Hundreds of Eida supporters took part in the Thursday afternoon levaya for the Barzilai bones after the Eida received permission from the Ministry of Religious Services to conduct a levaya from the bones. Earlier in the week, Israel Antiquities Authority archeologists exhumed the bones to clear the way to begin work on the new fortified hospital emergency room.
According to Atra Kadisha, the officials exhibited total disregard for the kedusha of the bones, insisting even the skulls were broken open, lamenting the fact that the archeologists were entrusted with the task of exhuming them.
Beginning at 2:00pm at the Eida’s Zupnik office, participants began the ceremony requesting ‘mechila’ from the bones. Despite earlier reports, it appears this was not part of the levaya, but just a mechila tefilla, seeking to correct the lack of respect accorded the bones by state officials.
Pashkavilim were posted around the Meah Shearim area, decrying “the wicked Zionist regime”, stating the need to request mechila. Atra Kadisha has not accepted the ruling of archeologists and many rabbonim, regarding the bones as being of Jews, despite reports to the contrary.
Seeking to avoid a media spectacle, last week state officials announced the burial location of the bones would not be disclosed.
Antiquities officials add that finding a Roman altar in the burial site only strengthens their postulation that the bones were those of pagans, not Jews despite Atra Kadisha statements to the contrary.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)