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Monday, April 30, 2012

Israel - Chevra Kadisha Presents Alternative Mass Burial Plan

Israel - The Chevra Kadisha forum has presented its own plan for mass burial in the case of a multi-casualty incident.

Under the government plans, the bodies will be buried temporarily, in coffins, at temporary cemeteries. In the second stage, after identification, the bodies are to be transferred for final burial.

In a letter sent on Sunday to Home Front Defense Minister Matan Vilnai, the forum, which unites the 12 major Chevra Kadisha branches in Israel, claimed that the national plan for cemeteries, which includes temporary burial for the massive amount of victims or transfer to cooling facilities until final burial can be arranged in civilian cemeteries, is “problematic” from a halachic perspective as well as a humane perspective.

Chevra Kadisha claim that the problematic arrangements can be avoided by regulated preparation.

The alternative presented by the forum includes a few central points, including keeping “extra reserves” of burial sites at the ready – throughout the country – which will be maintained by Chevra Kadisha. The land will be in areas near or adjacent to existing cemeteries so that the necessary infrastructure is already in place if needed in an emergency.

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