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November 22, 1974 - Image 25

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1974-11-22

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Burial and Mourning Rites Challenged by Detroit Conservative Rabbis

Responding to violations of
traditional Jewish practices
relating to funerals and to
mourning, -and in particular
to the' increasing incidence
of the practices of embalm-
ing and cremation among
Jews, the Conservative Rab-
bis of metropolitan—Detroit
are issuing a statement en-
titled "In Time of Sorrow."
The statement sets forth in
clear and succinct language

the traditional Jewish observ-
ances and procedures in re-
sponse to death and is in-
tended to serve as a guide
for Conservative Jewish fam-
ilies who experience a be-
reavement. The statement
was released to The Jewish
News by Rabbi MoseS Lehr-
man of Cong. Bnai Moshe,
chairman of the rabbis'
Rabbi Lehrman noted that
many Jews are unaware that
Judaism opposes embalming
and cremation, and since
Friday, Noy. 2Z 1974-25 these
procedures are com-
monly practiced in America,
increasing numbers of jews
are adopting them.
Rabbi Lehrman added,
"These 'are not the only vio-
lations of Jewish law, how-
ever. We are also disturbed
over the current practice of
viewing the body prior to the
funeral service and the use
Fine Clothes for Over 39 Years
of metal caskets.
24750 Telegraph at 10 Mile'
"In addition, we are par-
Daily to 6 P.M. Thurs. to 8 P.M.
ticularly disturbed at the
practice of turning the'
mourning period of shiva
11 to 4
into a time of socializing



rather than a moment for of-
fering comfort to the be-
The Conservative rabbis'
statement stresses their af-
firmation of the following
• A wooden casket should
be chosen, in accordance
with Jewish tradition. In ad-
dition, the casket should be
simple to avoid ostentation
at a time of death.
* The practice of publicly
viewing the body, either as
part of a prior visitation, or
immediately preceding the
funeral service, is contrary
to Jewish tradition, and is
• The traditional tahara
(ritual cleansing) of the
body is properly performed
by Jewish men and women.
In addition, the traditional
garb of tachrichim (shrouds)
and head covering is the
proper way for the Jewish
deceased to be buried. The
body of a man -should be
dressed in talit; if possible,
the one worn in his lifetime.
The guide also covers the

conduct of people in attend-
ance at funeral services, and
the practices that are to be
observed during the period
of shiva.
The rabbis reiterate that

shiva is a seven-day period
of intensive mourning. Those
who visit the mourners to
console them during 'this time
are urged to remember that
it is a period of sharing grief

and giving solace and not a
moment for light socializing.
"In Time of Sorrow" will
soon be published in bulle-
tins of Conservative congre-
gations. In addition, the rab-
bis are planning a series of
seminars to take place in
each congreation to discuss
fully the Jewish approach
to death. -
The directors of both He-
brew Memorial and Ira
Kaufman chapels have been
consulted by thrabbis, and
their cooperation enlisted in
encouraging Conserva-
tive Jewish families to ob-
serve the standards of Jew-
ish tradition incorporated in
this guide.
The Conservative Rabbis
of Metropolitan Detroit is a
group of rabbis affiliated
with the Rabbinical AsSem-
bly of America.
Copies of the full text. of
"In Time of Sorrow" are
Chief Rabbi of Israel, Shlomo Goren, recently visited available from any of the
Jeivish National Fund—prepared settlements in the Negev rabbis: Milton Arm, Cong.
and Sinai regions. Chief Rabbi Goren is shown at the site Beth Ahim; Noah Gamze,
of a new regional center in the Sinai, Avshalom ("Yamit"), the Downtown Synagogue:
now under construction by the fund.
Benjamin Gorrelick, . rabbi
emeritus, Cong. Beth Achim;
Irwin Groner, Cone. Shaarey
We advertise these products because
Zedek; Gilbert Kolling, Cong.
they're new and convenient for you.
Beth Israel, Flint; Moses
• And because they bring added
Lehrman, Conci. Bnai Moshe
and Howard Lifshitz, assist-
revenue that helps keep the cost of
ant rabbi, Cong. Shaarey Ze-
your basic telephone service down.
Also rabbis David Nelson,
Cong. Bnai Moshe: Seymour
Rosenbaum, assistant rabbi,
Cong. Mai Moshe; Seymour
Rosenbloom, associate_ rabbi,
Adat Shalom Synagogue; A.
Irving S'chnipper, Cong. Beth
Moses; Jacob E. Segal. Adat
Shalom Synagogue; and Max

Chief Rabbi Goren at Center

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Bible Scholar
Joins Dropsie


Haim Gevaryahu, an Israeli

biblical scholar, has joined
the faculty at The Dropsie
He is founder, and chair-
man of both the Israel So-
ciety for BiblicL Research
and the World Jewish Bible
He also is chairman of the
International Working Group
to Study the History of the
Canonization of the Bible
which is made up of 25 of
the world's leading biblical
The author of "Tannach
l'L'Am" (a commentary on
the Bible), he is presently
writing a book that will be a
biography of biblical books
from the earliest texts to the
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was the first to identify Old
Testament biblical colophons
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