Tallis

Why are Jews traditionally buried in a Tallis? By Isaac Pollak


[Ed. Note: The tallis, also pronounced tallit, is the name for the Jewish prayer shawl. Its purpose is to help remind the wearer of the commandments that are to be followed. It comes in two basic forms; the tallit gadol, often worn as an overgarment or wrap, and the tallit katan, usually worn as an undergarment, beneath the coat or shirt. The purpose of both is similar: they serve as the base on which the attachment of the fringes, the tzitzit or tzitzis – pl. tzitziot, is accomplished. These are the fringes mentioned in the Torah, Bamidbar/Numbers 15:37-41. The fringes are strings that are wound and tied to create knots and windings in specific patterns that are intended to represent the totality of the mitzvoth or commandments, and thereby serve as a visual reminder. — JB]

Why are Jews traditionally buried in a Tallis?

This question is touched on in two places in the Talmud. Our first indication that men are buried in a Tallis is from Talmud Bavli in Tractate Bava Batra 74:A which reads as follows:

Rabba bar Bar Chana related that an Arab merchant showed him the burial spot of the Israelites who had died during their 40 year trek in the desert. Rabba said he dug up one of the bodies and removed a corner of the fringed garment (Tzitzis) to take back home to determine the proper method of producing a Tallis and its fringes. However, he was divinely prevented from taking it with him.

Here is our first indication that one is buried in a Tallis. (See also Tractate Samechot, Chapter 10.)

Tosofos [also spelled Tosafot] (early Medieval commentaries on the Talmud) remark that this is not necessarily proof, because the Midrash says that the people in the desert (Midbar) knowing they were fated to die, would lie down in their graves annually (on the ninth of Av) wearing their Taleisim [Ashkenaz; plural of Tallis] and await their death. Tosofos concludes that this doesn’t necessarily prove that a deceased person should be wrapped in a Tallis before burial, as this annual event was a unique occurrence.

Tallis with Tzitzis

Tosofos, however, also infers from another Tractate, Talmud Bavli Menachos 41:A, that the dead should be buried in a Tallis with Tzitzis. This is the second source in the Talmud.

The relevant discussion in Tractate Menachos asks whether a four cornered garment needs fringes on its own even if it’s not worn; in other words, is the obligation on the wearer or is the obligation on the four cornered garment?

Rabbi Tove bar Kisna says in the name of Shmuel that fringes are obligatory on each four-cornered garment whether it’s worn or not, as long as the garment remains ready to be potentially worn; articles of clothing left in a drawer are still subject to the requirement of having fringes. The proof text is from Deuteronomy 12:12, “You shall make yourself braided fringes of the four corners of your garment with which you cover yourself.”

  אשר תכסה בה

The stipulation is that as long as it would be potentially possible to cover yourself with it, or it has the potential to be used as a garment, it needs fringes. A garment made for a living person to wear at some time in the future, whether used for that purpose or not, must have Tzitzis.

Garment Made NOT for the Living?

Shmuel, the Talmud continues, concedes, regarding an elderly person who made a four-cornered garment for his personal shroud, that it is exempt from Tzitzis. Even though the Tallis/Shroud may upon occasion be worn by a living person (to be fitted, for example), it’s still exempt because it’s made for a purpose other than being worn by a living person. It is not defined as a garment with which you cover yourself, rather it is by definition a shroud; it was produced with the intention of being worn by a deceased person.

Burial in a Tallis!

This is the basis that to this day Jewish men are buried in a Tallis!

Tzitzis on a Shroud?

Now the question arises whether the Tallis/Shroud needs Tzitzit?The Talmud continues that when a person dies we most certainly affix fringes to the four-cornered burial shroud because of the verse in Proverbs 17:5 “one who mocks a pauper insults his maker”.   לעג  לרש וחרף

The Talmud continues that when a person dies we most certainly affix fringes to the four-cornered burial shroud because of the verse in Proverbs 17:5 “one who mocks a pauper insults his maker”.   לעג  לרש וחרף

עשה

This is as if to say that clothing a deceased in a four cornered garment that has no Tzitzis appears to be a form of mockery of the deceased, because it draws attention to the fact that the deceased is no longer obligated to follow God’s commandments, and it seems to be mocking him by saying ‘we can continue to observe the commandments, but you, the deceased, can’t continue and are unable to follow God’s commandments’.

