, that is, more important than the study of the Torah. Due to the extent of the corpses, human remains, ashes and mass graves in post-Holocaust European, rabbinic authorities therefore increasingly faced the issue of how to deal with their appropriate commemoration following WWII liberation. One of the most common questions in rabbinical discourse was the question of post-war reburial from mass graves to provide proper burial for each of the deceased individuals. Later rabbinic writing provides a more systematic approach to the reality of post-war reburial of mass graves, dealing with the fact that many of the bodies were incinerated and oftentimes the only things present were hair, teeth, bones, dirt and ashes. In many of the rabbinical deliberations a complex process of ruling is evident forcing the rabbis to base their final ruling on earlier Talmudic citations rather than later responsas. Due to the lack of academic literature the field, this chapter will provide a descriptive presentation of various rabbinical responsas to the vast amount of Jewish human remains after the Holocaust, exploring the themes, language, context, historical background and approach." > Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Human Remains in SocietyCuration and Exhibition in the Aftermath of Genocide and Mass-Violence$
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Élisabeth Anstett and Jean-Marc Dreyfus

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781526107381

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526107381.001.0001

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Exhumations in post-war rabbinical responsas

Exhumations in post-war rabbinical responsas

Chapter:
(p.90) 4 Exhumations in post-war rabbinical responsas
Source:
Human Remains in Society
Author(s):

David Deutsch

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9781526107381.003.0005

Proper burial, according to Jewish tradition, is one of the most esteemed, important and respected traditions; it is considered to be the only "Mitzva"i>, that is, more important than the study of the Torah. Due to the extent of the corpses, human remains, ashes and mass graves in post-Holocaust European, rabbinic authorities therefore increasingly faced the issue of how to deal with their appropriate commemoration following WWII liberation. One of the most common questions in rabbinical discourse was the question of post-war reburial from mass graves to provide proper burial for each of the deceased individuals. Later rabbinic writing provides a more systematic approach to the reality of post-war reburial of mass graves, dealing with the fact that many of the bodies were incinerated and oftentimes the only things present were hair, teeth, bones, dirt and ashes. In many of the rabbinical deliberations a complex process of ruling is evident forcing the rabbis to base their final ruling on earlier Talmudic citations rather than later responsas. Due to the lack of academic literature the field, this chapter will provide a descriptive presentation of various rabbinical responsas to the vast amount of Jewish human remains after the Holocaust, exploring the themes, language, context, historical background and approach.

Keywords:   Reburial, Holocaust, Judaism, Mitzva, Commemoration, Talmudic, Responsas

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