Virtual Talmud

Virtual Talmud


Grave Matters

I am surprised and disturbed by the tone of Rabbi Grossman’s post stating her opposition to allowing non-Jews to be buried with their Jewish spouses in a Jewish cemetery. She writes: “Let us… not undermine the final resting places of those who currently rest in peace.” It almost appears that Rabbi Grossman believes that the souls of those buried in a Jewish cemetery will catch cooties from the presence of a non-Jew buried nearby.

I understand Rabbi Grossman’s concerns about the current levels of intermarriage, but I also think that threatening to separate a couple in death who have been together in life will just alienate both members of the couple and won’t serve as a practical dis-incentive. There are many reasons people choose not to convert and this does not mean that they are working against the interests of the Jewish people or the Jewish community. On the contrary, they can often be active partners in raising Jewish families, supporting Jewish rituals and observances, and building Jewish community. If someone wishes to be buried in a Jewish cemetery I believe they are affirming their intent in death as in life to be fellow travelers: people who love and support the Jewish people and our communities.



Advertisement
Comments read comments(7)
post a comment
jethro

posted January 25, 2007 at 8:40 pm


If more rabbis don’t start sounding more like Rabbi Waxman and less like anti-Gentile halakhaocrats, the continued modern exodus of Jews out of Judaism will continue.



report abuse
 

Truman Matthews

posted January 25, 2007 at 9:43 pm


LOOK BEOND THE GRAVE In responce to “grave matters” my opinion as one person among all people as a whole, would be to support the spouses that are non-jews that wish to be buried in a jewish cemetery.In a marriage the spouse becomes one with god as well as their partner,to reject the spouse is to reject the seed.



report abuse
 

Susan in PR

posted January 25, 2007 at 10:54 pm


It is with sorry that last year my husband and I purchased plots in a municipal cemetery in the town where we live. Surrounded by altars and crosses, it was our only choice. I so wanted to be buried in a jewish cemetery but to be beside by beloved is more important. We have raised our children jewish and they are very torn about this decision. I explained it doesn’t truly matter where we are laid to rest as long as we are together. So many jews in the world have ‘ended up’ in graves that were not where they were expected to be but with G-D’s outstretched hand are where they should be now.



report abuse
 

livingwithhope

posted January 28, 2007 at 4:56 am


I know of at least 2 Canadian Jewish Cemeteries where a part has been set aside for mixed marriages. Seems a chain is put between the two graves and this makes it kosher.



report abuse
 

barry newman

posted January 30, 2007 at 12:39 am


I have been married for 32 years to a great wife and mother who is not of the Jewish faith. I will be put to rest beside her in a non sectarian plot of land that we will both decide on. We have had two children together who have been brought up Jewish and have gone thru everything to make them Jewish. My wife was the bigest help to them in doing this. I would not want my wife buried in a Jewish plot as we both respect and understand thousands of years of tradition. When we are gone our friends and familys will pay us the respect of what we did when we were alive and our love for each other will live on forever. I love being a Jew. My wife loves what she is also. My advise is > Love your family with all your heart and sole and g-d will love you and you will sit on his (her) side for all time.



report abuse
 

Maeve

posted January 30, 2007 at 2:10 pm


It is so sad to hear of this. Tearing families apart even unto their resting place, just because of a Rabbi’s opinion, bringing upon all G-d’s children…. segregation. In my opinion this type of segregation only brings more anti-Semitism upon our faith.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted November 11, 2007 at 10:41 am


I am surprised and disturbed by the tone of Rabbi Grossman’s post stating her opposition to allowing non-Jews to be buried with their Jewish spouses in a Jewish cemetery. She writes: “Let us… not undermine the final resting places of those who currently rest in peace.” It almost appears that Rabbi Grossman believes that the souls of those buried in a Jewish cemetery will catch cooties from the presence of a non-Jew buried nearby.
I understand Rabbi Grossman’s concerns about the current levels of intermarriage, but I also think that threatening to separate a couple in death who have been together in life will just alienate both members of the couple and won’t serve as a practical dis-incentive. There are many reasons people choose not to convert and this does not mean that they are working against the interests of the Jewish people or the Jewish community. On the contrary, they can often be active partners in raising Jewish families, supporting Jewish rituals and observances, and building Jewish community. If someone wishes to be buried in a Jewish cemetery I believe they are affirming their intent in death as in life to be fellow travelers: people who love and support the Jewish people and our communities
what a load of crap



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

The Task Is Never Finished
It has been heartwarming to read the warm responses to Rabbi Waxman's post asking Beliefnet to reconsider its decision to cancel Virtual Talmud. Virtual Talmud offered an alternative model for internet communications: civil discourse pursued in postings over a time frame of days (rather than moments

posted 12:31:46pm Apr. 03, 2008 | read full post »

Some Parting Reflections
Well, loyal readers, all good things must come to an end and we’ve been informed that this particular experiment in blogging as a forum for creating wide-ranging discussion on topics of interest to contemporary Jews has run its course. Maybe it’s that blogging doesn’t lend itself so well to t

posted 1:00:29pm Mar. 31, 2008 | read full post »

Obama's Lesson and The Jewish Community
There are few times in this blog’s history when I have felt that Rabbi Grossman was one hundred percent correct in her criticisms of my ideas. However, a few weeks ago she called me out for citing a few crack websites on Barak Obama’s advisors. She was right. I never should have cited those web

posted 12:09:08pm Mar. 31, 2008 | read full post »

The Future of Race Relations
As a post-baby boomer, it is interesting to me to see how much of today’s conversation about racial relations is still rooted in the 1960s experience and rhetoric of the civil rights struggle, and the disenchantment that followed. Many in the black and Jewish communities look to this period either

posted 4:04:41pm Mar. 25, 2008 | read full post »

Wright and Wrong of Race and Jews
Years ago, as a rabbinical student, I was one of a group of rabbinical students who visited an African American seminary in Atlanta. My fellow rabbinical students and I expected an uplifting weekend of interfaith sharing like we had experienced in visits to other (largely white) seminaries. We were

posted 12:50:11pm Mar. 24, 2008 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.