types.

by Anonymousreply 3903/04/2013

If you prepared the body in accordance with kosher rules, would it be okay to keep it longer?

by Anonymousreply 4003/04/2013

Thanks, R36. I was always curious. An Orthodox Jewish friend died a few years back and the funeral was less than 24 hours later. I had to haul ass up to Connecticut. This is in contrast to my own Irish relatives who will drag out the drama for a week.

by Anonymousreply 4103/04/2013

While the burial must be within 24 hours, after the burial the family sits shiva, which is when visitors can come and pay their respects. In some respects, similar to the Irish wake, except we Jews get the body in the ground first so it can rest easily, and then we start the mourning.

by Anonymousreply 4203/04/2013

What happens if the ground is frozen solid, like in Canada for months at a time? What would the Jews do then?

by Anonymousreply 4303/04/2013

So let's say you move to Florida. You die. Your kids live in California, Toronto and London. You die in the morning and are buried in the afternoon but it's the middle of the night in London and you can't get a flight until morning. You can't get a flight from Roronto because there's a snowstorm.

Does your family bother to travel to Florida? Or do they say, "Hes dead and buried already. Why bother going all the way to Florida? We missed the funeral."

by Anonymousreply 4403/04/2013

[quote] except we Jews get the body in the ground first so it can rest easily, and then we start the mourning.

A dead body rests easily in one place and not another? It's dead, it's resting everywhere it goes.

by Anonymousreply 4503/04/2013

As posted upthread R44, exceptions to the rule can be made if the IMMEDIATE family can't get there within 24 hours. There can be an extension of up to 72 hours.

And if you're in the frozen tundra, R43, you can still dig thru the permafrost and bury the body. Eskimos do it all the time.

by Anonymousreply 4603/04/2013

But the SPIRIT does not rest, R45, until the body is buried.

by Anonymousreply 4703/04/2013

What if there has o be an autopsy?

by Anonymousreply 4803/04/2013

[quote]You can't get a flight from Roronto because there's a snowstorm.

Here's another problem: you for some reason pronounce the name of your city like Scooby Doo would.

by Anonymousreply 4903/04/2013

OP, you can look this up online, Race troll.

by Anonymousreply 5003/04/2013

I heard the poor baby died too.

by Anonymousreply 5103/04/2013

I am not Jewish, but have a question. My father died when I was 16-years old. His oldest brother was part of a jury deliberating a famous murder case. It was a big deal. They finally let my uncle attend the viewing/wake, but he was with two court representatives. The rules were that he could only talk to my mother, not even his wife or children or me.

But, the court took a while to figure things out; he certainly did not arrive within 24 hours. If we were Jewish would we have immediate used the IMMEDIATE family rule to gain more time?

I understand not all situations are this dramatic, but some may be close. TIA.

by Anonymousreply 5203/04/2013

(R20) In the Jewish tradition, people "sit shvia" after the death of a loved one meaning they have the equivalent to a seven day wake without the body. It's not as if they bury the body and forget about it.

by Anonymousreply 5303/05/2013

(R52)Although the ethical and practical details of this particular hypothetical scenario were widely debated in the Talmud, no definitive conclusion was reached.

Rabbi Abraham ben Troll likened to the time in 15th century Spain when Jacob Diaz fell into a well just as his brother died. Was the family to wait for Jacob Diaz to be rescued from the well before beginning burial procedures? Rabbi ben Troll wondered that "if the people of Israel alter their customs to accommodate one clumsy, fat fuck, will their customs not then be altered to accommodate every clumsy fat fuck? Like wise should custom be altered for some schmuck who couldn't wiggle out of jury duty in the first place?"

Rabbi Isaac ben Fraustein offered the opinion that family was more important than custom while Rabbi Mordecai ben Mary rolled his eyes and told him to go attend to his scrapbook and leave theological matters to the big boys.

Perhaps the only definitive answer to the debate was given by Rabbi Elazar ben EST who responded "why I should I talk about this. It never happened!"

by Anonymousreply 5403/05/2013

"Like wise should custom be altered for some schmuck who couldn't wiggle out of jury duty in the first place?"

