For Jewish burial societies, Surfside building collapse presents a grim and complex task
July 2, 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...