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Former Mayor Ed Koch Plans To be Buried In Non-Jewish Cemetery After Consulting With Rabbi

koch.jpgThe NY Times reports: Former NYC Mayor Edward I. Koch, a Jew, said that he planned to stay in Manhattan — for good.

Mr. Koch, 83, said that he had purchased a burial plot in Trinity Church Cemetery at Broadway and 155th Street. Cemetery officials said they were reserved for special citizens. “The idea of leaving Manhattan permanently irritates me,” said Mr. Koch, who represented the East Side in the City Council and in Congress before being elected to the first of three terms as mayor in 1977.

Mr. Koch also said he had ordered a tombstone to “adorn my grave upon my death, which I hope won’t be for another 8 to 10 years.” Carved on the tombstone is the most important prayer in Judaism, “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One,” in English, Hebrew and a transliteration, and the last words of the journalist Daniel Pearl before he was murdered by Islamic terrorists: “My father is Jewish; my mother is Jewish; I am Jewish.”

“I called a number of rabbis to see if this was doable,” he said. “I was going to do it anyway, but it would be nice if it were doable traditionally.”

He said he had been advised to request that the gate nearest his plot be inscribed as “the gate for the Jews,” and the cemetery agreed. He was also instructed to have rails installed around his plot, so he ordered them.

Being buried in Manhattan, Mr. Koch said, would also make it easier for former constituents to visit. “I’m extending an open invitation,” he said.

37 Responses

  1. I guess Hizzoner Mayor Kochke thought the door to g’henim was located in Harlem??? I never thought of it that way but it might make sense after all the president responsible for dragging our morality down the drain has an office there too?!?!?

  2. what a sheygetz – yimach shmo! (quoting the words of Harav Hagaon Rav Avigdor Miller zt”l, about this mayor who led a march of mishkav zochorniks)

  3. Hold Everything!! Remember he is a Yid. He was good to Yiddens while in office and is still outspoken for Yiddish causes. He is only behaving the way he was raised.
    I remember when a Yid would to come in to shule once a year to say Kaddish for his parents (yertziet was a big thing for the non-frum) or come once a year to shule for 5-10min for Yom Kippur. Now, they don’t even come at all…
    I remember when the very rich non-frum would send money to Jewish causes (even UJA) now there children don’t. If we don’t get our act together by setting a good example of what a Yid is, and start picking up the pieces of what is left, there will be no-one left for us to criticize.

  4. I am appaled by the comments here.
    Number 1: Is it your job to send Jews to Gehenom?
    Number 2: How could you use the words Yimach Shimo about a Jew?
    Number 4: Who talk you to speak like this? Certainly a person who calls himself a Torah Yid should know better.
    Are you familiar with a Mitzvah called Ahavas Yisroel? While Ed Koch certainly has what to do Teshuva for he most defenitley is a Tinak Shenishbah, and could use a little Ahavas Yisroel. And you never know he may turn himself around.

  5. RebCheski in number 8 is thoroughly correct.

    I might add a very important insight from the Chofetz Chaim ZTL. The Chofetz Chaim said that when he was young he thought he would try to change the world. He saw it wasn’t working so he thought perhaps he could change the people on his continent. He saw that was not working so he settled on changing the people of the country where he lived. He saw that was not working so he decided he will change all the people of his city. But that too was not working. Said the Chofetz Chaim, “I will change myself and hopefully the influence will be felt by the people around me.” To number 2 and 4 above please remember that 1)Koch he is a tinuk shenishba. 2)Perhaps if you rid yourselves of all your personal spiritual failings your good influence might be felt by this former jewish mayor.

  6. People
    1) check with your local Orthodox Rabbi before damning the man to Gehenam.
    2) I wonder how many of the posters have only words of praise for minuvalim such as Rudolph Guiliani and Rush Limbaugh and others who by virtue of their “championing” of jewish causes are held in the highest esteem by many many religious jews and organizations. Meanwhile because of some strange sense of offense they castigate Ed Koch who was nothing but excellent to and for the jews of NYC while mayor and who extensively pens pro jewish and pro israel and anti arab and anti semitic columns.

    3) why slam the gates of repetance in his face? his only intent is to be buried in NYC not to convert and not embrace any other faith, he is 100% jewish in mind, body and soul. Are you all so insecure that a righteous non religious jew’s statement that “he would have done it anyway” even if the Rabbis told him not to so easily set you off.