Why invalidate the Tzitzis?

Tosofos (in TB Bava Batra 74:A and TB Brachos 18:A) questions why there is a prevailing custom (in medieval Ashkenaz – France and Germany) to remove, cut off, or invalidate the fringes in some form?

Rabbeinu Tam (Rashi’s grandson) responds that wrapping a dead person in fringes not only signifies that he fulfilled the commandments of Tzitzis, but that he was faithful to all 613 positive commandments, because the numerical value of the word Tzitzis is 600 combined with the eight strands of the Tzitzit and the five knots that are attached to the Tallis, which added together equal six hundred and thirteen.

Adds the Ri (Tosofos) that in the days of the wise, all men in the community observed the commandment of Tzitzis and therefore they were buried with a Tallis and all its fringes, but in this current time (13th-15th century) many people are not scrupulous about wearing Tzitzis during their lifetime, and it was considered deceitful to wrap such people in Tzitzis only after their death; therefore one of the fringes is cut off.

In short – it’s a compromise. Everyone is buried in a Tallis, however, because many were not careful in the observance of the Mitzvoth in their lifetime, the Tallis remains in place, but in an invalid state. (See Talmud Bavli Nidah 61:B Tosofot Avel for a detailed treatment of the issue of removing or invalidating the Tallis by cutting off or removing one of the Tzitzit .)

Eventually, it became customary to bury ALL people in a Tallis with invalid Tzitzis in order not to openly distinguish between those who wore Tzitzis during their life time and those who did not.

This is codified in the Shulchan Aruch, Yoreah Deah, Siman 351:2 (see the long Ba’ch on the Yoreah Deah which offers a detailed explanation of the custom as it evolved) and is done so by the vast majority of Chevrei Kaddisha worldwide.

How do we invalidate the Tzitzis?

Various traditions have arisen, and the most popular involve:

  • Cutting off one of the 4 fringes (which seems to be the most popular) but leaving the removed Tzitzis in the casket.
  • Opening the sides of the Tallis pocket where the Tzitzis are attached and rolling the Tzitzis into the pocket thus temporarily invalidating the Tallis.
  • Making additional knots besides the five knots on the fringes, therefore invalidating the Tallis, but still easy to unknot and re-validate.
  • Hanging the Tzitzit outside the coffin so they are physically separate.
  • Making 2 fringes out of the four by knotting two and two together.
  • In some Chassidic communities it’s customary to lay the body in the ground wrapped in a Tallis, and once it’s in the ground to then remove the Tallis, or put a Tallis on the deceased, lay him in the coffin and put the coffin in the earth and then to remove coffin lid and remove the complete Tallis.
  • Some prominent Medieval and later Rabbis instructed their students to bury them with Tzitzis in their hands (and not invalidate them in any way) as if they were saying the prayers on Tzitzis.

Other Questions

Another dimension is raised, leading to some questions that are not fully resolved.

If a person had a weekday Tallis and a Shabbos (Sabbath) Tallis, which one should they be wrapped in for burial?

Here again there is a difference of opinion. Some say (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch) the Shabbos Tallis has a higher level of showing one’s faithfulness in keeping the commandments; whereas others claim that the one used more frequently – the weekday Tallis – has a higher level of holiness.

What of Women?

There is a tradition among some Sephardic communities and some of the Naturei Karta groups of Jerusalem that a woman is also buried with a Tallis Katan without Tzitzis (small Tallis; not full size). This may be based on Shulchan Aruch Orach Hayim, Siman 17, that a woman who wore a Tallis Katan in her lifetime should be buried in one, and the same principle as above; in order not to make a distinction between women who wore them and women who didn’t, these communities decided that all would be buried with a Tallis Katan, but without Tzitzis.

Are we causing a Potential Problem by removing the Tzitzis?

