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    Protecting our cemeteries – Chayyei Sarah

    CemeteryThe Machpelah theme illustrates our age-old concern that our dead should be properly buried.

    One of the first things we did when we settled anywhere was to establish a cemetery.

    The silent graves there speak volumes. Historical researchers, who do not necessarily have a personal connection with the people buried there and sometimes no personal affiliation with Judaism, find cemeteries an indispensable historical resource – for example, the Jewish cemetery in Prague despite its higgledy-piggledy look.

    Tragically, our cemeteries were treated without the slightest respect wherever antisemites had the chance, and this still goes on.

    What to do about such attacks is a major problem, but from the internal Jewish point of view we need to make sure that we do not compound this savagery by our own neglect of our cemeteries.

    It would be the final indignity if we left old graves to fall apart and disintegrate because of our neglect.

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