    You People are such children.

  7. to #6, #7 when one lives and grows up among shomrei torah umitzvos he is not tinok shenisba, tinik s’henishba is like EG:growing up in commmunist USSR, also de shvachste yid wants to come to kviras yisroel and he doesnt care to be buried among “shesi v’erev” have “shema yisroel…” engraved there is chillul hashem mit alle m’phorshim. when public figure like him does this the chillul hashem is tenfold. the toivos that he did will not cancel this big chillul hashem also mr illin07 (#5).just dont worry about those going off the derech regarding these comments this ,just worry more of this gevaldige chillul nisht do plenty kivrei yisroel??

  8. Ed Koch visited the campus of Yeshivas Rabeinu Yitzchak Elchanan in the winter of 1983-84 (after the shootings on the campus the previous Ellul and then beefed up security), and he addressed the talmidim. Prior to that address, Rav Dovid Lifshitz zt”l had some private words with the mayor. When Mr. Koch began his address, he shared R’ Dovid’s conversation with him: “Rabbi Lifshitz said: ‘I am very proud of you’.”

    We can each agree or disagree with the propriety of Ed Koch’s burial decision. But let’s not wholy comdemn this man.

  9. to #10…i dont understand your complaint about “daming to gehenom”. this man was oiver al kol hatorah kilo…so where do think he is going to end up. also he promoted mihogay sedom see from our part (we people that are such children)..let him go to gan eiden…but we’re not the boss on that so all the favors he did and all the good cloumns that he wrote will not cancell out that he was oiver all kol hatorah kilo. we dont have to check something as elementery as this..rather you check it with you local reform rabbi as you dont sound from your hashkofos we think that is your place so mr sinisent please refer to #11 what ever he did good does not cancel this tremendos chillul hashem. also mr mature, nobody is slamming the gates of tsuvah from him we reread all postings can you point out which claimed he cant do tsuvah by the way there are certain avairos that the gemmorah mentions that shomayim does not accept tsuvah…also this has nothing to do with guiliani etc. guiliani was not mechiav b’mitzvos…next to to your comment of “some strange sense of offence”..prooves our point that you should check with your reform “rabbi”if youi can consider oiver all kol hatorah kilo , and this tremendous chillul hashem (see#11)a “some strange sense of offence”..

  10. Ed Koch is a result of the Narrow Chinnuch given in European talmudei torah befor the war.
    Reading Bialik and other benighted literature was just forbidden, (similar to the concerts of today). Instead of having the gedolim read Bialik in public during the mussar sedorim and explaining the apikorsus under the heading of Da Ma Shetoshuv, they solved the haskala problem by simply forbidding it.
    The result was that the masses turned away from a closed system and did not have the answers to cope with a modern world.
    Ed Koch is a product of that phenomenon and as such is a tinok shenishba. May Hashem have merci on him and let him do tshuva before he turns 120.

  11. to #12..MR.eekvesedemeshihe..this site is for shomrei torah u’mitzvos so there is no such thing as “free country and whatever he wishes” so if you dont believe in this principle you have plenty non shomrei torah site to go. the derech hatorah is not an opinion, there is a shulchen urech we are guided by…

  12. I think a point some very frum poster are not understanding or not realizing is that he did ask and was told what to do. By putting rails around his grave he will be seperating off his plot from the rest of the cemetary, creating halacha l’maaseh, a “jewish cemetary”. Agreed that its not the best but at least its something.

  13. l’maisah, if one travels to older cemetaries in small town America, one can see sections in city cemetaries that are fenced off or separated by tall bushes, and that’s where the yidden are buried – the mayor’s selected inscription of Shema and Daniel Pearl’s last words imprint clearly the community with which he identifies himself – ours. Let’s draw him and others closer, rather than push them away. Who knows – quite possibly the zechuyos we have accumulated bentching Shabbos licht each week or laying tefillin each day will be buried and rendered useless by our persistent lashon hora and sinah, while others who seem “less connected” will ascend to great heights in the olam ha’emes because they conducted themselves with respect for others and concern for ALL JEWS

  14. #19..dont be silly, which “rabbi”..did he ish nisht du al pi torah aza heter especially the chilil hashem involved see #11..b’mokom shyesh chilil hashem ain cholkin kovod …” also to #14 can elaborate on the term “who dont believe exactly as we do” can you give few examples as what constitues not EXACTLY as we being oiver on kol hatrah kilo “not believing EXACTLY as we do, so dont be silly mr illini07

  15. illini – Your wholesale characterizing the chareidi/yeshivisha community as ”closed-minded and unwelcoming” ironically fits all the negative attributes you attribute to it.