Another question arises whether there will be an obligation of Tzitzis (or any other commandments) when we achieve Techias Ha’Maisim (resurrection of the dead) after the arrival of the Messiah.

If there will be an obligation to follow the commandments, then all those who rise from the dead will have non-kosher Taleisim (with invalidated fringes). [What a business bonanza for Tallis manufacturers when we all arise from the dead!]

For a related concern, see TB Niddah 61:B and the Shulchan Aruch, Yoreah Deah 301:7 for a fascinating discussion of Shatnez – the forbidden combination of wool and linen – which is allowed in Shrouds, which to some degree is based on the issue here of whether there will be an obligation to fulfill Mitzvot after the Resurrection of the Dead – techiat hameitim.

On the other hand, if there is no obligation to observe Mitzvoth once one is deceased, and there will not be an obligation when we all arise from the dead, then why invalidate the Tallis?

The concept of Lo’ag Larash (mocking a disadvantaged person or ridiculing the helpless) is no longer valid as the deceased has no obligation to observe any commandments now or in the future. However, the concept of Lo’ag Larash may be that we are feeling sorry for them now that they no longer can, and no longer have any obligation to perform any Mitzvoth.

What about the Mitzvah Against Wasting/Destroying?

Removing the Tzitzis leads to another question, that of Ba’al Tashchis (a Torah prohibition against wasting, taking a perfectly good item that can be used for holy purposes or other purposes as well, and making it totally unusable –unfit for holy use or other uses). Invalidating the tzitzis seems to be a clear violation of this principle. How can we justify it?

Taeku

No answers were found to resolve these additional questions. It seems we will need to await the Messiah’s coming for answers to these and others.

Isaac Pollak is the Rosh/Head of a Chevrah Kadisha on the upper East Side of Manhattan, NYC and has been doing Taharot for almost 4 decades. He is fascinated by and a student of customs and history concerning the Chevrah Kadisha and Jewish burial and mourning ritual. He is an avid collector of Chevrah Kadisha material cultural items, with over 300 historical artifacts in his own collection. He serves as chairperson of the Acquisition Committee for Traditional Material Culture at the Jewish Museum in NYC, and is CEO of an International Marketing Company. He is a student and participant in Gamliel Institute courses.

Isaac Pollak

Isaac Pollak

[Ed Note: Isaac Pollak has agreed to serve as a ‘researcher’ for the Expired and Inspired blog, providing us with information that is pertinent and interesting. If you have a question, please submit it to the editor. — JB]

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KAVOD v’NICHUM CONFERENCE

Registration for the 15th North American Chevrah Kadisha and Jewish Cemetery Conference, next week on June 18-20, in San Rafael, California, is still open, and you can attend..

Our conference will have intensive workshops on Introduction to Taharah, Infection Control, Communicating about difficult Taharot, Modifying Taharah, Taharah Stories as well as exploring traditional Taharah liturgy, Navigating Taharah Liturgy – A Play, and Taharah liturgy in Maavar Yabbok.

We’ll have an exciting series of workshops on Jewish cemetery issues, including Green Cemeteries, Cremation, Perpetual Care Fund Investments, Record Keeping and Acquiring New Cemetery Property.

What’s different this year is an evolving theme – expanding the work of the Chevrah Kadisha and the Jewish Cemetery by encouraging conversation about end of life plans with the Conversation Project; end of life decision-making with Dr. Jessica Zitter, and communicating about how we die with Dr. Dawn Gross.

There’s much more – see our Preliminary conference program.

Consider a Sunday morning pre-conference field trip to Gan Yarok – an environmentally conscious Jewish Green Cemetery.

Sunday afternoon from 2-5, Sam Salkin, Executive Director of Sinai Memorial Chapel, will facilitate an intensive session on starting & managing a community funeral home. Let us know if you are interested in this session. Attendance is by advance reservation only.

Tuesday afternoon after the conference Sinai Memorial Chapel will facilitate a tour of Gan Shalom Cemetery, a Jewish cemetery with an interfaith section. Again, let us know if you are interested – Attendance by advance reservation only.

