Burial Problems in Israel
By Y. Rabinowitz
An additional and dangerous breach in the burial tradition of Jewry has arisen in the form of a proposal that each year, remains of deceased be exhumed from their graves and placed in caskets, to be transferred to family plots under the guise of what was prevalent practice millennia ago as "likut atzomos." This drastic proposal is being presented by its initiators in a special meeting of the Planning Administration.
This severe breach follows directly from the dreadful breach of burial on separate levels in concrete structures which was ultimately forbidden by gedolei Torah and poskim, past and present.
This harsh violation can also lead to the destruction of cemeteries throughout the world whereby governments and municipalities will evacuate graves in favor of real estate developments and highway construction. The initial publicizing of the halachic decision written several years ago to askonim of chareidi Jewry, is signed by HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman and yiblch"a HaRav Chaim Kanievsky and HaRav Gershon Eidelstein.
HaRav Efrati: "This new initiative constitutes a painful reminder of the terrible decree which already exists in the State of Israel, which is, in effect, a annulment of the traditional state of Jewish burial."
HaRav Yitzchok Gelbstein, director of the Chevra Kadisha Klalis (Perushim) in Yerushalayim: "It is inconceivable that the entire subject of burial, which is sacrosanct and inviolate and must be guarded and preserved intact so as not to veer from the tradition of generations since time immemorial, be subject to the decisions of governmental factors which arbitrarily determine procedures on the subject, and that they be the ones who deny the public which adheres to the Halacha, to bury its deceased "according to tradition and Halacha."