My dad died suddenly of a heart attack at age 53. It was totally unexpected. So you are saying that people must put their lives on hold, when there is no indication of a major problem?

by Anonymousreply 5503/05/2013

Unlike other more dogmatic religions, most practices in Judiasm are open to interpretation and debate. While most Jews hold on to core beliefs and an inherited value system, individual practices vary tremendously depending on how observant you choose to be, which branch of Judiasm you choose to follow (there are enormous differences) and what you personally decide is most moral in any given situation. To some Jews, the "taught from birth" tremendous importance of education and knowledge matters far more than traditional burial practices in today's modern world.

by Anonymousreply 5603/05/2013

I haven't read through all the responses so this may have already been stated. But OP, Jews bury their dead fast because they generally do not embalm the bodies. And they usually don't buy expensive caskets, but bury their dead in plain wood boxes.

by Anonymousreply 5703/05/2013

When the husband of a Jewish friend died, by the time the obit was in the paper it was too late to attend the service.

by Anonymousreply 5803/05/2013

For R43 -- I don't think anyone involved was Jewish, it's just a good story well told.

by Anonymousreply 5903/05/2013

R57, A plain casket is traditional, as Jews believe that you should spend the money on the living, not on the burial. Embalming is unnecessary as the focus is on what the deceased accomplished and the good deeds done for others (mitzvahs) in his/her life time, not on what he/she looked like. Bringing food to share with the grieving afterwards, while talking about what that person meant to you and how he/she will be remembered, honors the deceased more than attending the religious service that composes the funeral.

by Anonymousreply 6003/05/2013

r16, if I am not mistaken, observant Jews do not get tattoos as it is an act not in accordance with Mosaic law. Some Christians carry this over into Christianity (I'm not sure what the official position of the Catholic Church, for an example of one branch of Christianity, is with regard to tattoos) and it is regarded as a "graven image". To me, it's just common sense. Why spend time and money getting silly images inked onto yourself almost as disfiguring? It's almost like putting graffiti onto your skin. Anyway, I am fairly sure that Jews consider at least the 10 Commandments as the core laws from God, everything else is commentary and interpretation, which is today done by rabbis as the preisthood hasn't been in existence since Roman times. Therefore, despite the fact that Jews living in modern times have the option of delaying burial, the law, which comes ultimately from God, supposedly, must be obeyed in any case.

by Anonymousreply 6103/05/2013

PS--I hope someone Jewish can confirm this, but having said that rabbis do the commenting on and interpreting of the law, isn't it an option open to any Jewish male who has had his bar mitzvah? I am also thinking that among the Reform Jews women can also comment on the law in the synagogue after their bat mitzvah?? There is a sort of rough equivalent to bar/bat mitzvah in Catholicism with Confirmation and first holy communion although commentary and interpretation of the scriptures is pretty much the responsibility of the priest; a parishioner doing this is not taken to kindly in Catholic "circumstances" in constrast with many Protestant groups which stress anyone's right to read and interpret the Bible for him/herself--a minister is there merely to help the process along at least in theory.

by Anonymousreply 6203/05/2013

R61, R62, Again you're making a huge mistake if you assume that "all Jews believe . . ." Observant Jews generally do think that tattoos are defacing and disrespecting the body which God provided. Likewise food and liquor should be consumed in moderation, and drugs that harm the body are to be avoided.

Which branch of Judiasm that you follow depends on whom you seek to answer questions on "correct" practices. The Chassidic or Orthodox sects look primarily to the Rabbi, as they tend to be more conformist. Reformed Jews are more liberal and are likely to make their own decisions. Originally once men had their Bar Mitzvah at age 13, they could take part in discussions interpreting the laws of the Torah. Don't forget the Rabbi was supposed to be the most learned and educated man of the whole community. He was affluent enough to devote his life to study.

Rather than the 10 Commandments, the following are fairly universal Jewish Beliefs:

"The great 12th-century Rabbi Maimonides put together "13 Articles of Faith" that he believed every Jew ought to adhere to. These have been widely accepted as a proper expression of the Jewish faith and they still appear in Jewish prayer books today. So while it is not necessary to believe all of these articles to be Jewish (and in fact many Jews would likely question one or more of the articles) they serve as a good general summary of religious Judaism.

