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Before you view the following video, you might want to read about the role of the Chevra Kadish, the people who are dedicated to handling the remains of those who have died. Unfortunately, October 7 presented new, horrible challenges to those who do this honorable work. Caroline Glick invited one of the members to speak about her experience. Although her account is graphic, there are no photographs. She ordinarily would not speak about her work, but she is so appalled at the denials about those massacred that she felt compelled to speak out. I was so impressed with her dedication, commitment, and respect for those she tended to, as did her husband.
I believe the woman is an angel.
Following the video are the duties of the Chevra Kadish. I hope you will come away admiring these people and being humbled by their devotion.
An article in the Chabad library describes the duties of the Chevra Kadish.
Here is my own understanding of their roles.
The organization is comprised mostly of volunteers who are carefully trained in their roles. In the video Avigail Gimpel repeatedly stressed the importance of showing respect for those they tended:
Bestowing a proper Jewish burial upon a fellow Jew is considered a sacred duty and a profound act of kindness. In Europe of yesteryear, it was an honor to be a member of the Chevra Kadisha, and great Torah scholars and communal leaders were often admitted to this society as a mark of distinction. Today as well, membership in the Chevra Kadisha reflects noble character and is viewed as a badge of honor.
The organization also has men tend to men and women to women. In one heartbreaking story, Avigail said there were times when the burned bodies were given to them as ashes in containers. Although the assistance of pathologists, archaeologists and laboratory technicians were engaged, how does one make sure that the entire body, which is required by Jewish law, is included?
These are admirable, dedicated people.Published in