And there is an extension to the conference! Gamliel Institute students, and others by approval, can remain for an additional day to participate in the Gamliel Institute Day of Learning. We will have three extraordinary teachers presenting on a variety of texts and concepts that are of interest. This is a fantastic opportunity to study with some of the very best instructors in a small group setting during a twenty-four hour period. Students, contact us to RSVP; if you are not a Gamliel student, contact us to seek approval of the Dean to attend.

Register for the conference now.

We have negotiated a great hotel rate with Embassy Suites by Hilton, but rooms are limited; please don’t wait to make your reservations. We also have home hospitality options – contact us for information or to request home hospitality. 410-733-3700, info@jewish-funerals.org

Questions? Email info@jewish-funerals.org or call 410-733-3700.
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TASTE OF GAMLIEL

In 2017, Kavod v’Nichum and the Gamliel Institute are again sponsoring a six-part “Taste of Gamliel” webinar series. This year’s topic is From Here to Eternity: Jewish Views on Sickness and Dying.

Each 90 minute session is presented by a different scholar.

The June 25th session is being taught by Dr. Laurie Zoloth, well known author, teacher, and scholar.  

Taste of Gamliel Webinars for this year are scheduled on January 22, February 19, March 19, April 23, May 21, and June 25. The instructors this year are: Dr. Dan Fendel, Rabbi Dayle Friedman, Rabbi Sara Paasche-Orlow, Rabbi Richard Address, Rabbi Elliot Dorff, and Dr. Laurie Zoloth.

This series of Webinar sessions is free, with a suggested minimum donation of $36 for all six sessions. These online sessions begin at 5 PM PDST (GMT-7); 8 PM EDST (GMT-4).

Those registered will be sent the information on how to connect to the sessions, and will also receive information on how to access the recordings of all six sessions.

The link to register is: http://jewish-funerals.givezooks.com/events/taste-of-gamliel-2017.

More info – Call us at 410-733-3700 or email info@jewish-funerals.org.    

Click the link to register and for more information. We’ll send you the directions to join the webinar no less than 12 hours before the session.

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GAMLIEL INSTITUTE COURSES

LOOKING FORWARD: UPCOMING COURSE

Gamliel Institute will be offering course 2, Chevrah Kadisha: Taharah & Shmirah, online, afternoons/evenings, in the Fall semester starting September 5th, 2017.

CLASS SESSIONS

The course will meet on twelve Tuesdays (the day will be adjusted in those weeks with Jewish holidays during this course). There will be an orientation session on Monday, September 4th, 2017.  Register or contact us for more information.

REGISTRATION

You can register for any Gamliel Institute course online at jewish-funerals.org/gamreg. A full description of all of the courses is found there.

For more information, visit the Gamliel Institute website, or at the Kavod v’Nichum website. Please contact us for information or assistance by email info@jewish-funerals.org, or phone at 410-733-3700.

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DONATIONS:

Donations are always needed and most welcome to support the work of Kavod v’Nichum and the Gamliel Institute, helping us to bring you the conference, offer community trainings, provide scholarships to students, refurbish and update course materials, expand our teaching, support programs such as Taste of Gamliel, provide and add to online resources, encourage and support communities in establishing, training, and improving their Chevrah Kadisha, and assist with many other programs and activities.

You can donate online at http://jewish-funerals.org/gamliel-institute-financial-support or by snail mail to: either Kavod v’Nichum, or to The Gamliel Institute, c/o David Zinner, Executive Director, Kavod v’Nichum, 8112 Sea Water Path, Columbia, MD  21045. Kavod v’Nichum [and the Gamliel Institute] is a recognized and registered 501(c)(3) organizations, and donations may be tax-deductible to the full extent provided by law. Call 410-733-3700 if you have any questions or want to know more about supporting Kavod v’Nichum or the Gamliel Institute.

You can also become a member (Individual or Group) of Kavod v’Nichum to help support our work. Click here (http://www.jewish-funerals.org/money/).

