The oldest, active Jewish cemetery in the world, going back around 3000 years.Photo of the Day
Posts Tagged ‘cemetery’
A dynamic young man who left this world much earlier than anyone ever expected, still managed to reach from beyond the grave this week to help a fellow Jew.
David Antar, 26, was the youngest son in a Brooklyn-based Syrian Jewish family and least likely to be sick; but he passed away nearly a year ago. Heartbroken family and friends told the story of his life in the few words they could place on the stone cover for his grave.
“Humanitarian. He helped hundreds of people in their time of need… He lived a very short life spent in the service of others.”
There is a tradition among Jews to visit the resting place of departed loved ones during the ten “days of repentance” between Rosh HaShanah (Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement).
In a Sephardic cemetery in Staten Island, New York, Eliot and Shlomit Belilos were visiting the graves of family members on Thursday when they suddenly remembered their friend David had also come to the cemetery this year.
Walking over to pay their respects, they spotted a group of nine men close to Antar’s grave who looked like they were searching for something, Shlomit Belilos related in an interview with JewishPress.com .
“Can we help you?” she asked the group.
“We need a tenth man,” one of the group replied, “and we’re running out of time. We need to say Kaddish (the Jewish prayer for the dead) for a relative here but it is getting late.”
The requirements for reciting Kaddish are specific, and unique. A quorum of ten Jewish males age 13 and up is required. Kaddish cannot be recited without these specific conditions having been met. In the loss of a parent, for the first 11 months the prayer is recited by the bereaved child three times a day, every day, supported by the quorum of ten. In other circumstances the requirements change.
Eliot Belilos had appeared just in time, and more to the point, he was sadly eligible, having lost his father just a couple of years ago. Being familiar with the need for recitation of the Kaddish, he quickly joined the group and Kaddish was recited.
Those in the quorum merited a ‘credit’ for having helped out a fellow Jew and the bereaved merited a credit for having met his obligation to recite Kaddish as he was supposed to. Belilos scored an extra credit for being the tenth man to complete the minyan (quorum).
Coincidence? Yes, of course. But David Antar always had a knack for being in the right place at the right time when something needed to get done fast. Now.
Antar was a drug counselor, a case manager and a crisis intervention specialist. He founded and ran an agency, “C.R.I. Out” in Los Angeles, California, that helped place drug addicts in treatment programs.
He knew what worked and what didn’t, first-hand, because he had already been there — like most really good drug counselors — trying to bury old business he’d spent a lifetime trying to forget. He knew the struggle from “working the program one day at a time,” every day.
On October 28, 2013, Antar didn’t work the program. No one knows why. It cost him his life, but not his soul. That part of him still burns brightly.
On September 3, 2014, somehow David Antar reached out and made sure Kaddish was said for a fellow Jew.
May the memories of all departed loved ones be for a blessing this Yom Kippur Sabbath.Hana Levi Julian
A new non-denominational Jewish burial society has replaced an Orthodox one at a Boston-area Jewish funeral home.
Community Hevra Kadisha of Greater Boston, which launched this fall and is part of a growing movement of Jewish burial societies that include non-Orthodox volunteers, began performing tahara – the ritual preparation of bodies for burial – at Brezniak-Rodman Chapel in West Newton, Mass., last week.
Until this month, the Orthodox-run Chevrah Kadisha of Greater Boston, whose membership is by invitation only, had been the sole provider of tahara at Brezniak-Rodman and other area funeral homes.
After Brezniak-Rodman announced that it would provide space for the new group, which has more than 100 volunteers, Rabbi Naftali Horowitz, who is known as the Bostoner Rebbe, sent a letter stating that the Chevra Kadisha of Greater Boston would continue operating there only “if we are the only one using the facilities.” Allowing a nondenominational group to use the funeral home’s facilities would “add great confusion regarding the standards which will be administered,” the letter said.
