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Natural burials in the British Jewish community - a response from David Frei, registrar of the London Beth Din

There are two basic problems with natural burial: First, burial should be in consecrated ground. Secondly, the chief reason in Halacha for the placement of a tombstone above a grave is not in order to commemorate the deceased, but to warn Cohanim (those of the priestly caste) not to approach the grave, it being a Biblical prohibition for a Cohen to come into close proximity of a grave. If a grave was unmarked this would be problematic.

I am not aware of any shortage of spaces in Jewish cemeteries.

The London Beth Din

 

August 2006

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