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MORE INFORMATION

If you would like to receive the periodic Kavod v’Nichum Newsletter by email, or be added to the Kavod v’Nichum Chevrah Kadisha & Jewish Cemetery email discussion list, please be in touch and let us know at info@jewish-funerals.org.

You can also be sent an email link to the Expired And Inspired blog each week by sending a message requesting to be added to the distribution list to j.blair@jewish-funerals.org.

Be sure to check out the Kavod V’Nichum website at www.jewish-funerals.org, and for information on the Gamliel Institute and student work in this field also visit the Gamliel.Institute website.

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SUBMISSIONS ALWAYS WELCOME

If you have an idea for an entry you would like to submit to this blog, please be in touch. Email J.blair@jewish-funerals.org. We are always interested in original materials that would be of interest to our readers, relating to the broad topics surrounding the continuum of Jewish preparation, planning, rituals, rites, customs, practices, activities, and celebrations approaching the end of life, at the time of death, during the funeral, in the grief and mourning process, and in comforting those dying and those mourning, as well as the actions and work of those who address those needs, including those serving in Bikkur Cholim, Caring Committees, the Chevrah Kadisha, as Shomrim, funeral providers, in funeral homes and mortuaries, and operators and maintainers of cemeteries.

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Paris Jew’s reburial in Israel ends legal battle


A Jewish celebrity art dealer who died in 1870 in France was reburied in Israel after his body was exhumed from his Paris grave due to property laws.

The funeral for Jacob Giacomo Tedesco on Sunday in Beit Shemesh marked the end of a seven-year legal fight led by his relatives to receive his remains for reburial. Authorities exhumed his body under a French law that allows graves to be emptied 99 years after a burial.

Tedesco’s great-great-granddaughter discovered in 2006 that his remains had been exhumed from his grave in the Montpar­nasse Cemetery and placed at the Pere Lachaise depository.

“I found it had simply disappeared,” Debby Lifchitz, an Orthodox Jewish woman from Israel, was quoted as telling the Le Figaro newspaper of Tedesco’s grave.

The family then launched the legal battle to have his remains transferred to Israel, “where he would have an eternal resting place,” she was quoted as saying.

Tedesco, the owner of a major art gallery, also opened the first kosher butcher shop in Paris, founded an Orthodox synagogue and built a ritual bath that remained active until World War II.

Orthodox Jewish laws dictate Jewish graves be left undisturbed, except for unusual cases.

In 2011, France passed a law that allows authorities to cremate human remains they exhumed — a practice that also goes against Jewish customs.

Pinchas Goldschmidt, president of the Conference of European Rabbis, who attended Tedesco’s funeral in Israel, told the Israeli news site Ynet that the French laws on cremation and exhumation should be changed, as they “threaten to desecrate the dignity of the dead.”

Conn. congregation, member settle lawsuit over non-Jewish burial


A Jewish woman suing her congregation over the burial of a non-Jewish black woman in its cemetery has settled her lawsuit.

Maria Balaban, 73, settled her lawsuit with Congregation Ahavath Achim in Colchester, Conn., on Wednesday after two days of negotiations in the middle of the trial, which began last week.

Balaban, a member of the congregation’s board of directors, sued the congregation for allowing the burial of a non-Jewish woman in the newly established interfaith section of the congregation’s cemetery, which she says should be reserved for Jewish members and their non-Jewish spouses and family members, The Bulletin of Norwich, Ct., reported.

Juliet Steer, 47, was buried in the cemetery in 2010 after dying of cancer. She was not affiliated with the congregation, and is the first burial in the interfaith section.

The agreement must be approved by Congregation Ahavath Achim’s board of directors and membership by June 15.

During the trial, the congregation had accused Balaban of filing the lawsuit because Steer was black, something Balaban denied. Balaban also dropped her request to have Steer’s body exhumed and moved to a different cemetery, according to the newspaper.

Kids Learn Burial Rites From Barney


Their bagels sliced, toasted and slathered with cream cheese, the parents and students of the fourth- and fifth-grade classes at Santa Monica’s Sha’arei Am turn toward Rabbi Jeff Marx as he welcomes them to Family Education Day.