Last week, Brezniak-Rodman confirmed that the Chevra Kadisha of Greater Boston had stopped working with the funeral home.
David Brezniak, owner of Brezniak-Rodman, said of Horowitz, “I respect his decision, and he needs to respect mine. I thank him for whatever he’s done over the years, and that’s it.”
Officials from the Chevra Kadisha of Greater Boston, including Horowitz, did not respond to inquiries from JTA.
Brezniak said the new group employs the same standards in conducting tahara as the Orthodox one, and that he has been pleased so far with their work.
“The people doing this are very dedicated,” he said. “They’re not cutting any corners.”JTA
Damaged Torah scrolls found by U.S. troops in Iraq’s intelligence headquarters were buried in a cemetery in New York on Sunday, according to Jewish law for disposing of unusable religious objects and texts.
More than 100 people, including Lukman Faily, the Iraqi ambassador to the U.S., attended the ceremony at the New Montefiore Cemetery in West Babylon, Long Island. “This is a statement by the government and people of Iraq that we are here to respect the heritage of the Jews,” Faily said.
Thousands of Jewish ritual items were discovered by U.S. troops in 2003, after the U.S. ouster of Saddam Hussein. U.S. troops found the items in the waterlogged basement of Iraq’s intelligence headquarters, and they were shipped to the National Archives, where experts set about restoring them.
An exhibit there on display through Jan. 5, is the first opportunity to see them.JTA
Radical Haredim rioted in Jerusalem and in Beit Shemesh, west of Jerusalem, on Monday because of construction at sites that they said contain Jewish graves. Police took into custody at least 14 rioters.
The Haredim in Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim and Geula neighborhoods set garbage containers on fire following a rabbinical ruled against claims of the developer that the site was over grain and oil warehouses. The rabbis said they investigated and concluded that there are Jewish burial caves underground, making it a holy area where it is forbidden to build.
Haredi rabbis are not unified in their opinion concerning the Beit Shemesh building site.
Construction work continued under police supervision.Jewish Press News Briefs
I have been searching for the answer to this question…who did they kill…those 104 we are about to release? I know of a mother and her three children; I know of a grandfather stabbed in the back. I don’t know all the names but it is for these we weep today – once killed by Palestinian terrorists, today betrayed again by the government and the justice system in Israel.
Today, for these we weep…knowing that tomorrow…there will be…there will be…others.I got this on Facebook with the following note:
Look Into These Eyes….Men, Women, Parents, Grandparents, Children, Grandchildren, Infants, Soldiers, Asheknazi, Sefardic, Jews and Non Jews, Religious and Secular.
These precious faces haven’t smiled since vicious murderers stabbed, shot, kidnapped and murdered them. The Government has just agreed to release the spineless animals who murdered the people you are looking at. The Israeli Government did this as a prerequisite to have the ‘privilege’ to sit and discuss ‘peace’ with a people who continues to call for our destruction.
Who could demand such an insane request from us? I don’t forget all the good America has done for me and my people, but today… today is a brand new day. Yesterday doesn’t exist and tomorrow isn’t here yet. Today I live in a country that feels humiliated, confused and betrayed.
Look into their eyes… and imagine the agony of those who love them still and forever…
Visit A Soldier’s Mother.Paula Stern
Headstones of hundreds of Jewish graves, which were buried to hide them from the Nazis, have been unearthed in Vienna, a discovery of “high historical value,” according to one local Jewish official.
Senior Jewish community official Raimund Fastenbauer told Fox News Wednesday that the significance of the discovery is on scale with that of the ancient Jewish cemetery in Prague, the oldest known graveyard of its kind and one city’s most visited tourist sites.
Some of the graves date back to the 16th century, and after the excavations, up to 800 stones are expected to be found.
Fastenbauer said the few Jews who still were in Vienna in 1943 hid the gravestones from the Nazis but were recently found during renovation of their original small cemetery.Jewish Press News Briefs