Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

For Jewish burial societies, Surfside building collapse presents a grim and complex task


Andrea Sarcos/AFP via Getty Images

Cheri Fine (l) and Mark (no last name provided) visit a makeshift memorial at the site of the collapsed building with photos of the missing in Surfside, Fla., June 26, 2021.

(JTA) - Among Rabbi Mayer Berger's first thoughts on seeing the 12 stories of the Champlain Tower South pancaked upon themselves: This is like Sept. 11.

Then as now, destruction of unimaginable proportions claimed many lives without warning in a manner that rendered traditional practices for burying the Jewish dead impossible to perform.

Those practices call for bodies to be buried as soon as possible following death after undergoing a purification ritual called tahara. But with both Jewish and non-Jewish victims, and bodies difficult or impossible to identify, catastrophes like 9/11 or wha...

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