His introduction is interrupted by Lori Daitch, the director of education. The suddenly somber rabbi informs the group that he has just learned that Barney, a congregant, whose real name is Bernard Dinotzuris, has just collapsed in the sanctuary.

With much giggling, and a touch of consternation, the group enters the sanctuary where the purple plush 3-foot-tall Dinotzuris is sprawled near the pulpit.

“What should I do?” the rabbi asks, appropriately concerned.

A call to 911 leads to the swift arrival of a “paramedic,” in vest and plastic firefighter’s hat. He takes a good look at the patient, does a bit of CPR and announces that Bernard is most certainly and irretrievably dead.

This is, in fact, the fourth time Bernard has passed away. For the past four years, Marx has conducted this discussion on the Jewish rites and rituals surrounding death. The participating parents have all been informed of the contents of the session in advance. For the students, depending on the efficacy of the sibling grapevine, it is more or less a surprise.

“What do we now? ” the rabbi asks.

The kids boisterously offer solutions, ranging from a toss in the Dumpster to cremation.

“Well,” Marx says. “As it happens, Bernard had written me a letter saying he wants to be buried.”

When someone dies, the rabbi explains, mortuaries take care of the body. Jason Schwartz, a teacher, who was just the paramedic, now returns as the “Man From the Mortuary.” Carefully lifting Bernard onto a book cart transformed into a gurney, he efficiently wheels him away.

The giggling has stopped; kids who had been jostling and fidgeting have found seats near their parents.

It’s an impressive transformation.

With Bernard on his way to the mortuary, the rabbi fields questions on Jewish burial rituals and beliefs on tattoos, cremation, embalming, organ donation and much more.

Everyone knows that a speedy burial is important, and the discussion ends as the students and parents, accompanied by teachers Schwartz and Jennifer Flam, head for the Hillside Memorial Park and Mortuary.

“I’ve wanted to do a program on death for a long time,” Marx says on the way to the cemetery. “It’s good for the kids, but lots of parents haven’t had much experience dealing with questions of death and dying either. My congregation is the sandwich generation, caring for both their children and their parents. This is education about the real world,” he said.

The real world, but in fuzzy purple and green.

“Our first problem was to figure out what we would do for a body,” he says. “We hit on Barney as the perfect solution — he was no longer an object of attachment for fourth and fifth graders, but they were completely familiar with him.”

Michael and Elaine Sachs attended the first burial of Barney in 2003 with their older daughter Rebecca. Six months later, Elaine Sachs, 41, suffered an aortic aneurysm while on a Girl Scout camping trip with Rebecca, and could not be resuscitated.

Michael Sachs remembers that he had initially thought that a program on death wasn’t really important for people in their 40s.

“But, in fact,” he now says, “I learned things I assumed I wouldn’t need to think about for many years. I thought the program dealt with potentially distressing material in a nonthreatening, matter-of-fact fashion,” he said.

“Even under the shock and duress, the fact that we’d gone through that program, made the process somewhat more manageable and less difficult,” he says. “As a part of Jewish education and life experience, I now feel that it’s almost essential.”

Even when the experience does not become as immediately and painfully relevant as it did for the Sachs family, programs such as these help children understand that death and dying is an open topic for discussion.

“It’s always helpful to children to give them experiences of seeing death as a normal part of life,” said Natalie Levine, program director of Family Service of Santa Monica, a division of Vista del Mar Child and Family.

“Children in the fourth and fifth grade don’t yet think abstractly, so this emphasis on the concrete steps taken when someone dies helps them manage their emotions,” she added.

When the cars full of kids from the Santa Monica Synagogue pull up at Hillside’s Chapel, Jill Glasband, the mortuary’s director of community outreach is waiting.

She gives a tour of the premises, including the casket selection room, as well as displays of shrouds and caskets and urns for cremation.

In the chapel, with Bernard Dinotzuris settled into a simple pine casket, the rabbi delivers a eulogy. Students, enlisted as pallbearers, carry the casket to the hearse. They proceed to the far end of the cemetery, where the rabbi leads a brief graveside service.