  16. also , everybody ,what this statement of “pushing away”, these postings are to disscuss open exchange of ideas as long its not k’neged hatorah (no, “free speech” doesnt apply when k’neged hatorah!) so who is pushing away anybody..when we meet up with a fellow yid who is off the derech we will be m’karev and if one knows the proper way to show will also show it, but on this postings ,we have to be moiche when an article mentions something that is k’neged hatorah. mr koch doesnt read here and if yes see k’dushin 67b l’gabay chanife..also #20 “ain donin efsher m’sheiefsher…”to #19 yeahivah11230..again since he is a renowned public figure all this heterim (according to you) does not take away the tremendous chilil hashem see#11..also just because there are not yet shomrei torah u’mitzvos reading this site ,one cannot refrain from pointing out what is k’neged hatorah because of chashash someone will be turned off(if he is “turned off” because he doesnt like certain mitavah of the torah ,he wasnt turned on to begin with).EG: we had one article that mentioned the “toiavh hayedia” (remember sedom)so of course there were those who bombarded against it azoi vie es darf tzu we had one posting saying “i am ashamed of the people of my faith” why , because vost heist ,racisim against yene toiave,so we shouldnt point out that toiave is against de torah because someone will get turned off. that some one was never turned on.and even we know 100% one will “turn off”,one has to point out..(from the languaged use “people of my faith” ken men shoin farshtain ve ziy halt)

  17. to illini07..have noticed your postings thruout shmeked fun kfirah (ayzayhu apikoras, hamvazeh talmidei chacham”) so noticed ,and if you get turned off by chassidishe/litvishe/yeshivishe, dont feel lonely,there are the imos h’uolom who also get turned off because we adher to the torah b’chol prutayhu v’dikdikdikyhu..what you point to the reason is only tamm niglay the tamm nistar is gedolah…..

  18. illini – Your language above is a wholesale condemnation of the chareidi/yeshivisha community (whether or not your intention was.)

    And yes I do know that the chareidi/yeshivisha community has a reputation. It is one of love, acceptance, charity, wholesale kindness, amongst many positive attributes.

  19. to#21..we’re not here for grammer test as long as one undrstands the thought..doing business while reading posts so couldnt care less if i before e except after c etc etc as long one gets message, dont have sec. to go over ans…(i see you understood what we said according too your comments, that is the ikor for us, not here to pass spellig bee or.. t#2, “willingness to throw awy a jew” can you point out which post is throwing out anybody… 3 say “how he was oiver al kol hatorah”, plenty times was pictured eating in treif restaurants,oh, so you say he had schreibers brought in, sorry forgot shreibers had lobster tail with hechsher probably from same “rabbi” that gave heter on the gate here. also mecallel shabbos b’ferhesye is koifer b’chol hatorah kilo ,(did i hurt your feelings with this statement, what could i do thats the rules and regulations of the torah not my own halacha)cant help that mr illini07 and others will get turned off but your kind wont be the first also lets start with the first mitzvah in the torah. was also m’vatel…so take each mitzvah and see for yourself, 4th you say “dont know why your bothering with me” the answer is in that what i say is bothering you next post you’ll see. 5th, “dont know what kilo means” also shows you are not from chassidishe/litvishe/yeshivishe/chareidishe/ crowd so what crowed are you from the crowed that stecht zei when we point out what was pointed out regarding the article, so the tamm niglah that bothers you is “ready to throw pout a yid” which you still have to show which post,so what is left is the tamm nistar is “lo b’chinom holch hazarzir el hu’oireif ale mipnaei shehu mino”, now if you dont know what this means and you dont know what kol hatorah “kilo” means the prooves my point.

  20. to #6 mr pashute yud..can you refer us to the exact location in the chazon ish ztv’kl where we can see what he wrote about the inyen of being friendly to chiloni of our time..not that we’re implying shouldnt be, but we would like to see the psak so can apply properly. yashor koach.

