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Cabinet Approves Incentive to Above-Ground Burial

The cabinet this week approved giving a NIS 1,000 incentive to families agreeing to above-ground burial, a reality that began a number of years ago, a result of the critical shortage of in-ground burial plots.

The weekly HaShavua chareidi newspaper reports that 87% of the population is willing to accept above-ground burial.

Religious Services Ministry officials report 35,000 burials annually, with 8,000 being in Gush Dan alone, an area in which the lack of burial plots has reached critical proportions. Officials add that if the multi-level burials are not successful, then land must be allocated immediately for in-ground burial in areas such as Gush Dan, which Chevra Kadisha officials report will have run out of space in a number of months. A 5 dunam are with burial 10-high in Gush Dan they explain would permit burial of 10,000 people.

The Chief Rabbinate Religious Council and other rabbonim have ruled there is no halachic reason against multi-level burials.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)

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