This year, Hillside has prepared a marker for the grave, so with a quick flash forward, the group moves a few feet and a year into the future for an unveiling of Bernard Dinotzuris’ gravestone.

All services concluded, the group disperses. As they look at gravestones, noting the life spans of grandparents as well as young children, everyone seems engrossed in quiet conversations — ones that will no doubt continue.

 

Obituaries


Rabbi Zalman Ury, Day School System Leader, Dies at 92

Rabbi Zalman Ury, who dedicated more than 50 years to building Jewish education in Los Angeles and was rabbi emeritis at Young Israel of Beverly Hills, died last month at the age of 92.

For 47 years, Ury worked with the Bureau of Jewish Education (BJE) building and nurturing the yeshiva day school system. Under his direction, dozens of Orthodox day schools were established.

“The landscape of Jewish education today has been largely shaped by his dedicated leadership,” Dr. Gil Graff, director of the BJE, said at a memorial attended by about 1,000 people before Ury’s body was brought to Israel for burial. “Rabbi Ury had great respect for Jewish learning, particularly that learning that was lived out in ethical practice.”

Ury founded BJE’s Yom Iyun teacher education day 25 years ago, and today the seminar annually attracts 800 educators. He wrote a curriculum to teach ethical behavior, based largely on his doctoral thesis on education, which he earned at UCLA.

Born in Poland in 1924, Ury lost his parents and siblings in the Holocaust. He survived first in a yeshiva in Lithuania and then in labor camp in Siberia and on a collective farm in Uzbekistan. Even under those trying circumstances, the teenage Ury made it his mission to teach the younger children.

Ury and his wife, Eva, whom he met in a Polish orphanage, came to Lakewood, N.J., in 1947, where he received rabbinic ordination. The family moved to St. Louis, and in 1957, Ury — trying to escape hay fever — moved to Los Angeles. He worked as educational director at Hillel Hebrew Academy and taught at Rambam Torah Institute. In 1959, he joined BJE, and continued there as a consultant even after he retired in 1993.

Ury is survived by his wife, Eva; children, Natalie, Celia, Rama and Israel; 20 grandchildren; and many great-grandchildren. — Julie Gruenbaum Fax, Contributing Writer

Robert Harold Alpert died Feb. 10 at 84. He is survived by his wife, Bettie; son, Michael (Vivian); daughters, Dale (Jerry) Rubin and Susan (Roberto) Rossinove; sister, Anita Stein; three grandchildren; and one great-grandson. Malinow and Silverman

Charles Bank died Feb. 8 at 90. He is survived by his wife, Goldie; son, Evan; daughters, Sybil Starr and Donna Prosser; seven grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. Groman

Estelle Barash died Feb. 9 at 96. She is survived by her sons, Robert (Sarah) and Peter. Malinow and Silverman

Albert Lewis Barsky died Feb. 13 at 76. He is survived by his daughter, Jill Carmer; and one grandchild. Groman

ROSALIND BECKER died Feb. 8 at 86. She is survived by her sons, Dr. Lewis (Dr. Diane) and Joel (Mary); and three grandchildren. Hillside

Sara Becker died Feb. 18 at 89. She is survived by her son, Charles; and daughter, Roberta Becker Ziegel. Malinow and Silverman

Dorothy Berger died Feb. 12 at 82. She is survived by her son, Paul; daughters, Bonnie Sue Price and Wendy; six grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. Groman

Gloria Bernstein died Feb. 11 at 76. She is survived by her daughter, Joanne Gross; and two grandchildren. Groman

Alan Block died Feb. 4 at 75. He is survived by his sons, Joel and Kenneth (Carrie); daughter, Linda (Randy) Hutchings; four grandchildren; and sister, Paula (Paul) Weiser. Mount Sinai

Norman Buckner died Feb. 15 at 80. He is survived by his wife, Fae; sons, George (Lynn) and David; daughters, Dara (Ron) Schechter and Barbara; seven grandchildren; and sister, Elaine (Lowell) Berman. Groman