  21. Rav Avigdor Miller ZTZ”L was once asked what he thinks of Toeiva rights’ he answered: “They should (or they will) gay to gehonim, which they so richly deserve”. Of course we are all hoping & should be mispallel that Ed Koch should become a Baal Tshuva and THAT will be a Kiddush Hashem! The problem is if he is a choyta umachti es hurabbim (he sinned & caused others to sin) then according to the mishna it’s difficult (or impossible) to do tshuva.

  22. to mr illini07 #32 those are not spelink erors…tose are tht way becase sincs u cant refut halachally to isue at hant so you can fel god that you kaut me at gramatikel erors..chak koshor v’ that you dont learn from me bad spelik we wil spel thoce words properli..spelling,errors,those,because,since,refute,issue,hand,feel,good,caught..the rest look up in dictionary..for future and past postings, dont have secretary to go over…busy doing bisines(business,according to your spelling) on if it makes you happy ant feel good about grammer and spelink erors as you kant refute etc,etc (se abov)go ahed..and please mr illini07 we are just debating not….”es voheiv b’sifu v’es hancholin arnon…” and agin, has to be al pi torah and if it is not rite (helo mr speling caught me again)al pi torah we have to be moiche against… and from maiselech that was or wasnt you cant bring reyoh… yomtov mr speling ,gramer techer…

  23. How sad,Mr. Koch is unaware that there is no Manhattan in the Olam Haemes. How ironic, My father z”l lived through the gehinnom of Auschwitz, at his levaya as he was being lowered into the ground I remember thanking Hashem that he was zocheh to Kever Yisroel when so much of his family and so many of his contemporaries were not.

  24. response to the prolific jent1150 (# 16):

    – “where do you think he is going to end up?” = I dont know what this man’s private life is like but I cdertainly know that in oublic he was not Over Kol hatorah Kulo so I am not in a position to know where he will end up indeed I am not the boss of that but I do know that the One who IS the Boss of that will make His determination and will not be guided by your advice or suggestion

    – I am not reform but am indeed Orthodox, i see from your pronounciation however that you are, or at least speak as if you are, part of a sect of “orthodox” jews that has difficukty accepting or respecting those who may have different shittos or opinions from them. I feel for you that through all your Avoda Bsimcha you can’t accept other viewpoints and find it difficult to coexist with your co-religionists. reminds me of another sect located in the Middle East, they are called chamas perhaps you are familiar with them.

    – “we dont have to check..” who is this “we” that you are speaking for? Is it again a group of people who believe that not only do they have a lock on the Torah but that they represent teh Ribbono Shel Olam and only they know what He would do in any situation? You use the Imperial We in several instances where does such arrogance stem? Are you sure you are not reform yourself? With your Gayva you certainly are not a talmid of Moshe Rabbeinu.

    – “w reread all postings can you point out which claimed he cant do tsuvah”. reread # 4, i know there may be too much English for you to understand but the claim is there.

    – last I checked, the use of terms such as “mr this or mr. that” was common in the playground but usually done with by the 6th grade, you support my assertion that you are indeed a child with a child’s brain and unfortunately probably an adults ability to do real harm. Your postings are all nasty attacks on the writers with small minded arguments with questionable sources. are you a child or did you just not get past the 6th grade?

    You did not address my point that Koch did not request this plot out of a disdain for his Yiddishkeit but out of an, albeit misguided, love of the city, most true orthodox rabbis would pause to consider the distinction.

    I would gladly take 100 ohavei yisroel like ed Koch over a Sonai Yisroel as yourself any day. (if anyone thinks I am exxagerating read the postings of this guy)

  25. It is nobody’s business what Mr. Koch wants to do after he dies. We are not tzaddikim that we can judge his decisions. History will prove he wasa tinok sh’nisha and not a rosho. He is misguided,like so many of us are. Let Hashem judge and decide where his soul will go when his large body (he’s very tall) goes to rest in Harlem/Washington Heights. At least he will not be cremated,nor will he have any sons to recite Kaddish or children who will follow in his way. He is proud to proclaim ‘Shma Yisroel. Poor guy is a little mixed-up,but that does not make him a rosho. Please don’t be so mean;who knows what tzidkus he may have done and some day,we may be in dire need of Hashem’s mercy while he is enjoying his long sleep in the ground of his beloved ManhattanPlease,fellow posters and yIDDEN, LEARN TO SPELL AND WRITE INTELLIGENTLY ,OTHERWISE,NO ONE WILL TAKE YOU SERIOUSLY. yOUR OPINIONS REFLECT THE WAY THEY ARE PRESENTED.

