After years of court battles with NGOs representing non-religious and anti-religious interests, the IDF Judge Advocate General’s Office has announce amending regulations to permit a secular civilian military funeral if requested.
The official change in the IDF burial order became known to the Hiddush organization in a letter from the Military Advocate General’s Office, after decades of requiring exclusively Orthodox kvura, including a military rabbi.
The legal adviser of the IDF Casualties Unit writes: “The order came into force and was signed. The default set forth in the ordinance is that a military funeral must be held in a military cemetery. However, it is possible to deviate from this, and conduct a military funeral service in a civilian cemetery, if that was the will of the deceased, and if it is impossible to learn what his will was, then he wants the nearest meat to be left. ”
“Alternatively, it was decided that a civil funeral ceremony could be held without military symbols in a civilian cemetery.”
It should be noted that at a civil funeral, there will be no formal eulogy from the IDF, no ceremonial carrying of the aron or laying of ceremonial wreaths, nor the presence of an honor guard. However, there will be assistance in the areas of transportation to the cemetery, hanging of mourning notices and assistance in the excavation of the grave – unless they involve the Chilul Shabbos.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)