Digging His Own Grave

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  • #616909

    YW Moderator-42
    Moderator

    “B’kivri asher karisi li b’eretz knaan”. Yaakov dug his own grave. He was actually buried in the grave he dug for Yitzchak after they moved Yitzchak to the right of Avraham which is why it says “acharei kavro es aviv” twice.

    #1119741

    147
    Participant

    I bought a plot some years ago:- Is this tantamount to having dug my own grave?

    #1119743

    A person should not buy a burial plot for himself as this puts a ayin hara on him. A person is allowed to leave a will and include burial wishes in it without worrying about ayin hara

    #1119744

    Health
    Participant

    Mashgiach -“A person should not buy a burial plot for himself as this puts a ayin hara on him.”

    Funny. I heard just the opposite! A person should buy a burial plot because it’s a Segulah for Arichas Yomim.

    #1119745

    TheGoq
    Participant

    ahhh the plot thickens.

    #1119746

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @mashiach Agent

    This Family Law/Estate Planning/Trust Attorney will tell you that in the US a decedent’s wishes for burial expressed in a will are meaningless under the law.

    The decedent has no control over his her body when dead. The executor/trix makes decisions.

    FURTHERMORE, it may take quite some time to get a court order to open a safe deposit box and access a will, or a court order to enforce provisions before going through the probate process. If Chas V’shalom someone is niftar on Shabbos, and a Sunday burial in order the family can’t wait for banks and courts to open on Monday.

    My great Grandfather bought plots for all his expected descendants (100+) in the family foundation cemetery back in 1919. I still pay annual dues and am a trustee, but doubt I’ll ever be interred there. However, my eldest son and family make NY their home and might eventually join the family (in another 100+ years).

    Outside NYC, synagogues typically own their own cemeteries and plots are often included as part of one’s membership costs. In fact, many synagogues are able to retain dues paying members (who never attend that shul) because members want to be buried with their families. Not uncommon to belong to two or three shuls for this reason.

    #1119747

    Joseph
    Participant

    They need two or three burial plots for themselves?

    #1119748

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    My mother bought a plot for herself many years ago, near where her parents were to be buried.

    All I have to say is that I’m very happy she did. I don’t think I could have handled the idea of suddenly having to “shop” for a plot when she did pass away.

    The Wolf

    #1119749

    Joseph
    Participant

    When a yid passes away without having prepared a plot the chevra kedusha still manages to bury him virtually always within the day. How so?

    #1119750

    TheGoq
    Participant

    Because the CK has no emotional attachment to the mais so its routine for them to do what needs to be done.

    #1119751

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    Joseph,

    I maintain a membership in the shul in whose cemetery my parents are buried, and where I expect my siblings will eventually be buried. If I let the membership lapse, my plot(s) will be forfeited to the shul.

    We pay dues to the shul in whose cemetery my wife’s father is buried and where her mother will eventually lie. This is because my wife has expressed a desire to be there.

    Personally, I’d rather be with my grandparents and great grandparents in the family plot in Queens, but as most of the family is in CT, it would be more convenient for the living if we were eventually interred here.

    All my grandparents are buried in NY. My parents moved to CT in 1952. They made annual visits to the NY cemeteries. My parents are buried in New Haven, I visit their graves at least once each month. Being a country person, I also am likely to put garden tools in the car and trim/care for the graves when I visit. I can’t imagine my cousins schlepping on the #7 train to MT Hebron with tools to clean up our grandparents graves…and the quality of perpetual care is poor.

    Joseph—the Chevra Kedisha may manage to bury a mais without a prepaid plot quickly, but it is usually in a next in line plot, and not necessarily in a particular organization, shul or family plot.

    Here, if you don’t have a prepaid plot and need the Chevra Kedisha to handle it, the mais usually ends up in the Hebrew Free Burial Society cemetery, or a small cemetery owned by the funeral director. Otherwise the family had better be prepared to fork over thousands for a plot in a particular cemetery before the grave is opened.

    Cemeteries and Shuls are also businesses and have rules and fiscal responsibilities to their members. The chances of collecting qucickly or at all for a plot that has been used before payment is received is not very good…and no judge will order a disinterment for non-payment, even if halacha allowed such a thing.

    #1119752

    Abba_S
    Participant

    There are Chevra Kadishas that you can pay a nominal fee under $50.00 per year and the whole family is covered and not have to be a member of the shul. The funeral alone without the plot or use of the chapel cost at least about $8,000. Most Chevras Kadishaas bought plots years ago when the plots were cheap. Funeral Directors do not own cemeteries, they may have bought plots cheap or know people who are looking to get rid of an unused plot. Shuls also may own a section of the cemetery but unless they have it in the backyard they don’t own the whole cemetery.

    #1119753

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    Abba_S-It is very different in NY from out of town!

    My maternal grandparents are in King David-Elmont, My paternal line is in MT. Hebron-Queens. In those cemeteries, many synagogues own sections for their members.

    Here in Connecticut, virtually every synagogue owns its own cemetery. The local Jewish Funeral Director owns 2 cemeteries that I know of. One of my childhood friends owns a cemetery in New Haven that was started by his grandfather in 1920.

    Local Jewish Federations in CT and Massachusetts have had to take over derelict cemeteries—owned by defunct shuls or landsleit with no surviving members, money or interest.

    The rules, customs and laws vary by state and area.

    #1119754

    lesschumras
    Participant

    CT lawyer: it’s Beth David cemetery.

    Mashiach Agent: please don’t assume your minhag is halachs.

    #1119755

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    Lesschumras………………

    You are correct, fingers typing faster than mind was moving

    #1119756

    Abba_S
    Participant

    I don’t know how small Jewish communities or funeral directors can afford to maintain these cemeteries. Many of these are abandoned and are taken over by the state. An investor takes it over the property, paves it and uses it as a parking lot, although he is not suppose do that. Or kids use it to hang out and vandalize the tombstones.

    #1119757

    oomis
    Participant

    I heard the same segulah as Health did.

    #1119758

    Abba_S
    Participant

    With the cost of living few people are concerned with life and burial insurance. Cemeteries are rarely visited outside of a funeral and are therefor not supported as much as say a yeshiva and when the comunity moves away they are forgotten and abandoned.

    #1119759

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    Abba_S

    In Connecticut these small cemeteries owned by defunct congregations and organizations are usually taken over by the Jewish Federations.

    Massachusetts has the Jewish Cemetery Association, which has assumed ownership and care for both abandoned cemeteries and those of functioning congregations. My BIL is Rav of small congregation in Massachusetts with a cemetery going back 100+ years. They turned it over to JCAM along with funds to endow the upkeep. Professional management and full time groundskeepers can really cut costs.

    edited by mod to remove link

    #1119760

    Hashemisreading
    Participant

    YW Moderator-42: 147-105=42

    #1119761

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Abandoned cemetaries are a problem in NYC as well. Many of these places ran out of money years ago and have basically been abandoned as they have no source of income and many people buried there have no decendents

    #1119762

    I dug my own grave from below. Braaaaiiiiinnssss…

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