The 13 Articles of the Jewish Faith proposed by Maimonides are these:

God exists God is one and unique God is incorporeal God is eternal Prayer is to God only. The prophets spoke truth. Moses was the greatest of the prophets. The Written and Oral Torah were given to Moses. There will be no other Torah. God knows the thoughts and deeds of men. God will reward the good and punish the wicked. The Messiah will come. The dead will be resurrected."

by Anonymousreply 6303/05/2013

Jews do believe in both Heaven and Hell. Our Hell is just not the same concept as the Christian Hell. Our Heaven is going back to the Garden of Eden and our Hell is a place that ppl have to go to, to be cleansed that they can eventually return to the Garden of Eden too. Jews do not have autopsies, unless there is a violent crime.

by Anonymousreply 6403/05/2013

R64, The laws of the country that Jews live in usually takes precedence over religious practice. Still I don't believe that ALL Jews would agree with your interpretation of Heaven and Hell. I do agree that it would be very different than Christian concepts, as would "resurrection" and "Messiah."

by Anonymousreply 6503/05/2013

The ultimate Jewish question: What Chinese restaurant is open after the movie on Christmas eve?

by Anonymousreply 6603/05/2013

Shun Lee West

Shun Lee Palace

by Anonymousreply 6703/05/2013

Didn't the Nazis refer to it as "The Jewish Question"?

by Anonymousreply 6803/05/2013

R61, what is the Mosaic law? Not those little glass colored things you glue to a panel, rright?

by Anonymousreply 6903/05/2013

My husband's cousin's father died on Thursday and she kept him cooling his heels in the morgue until Sunday. The reason? That Sunday was Father's Day and she could wail, for the rest of her life, "I buried my father on Father's Day!"

So yeah, people devise their own interpretations of the laws.

by Anonymousreply 7003/05/2013

r65 that is what most Jews do believe....

by Anonymousreply 7103/06/2013

r69, The law of Moses, hence Mosaic--I think your question is rhetorical.

by Anonymousreply 7203/07/2013

Avigdor, wait!

by Anonymousreply 7303/07/2013

I first read the AP story on ABC News and what was odd was how it was more about the couple being Orthodox than it was about them being killed in that awful way (and later, the poor baby died too).

The spokesman was a rabbi from their sect, so maybe that was why the story was more about their religion rather than their tragedy, but it seemed strange to me.

by Anonymousreply 7403/07/2013

I actually like the idea of dealing with it all right away.

My sister died a few months ago and it took more than a week before we had the funeral and burial. Dragging it out like that was painful for everyone. A funeral is a symbolic marker that a life is over and it's time to move on and begin healing. Dragging it out is cruel.

by Anonymousreply 7503/07/2013

Another Jewish question:

I went to school in St. Paul with Arnold Feinberg. Are you related?

by Anonymousreply 7603/10/2013

Another nice thing about being Jewish (besides fast, fast burial and a really neat penis) is that you can't have the same name as your father. All my life, I wanted my own name.

by Anonymousreply 7703/10/2013

"Our Heaven is going back to the Garden of Eden and our Hell is a place that ppl have to go to, to be cleansed that they can eventually return to the Garden of Eden too."

I'm Jewish. I've never heard this. Where are you getting it from?

What I learned was that heaven and hell were here on earth and could be experienced depending on whether we chose to live a good and caring life or a wicked and selfish one.

by Anonymousreply 7803/19/2013

Our Hell is provided while we are alive courtesy of our Jewish mothers.

by Anonymousreply 7903/19/2013

R77, Jews traditionally choose to honor and remember the dead by naming their children after loved ones.

by Anonymousreply 8003/19/2013

Yeah, but often it's only using the first letter of the deceased's name.

"They named him after my, dear Uncle Mordechai, the tailor Motel Kamzoil!"

by Anonymousreply 8103/19/2013

What happens when you are 5 or 6 months pregnant and die? Does the baby get buried within the mother?

by Anonymousreply 8203/20/2013

"At least I don't work for no Jew!"

---Monty Python, The Life of Brian

by Anonymousreply 8303/20/2013

This is an Umpy question, isn't it?

"I find the Jews such a rich and fascinating people! That's why I have so many questions about them." -- Umpy, disingenuously stirring the shit as ever

by Anonymousreply 8403/20/2013

R81, A Jewish family may also pick a variation of their ancestors' name for their newborn. I think that using the first letter of a name is kinder to the child if the name is very hard to spell or pronounce.

by Anonymousreply 8503/20/2013

Another Jewish question: Does my ass look big in these pants?

by Anonymousreply 8603/21/2013
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