web analytics
October 26, 2014 / 2 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



My Machberes

Cemetery Business

This story is often repeated. A rich man who lived in a shtetl never gave one cent to charity, no matter how worthy the cause. No beggar’s woe was able to pierce the miser’s ice-cold heart. As is the way with every mortal, the miser’s last day on earth arrived. Knowing of the lack of generosity of the deceased, the chevrah kadishah demanded an exorbitant amount of money for a burial plot. The family balked, but having no other choice, dutifully paid every last dollar and the deceased was buried with all regular courtesies.

Immediately after the shiva, the family members rushed to file a lawsuit and summoned the chevrah kadishah to secular court, claiming that the amount paid was unprecedented, discriminatory and unlawful, and they demanded a refund, plus interest and penalties. If left undefended, the members of the chevrah kadishah were criminally liable as well. Petrified of appearing in a secular court, the members of the chevrah kadishah rushed to the rav of the shtetl and shared all of the details of what transpired. The rav reassured them that they had acted correctly and that he personally would represent them at the trial.

As the court date arrived, the rav proceeded to the courthouse. As he walked through the streets toward the center of the shtetl, he was followed by everyone who saw him. Ordinarily, the rav never went into the business district. Everyone’s curiosity was aroused.

As the bailiff called the case, the miser’s family screamed and shouted about the outrageous injustice they endured. The judge patiently heard them out and plainly sympathized. Finally, the chevrah kadishah was called on to defend its actions. Out of respect, everyone in the courtroom rose as the rav approached the bench.

The rav explained how a chevrah kadishah is obligated to honor every Jewish deceased and to assign a burial plot. Ordinarily, when a Jew dies, a burial plot is assigned in which the remains of the deceased are to repose until such time that Mashiach comes and everyone is resurrected and brought to the Holy Land. Each deceased is judged according to his actions and those worthy are resurrected first. When resurrected, the burial plot, now free and unencumbered, is returned to the chevrah kadishah.

The deceased in question, the rav pointed out, was exceptionally wealthy. Despite of his magnificent fortune, however, the miser never contributed even one cent to any charity. Without any merits, he is not worth to be resurrected and will lay in his burial plot forever. And the plot will never be returned to chevrah kadishah. Accordingly, the price demanded was reasonable and fully justified.

The words of the rav penetrated the previously biased judge who fully appreciated the rav’s wisdom. The judge ruled in favor of the chevrah kadishah.

Beth Israel Cemetery in Woodbridge, NJ

Rabbi Yonason Steif, zt”l

Situated in Woodbridge, New Jersey, the Beth Israel Cemetery is a place of honor for Torah giants who rest there.

They include Rabbi Yonoson Steif, zt”l (d. 1958), rosh beit din and effectively chief rabbi of Budapest and later Vienner Rav; Rabbi Chaim Michael Dov Weissmandl, zt”l (d. 1957), Nitra rosh yeshiva, son-in-law of the Nitra Rav zt”l and Holocaust hero; Rabbi Moshe Stern, zt”l (d. 1997), Debretziner Rav and author of Be’er Moshe; Rabbi Ezriel Yehuda Liebowitz, zt”l (d. 1991) Hodhahzer Rav who succeeded Rabbi Yonason Steif as Vienner Rav; Rabbi Hillel Bishko, zt”l (d. 1960), prolific writer and contributor to the Hamaor Rabbinical Journal; Rebbe Dov Berish Dembinsky, zt”l (d. 1981), Alexander Rebbe; Rabbi Shraga Feivel Sholom Dembinsky, zt”l (d. 1954), Alexander Rebbe; Rabbi Mordechai Menachem Mendel Eiger, zt”l (d. 1995), Lubliner Rebbe; Rabbi Mordechai Yosef Leiner, zt”l (d. 1991), New York Radziner Rebbe; Rabbi Yeruchem Leiner, zt”l (d. 1962), London Radziner Rebbe; Rabbi Yitzchok Zev Mayer, zt”l (d. 1991); Nitra Rosh Yeshiva; Rabbi Yitzchok Yehudah Leib Shacar, zt”l (d. 1953), Rav in New York; Rabbi Yechiel Menachem Singer, zt”l (d. 1988), New York Alexander Rebbe; Rabbi Naftali Aryeh Spiegel, zt”l (d. 1948), Ostrov Kalishiner Rebbe; Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchok Spiegel, zt”l (d. 2001), Rav of the Romanian Shul; Rabbi Yehoshua Yechezkel Taub, zt”l (d. 1952), Modzitzer Rebbe; and Rebbe Yekusiel Yudah Teitelbaum, zt”l (d. 1972), Lapisher Rebbe.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “My Machberes”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Terrorists attack Israeli soldiers with a Molotov cocktail in Arab village near Ramallah.
Palestinian Authority-American Shot Dead while Trying to Kill Jews
Latest Sections Stories
Nimchinsky-102414-Flag

This past summer was a powerful one for the Jewish people. I will always remember where I was on June 12th when I found out that Gilad, Eyal and Naftali were kidnapped. I will always remember the look on my sister’s face on June 30th when she told me that they were found. I will […]

Schonfeld-logo1

Avromi often put other people’s interests before his own: he would not defend people whom he believed were guilty (even if they were willing to pay him a lot of money).

Kupfer-102414

The Presbyterian Church USA voted to divest from three companies that do business with Israel.

How can I help my wife learn to say “no,” and understand that her first priority must be her husband and family?

My eyes skimmed an article on page 1A. I was flabbergasted. I read the title again. Could it be? It had good news for the Miami Jewish community.

Students in early childhood, elementary, and middle school were treated to an array of hands-on projects to create sukkah decorations such as wind chimes, velvet posters, sand art, paper chains, and more.

It is important for a therapist to focus on a person’s strengths as a way of overcoming his or her difficulties.

Sadly, there are mothers who, due to severe depression are unable or unwilling to prepare nourishing food for their children.

Michal had never been away from home. And now, she was going so far away, for so long – an entire year!

Though if you do have a schach mat, you’ll realize that it cannot actually support the weight of the water.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/community/my-machberes/my-machberes-49/2012/12/26/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: