Israel: Women Angered by Local Rabbinate Sign at Cemetery


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The Itim organization has sent a letter to the Yokneam Religious Council demanding the removal of a sign placed at the regional cemetery which states:

1. The beis hachaim is a holy place and one should act appropriately

2. One must cover one’s head upon entering

3. Women are requested to dress modestly

4. Women are requested not to mingle among the men during a funeral

Adhering to the instructions shows respect for the deceased and those alive!

Itim points out the sign violates the law. The organization adds many women wish to accompanied their dearly departed and they have no right to prevent this. The letter questions why the request for modest dress is only directed at women, not men.

Itim refers to the ruling of the Ministry of Religious Affairs from February 2013 which prohibits compelling gender separation at a levaya. Signs calling for separation are prohibited. Hence, Item calls for the immediate removal of the sign.


(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)



  1. I really dont understand this. This notice is put out by the religious council. are they not allowed to be reliigous? thats what they do!! A cemetery is a holy place and should be governed by holy laws. Did they want their beloved departed one to have a tahara? Its all the same thing isnt it?

  2. A cemetery is a religious domain, just as Goyim can’t be buried there. If you want to know why – go learn and become a Rabbi for the answers…

  3. maybe they should have a sign saying “men should curb their yetzer ha-ra and not stare at women”?

    It seems that this is the real problem. getting secular women to dress modestly is as unrealistic as getting religious women not to dress attractively. this is the teva of women.

    see the orach haShulchan in siman 75 where he yells and then accepts the reality…

  4. Seriously? There is something wrong with this. Something deeply wrong.

    Imagine this. You are a yinok shenishba. You weren’t raised with Torah. You want your parents buried by Jewish tradition because its what you do, but you know nothing about it. It is now your parents yarsteit and you want to visit them. It’s an emotional time. You are emotionally fragile.

    This is not the time to start enforcing tsnius or kibud rosh.

    Invite them for a shabbos meal and teach them at the right time. Rules don’t bring people closer. Ahavas yisrael does.

  5. Dr.Yidd, it’s your translation that is incorrect. Lehitarbev means to become mixed in. Ben hagvarim means among (between) the men. The proper English equivalent for “become mixed in” is mingle. No one is calling here for male-only levayos.

  6. perhaps we should have men only cemeteries and women only cemeteries? is it tzinuis for men and women to be buried side by side with out a mechitza??

    this looks like an issue for the eida charaida!

  7. Shulchan Aruch also says that women should not be present at the time of burial.
    However, in recent years that has become lax. Given that all the sign says is “ein” not “asur”–meaning it is inappropriate for certain things but they stop short of saying “asur”–nothing wrong with the sign at all.