  26. to mr illinio7..adious’ see you next artikle…al taneh kesil keivalto…if you take it personeli.. to #40 those who wil not take our opinion seriously because of gremer thos we are not tryink to influens… to mr illini07 dear mr mature so why do you respond altogetr to cild comm. you stil did nt refut anytink, but if it makes you feel intligent go ahed..engaging in ad hominem doesnt make you rigt..pleze dont exkuce our spelink and grame

  27. To jent1150

    This is an english correspondence forum. As such, it would make sense to submit your comments beyond a fourth grade level of english.

  28. OPPS! to #39 mt sinisent..just noticed your post see #28,#42 for response…please why do you take it so personel…torah hu v’lilmod ani tzorich. now if you dont agree go ahead, but only with reyous from halacha not from maises ,this rebbe said that rebbe said which we cant verify..also dovid hamelech says “oizvei torah yehalelu rasha v’shomrei torah yisgeru bom” so one says “not nowdays etc etc etc”…zolzein azoi..,now we do not hate mr koch, if we catch him chas v’esholem we will not tear him limb to limb and hang him on bridge(you know which sub-human animal babarians do it…{oy vei did i insult someone out there by talking loshon hora on you know who?})and chas v’sholem if mr koch,(to #39 paragraph 5 please dont excuse me for being child and use term MR)needs hatzolah we will run just like to any other yid we. can only come to conclution of what bothers you is the posuk in te’hillem refered above. remeber the gemmorah b’rochs 10a bruriuh wife of reb meir said “yitamu chatuim not choitim”…but here is a big chilil hashem see#11 so all those taines does not cancell the big chilul hashem, so can you refute that? yes im a child,retarded ,uneducated,un-grmmaticle (grammtical, for those who are perticlar on spelink), should play in playground,but even a child can say sometimes something worthwile…

  29. to mr pasuheth yid RE: #38..(excuse for being childish and using term “mr.” {see #39 parag.5).. looked in the “chazon ish”… there is nothing said about being “friendly to….” he talks about the halocho of “…moridin v’lo malin, that is not nohag b’zman hazah…now please dont take it personally, this is what we wanted to proof, one qoutes this rebbe that poisek the other tzaddik and on that basis one makes a shita which is k’neged halacha…so this will be for future if one can show exactly where a particlar hashkofa is ,so we can verify when dealing against a common sense halacha… AGAIN.. THE cHAZON ISH DOES NOT MENTION ANYTHING ABOUT BEING FRIENDLY TO CHILONIM in those 2 paragraphs(not that we shouldnt)

  30. to #43 ..we are very satisfeied (for those who observe the rules of i before except after c its s-a-t-i-s-f-i-e-d) with our 4th grade level enklis…so if you are above comprihending 4th grade level englis, next time you see post with this siknitur scip it ,yashor koach..also how is it a yid nit fatshteit yiddish? (enyunei d’yoma- lo shini shemom, please this is said in goocd will not hate so dont start crying ….to mr pashute yid..the closes in the chazon ish that gets your point is lash paragraph last 2 lines “…v’uleinu l’hachzirom bavosos ahavahu lehamidom bekern orah bmah sheyodeinu magas”

  31. to mr pashuteh yid..we should have shiur together,maybe you’ll teach me spelin’ an’ sinisent and mr illini07 are coplainin’ me cant spelin an ‘grammah’

  32. to mr pasheteh yid and whoever, if you find my writing incomprihensible dont read it.we dont have a sectratary to proof read,doing my business online needs total concentration, kookt oichet in a sefer so thats that ..also the reason we use “we” not I ,see #39 parag 3, because using “I” denotes gaiveh unlike mr sinisent’s taineh that “we” is gaiveh ,actually the term should be “mir” ,but of course that doesn’t make me ois bal gaiveh see#39 paragrph 3. this vort is from the holy reb’ aron of karlin… if you want, mir, we ,I, will look up exactly where, mir have the sefer ..and post. anyway all kidding aside, now again mr sinisent, mr illini07 not out of malice , (remember “with malice toward none…librty for…)who said it ,im just below 4th grade level ,ok ,it was Abe Lincoln, what bothers them is not my spelling, grammer etc but ..see #35p, but the content, de tachas, see post #14 “crown heights man…” also see post #4 article “open letter to..”

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