Burial battle


What happens when an elderly woman in hospice wants to move her husband to a different cemetery so the family can be buried together — and the rabbi says no? The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports:

Burying loved ones is never easy, but Shelly Frankel has a dilemma more unusual than most.

Mrs. Frankel’s mother, Roberta Tobin, 81, is in hospice care with inoperable cancer. She wants to be buried when the time comes in the Star of David section of Homewood Cemetery in Point Breeze with her husband and son, who died 43 years apart, both of heart disease.

But her husband is not buried at Star of David. He’s at Poale Zedeck Cemetery in Richland, owned and operated by the Orthodox congregation of the same name in Squirrel Hill. Rabbi Yisroel Miller, who was head rabbi at Paole Zedeck but has since moved away, decided last year that moving the remains would violate Jewish law.

The family filed last week for a court order to compel an exhumation, but whether a civil court will want to wade into the separation of synagogue and state remains to be seen. Meanwhile, after a yearlong stalemate, the family and congregation are talking again about a possible solution.

Read the full story.

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