Monday, February 20, 2012

So many life stories in a small space

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Julie describes her new Taphophile Tragics meme as "a warm touch on cold hard stone."
Here is a little more about the Trumpeldor Cemetery I started to talk about here.
This can also be a tour for Our World Tuesday.

The first burials were in 1903, victims of a cholera epidemic.
The cemetery was then situated far from human dwellings because of this plague.

But as Tel Aviv (founded in 1909) grew, the cemetery became surrounded by buildings.

So sit and consider this unofficial pantheon of the great leaders, public figures, educators, writers, journalists, even singers, of the Zionist endeavor.

How strange the sabra cactus looks here. Perhaps the deceased was a Sabra (a native-born Israeli).

Just a very few plots remain, and their starting price is 75,000 shekels (more than $20,000)!

But (reminiscent of yesterday's Psalm 49) all the dead, rich or poor, will be wrapped in a shroud, wheeled to the grave on this simple gurney, and laid in the earth with no coffin.

Dust to dust, ashes to ashes.
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22 comments:

Theanne said...

as it's said the two things that are never in doubt are death and taxes! Having tracked down some of my ancestors while searching cemeteries on and off line...I find it an interesting endeavor. I'm going to be starting my walking soon...walking in cemeteries and taking photos sounds like an interesting way to pass the time.

Hels said...

People think it is weird, but I love examining old and historic cemeteries. My parents in law are buried in an Israeli cemetery, and whenever I visit their eternal home, I always look around.

Even better is Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris.

Cloudia said...

Very like Honolulu growing up around such places. . . Nice one, Dina



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hamilton said...

That Sabra looks like it has been there a long time.

Sondra said...

That one is chock full for sure, I really love that cactus!!

Sara said...

There is a wonderful little novel by Sheri Reynolds called A Gracious Plenty about the inhabitants of a cemetery and all their hopes, thoughts and dreams. Your photo reminds me of that....I can't help wondering if the inhabitants here are pleased to have the life of the city so close to them now (I think I would be if I were there!)

I like that tall round tower in the background that looks like a bite was taken out of it! I remember one or two tower buildings in Tel Aviv right near the shore. Love that architecture!

Ann said...

The city always encroaches. Is that sabra what we call prickly pear, it looks similar.

Peter said...

Good to see the city so close, mmm prices are a bit steep.

cieldequimper said...

In France we have a saying: those who live near a cemetary and can look at it every day live the longest...

VioletSky said...

Paying for that eternal life is expensive!

Oakland Daily Photo said...

What a different tradition than we have here. No coffin? Here, if you're buried, your coffin must be laid in a cement case. Is there no tradition of cremation in Israel?

Dina said...

Friends, shalom. Thanks for all your ideas and questions.
Some answers:

Cremation is forbidden by Jewish law.
In the 1990s someone built a private crematorium on a moshav, but there was such opposition that an arsonist burned it down.

Unless you want special arrangements, the plot and burial are free (even for a foreign tourist who dies in Israel). The National Insurance Institute covers it. For details see
http://www.itim.org.il/eng/?CategoryID=207&ArticleID=249

Coffins are only for soldiers and accident victims, I think. The normal way is to lower the shrouded body into the grave, and then loved ones can take turns shoveling some dirt. This is the hardest moment for me. It is literal closure.

Herding Cats said...

Looks like such a fascinating place.

Julie said...

How ironic that a crematorium should be burnt down!

But back to your post ...

$20K is a lot of money, but the price goes up when the product is scarce. Is the plot held in perpetuity? They are in many states of Australia. In NSW, but not in SA, for example. I have just bought the plot next to my mother in a country NSW cemetery and it cost just under $900. Quite a difference.

I looked long and hard at the sabra, too, thinking it like a prickly pear. But I think it is prettier.

I can see the wisdom of the shroud over the coffin. I do not understand why in America, the coffin must be encased in concrete. Maybe it is to protect the groundwater in some way.

Thanks for this, Dina. I like it that Waverley Cemetery is one of your haunts when in Sydney.

Nancy said...

Thank you for this tour. My late husband and I once visited a small old cemetery where his great, great grandfather was buried. The man's gravestone was an open Bible. He had been a preacher. and seeing that marvelous stone warmed our hearts. We felt he had left a wonderful legacy of faith for us. God bless.

Rachel said...

I love the idea of no coffin and a simple burial. What a great cemetery!

VP said...

I like the cactus and the bench...

Spiderdama said...

It is strange to see a cemetery with all this buildings around. You never see this in Norway.. they are always surrounded by green grass.. how different the world can be.
Great post and verses.

Kathy said...

At that price I'll choose cremation! I have a friend who is planning on burial in Israel. The plane fare over from the US with one family member accompanying the body is even astronomical!

crystal said...

I didn't realize cremation was not done in Israel. All my relatives have been cremated, I think - my mom's ashes were scattered in the San Francisco Bay. Catholics usually don't cremate either, though.

Robin said...

How odd to see that sabra growing right on the grave.

Kay said...

Yikes! $20,000? Hmmmm... a bit steep for my taste. I like the touch of green that the cactus gives the resting place.