Jean Burch died Feb. 5. She is survived by her daughters, Gayle and Phyllis; granddaughter, Laura Boaz; and brother, Murray (Carol) Lebowitz. Mount Sinai

Betty Carlen died Feb. 15 at 94. She is survived by her nephew, Eric Emanuel. Groman

Maurice Carmona died Feb. 4 at 86. He is survived by his wife, Kay; son, Daniel; daughters, Linda (Stephen) Monroe, Victoria and Suzanne; and four grandchildren. Groman

Mildred Caston died Feb. 4 at 87. She is survived by her sons, Michael (Patty) and Bill (Debbie); and two grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Bertrum Coe died Feb. 13 at 89. He is survived by his daughters, Andrea (Jeff) Portney and Carrie (Nick) Phillips; son, Daniel; three grandchildren; and sister, Doris Frieder. Mount Sinai

Arthur Bruce Cohen died Feb. 12 at 56. He is survived by his sisters, Peggy Labelle and Lois Altman; brother, Howard (Ethelyn); two nieces; one nephew. Dave Rosen; one great-niece; and four great-nephews. Mount Sinai

EDITH COOPER died Feb. 9 at 92. She is survived by her children, Rachelle Butler, Sandy and Barry; eight granchildren; and nine great-grandchildren. Hillside

Jack Corb died Feb. 7 at 89. He is survived by his wife, Anna; daughter, Marilyn (Harry) VanDyck; son, Richard (Marlene); and four grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Henry James Davis died Feb. 17 at age 9. He is survived by his parents, John and Arlette; and sister, Emma. Groman

GIYORA DOEH died Feb. 6 at 71. He is survived by his sons, David and Cole; daughter, Tammy Honold; daughter-in-law Brenda; four grandchildren; brother, Doran (Ros); companion, Joan Asher; and ex-wife, Wendy. Hillside

HAROLD KRITT DONZIS died Feb. 4 at 83. He is survived by his wife, Julia; son, Dr. Paul; daughter, Sharon Donzis Koplik; and four grandchildren. Hillside

David Dreiman died Feb. 18 at 77. He is survived by his sons, Lazzio and Claudio; daughter, Debora Wells; seven grandchildren; and sister, Berta Shulman. Groman

Maryan Feingold died Feb. 15 at 91. She is survived by her daughter, Lynn (Herbert) Patt; sons, Dr. Michael (Jan) and Dr. Ronald (Carole); six grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and brothers, Bernard and Arthur (Colette) Pomper. Malinow and Silverman

Sewek Yehushua Finkelstein died Feb. 14, at 90. He is survived by his wife, Lea; five nephews; and five nieces. Mount Sinai

MEYER FISHER died Feb. 10 at 98. He is survived by his son, Bob. Sholom Chapels.

Frances Franco died Feb. 11 at 84. She is survived by her son, Jack; daughter, Rita (David) Kravetz; two grandchildren; sister, Jean Wayne; and brother, Morris Rousso. Malinow and Silverman

Louis Fratkin died Feb. 6 at 71. He is survived by his wife, JoAnn; sons, Randal and Stuart (Monica); daughter, Megan (Nick) Cunico; grandchildren, Jake and Caitlin; and sister, Fran (Maury) Sterin. Mount Sinai

David Marc Freedman died Feb. 11 at 54. He is survived by his wife, Jill; daughter, Samantha; mother, Judith; and brother, Steven. Groman

HARVEY GEFTER died Feb. 6 at 74. He is survived by his sons, Shelly and Keets; daughters, Jeanne Matthys and Jane Fennishel; and seven grandchildren; and sister, Joan Stern. Hillside

LOUIS MARK GELBER died Feb. 11 at 52. He is survived by his wife, Laura; sons, Zecharia, Tobias, Jacob, and Sean; and sister Lisa. Sholom Chapels.

Claire Glazer died Feb. 16 at 88. She is survived by her daughter, Mindy. Malinow and Silverman

Sylvia Goldstein died Feb. 6 at 88. She is survived by her son, Jerry; daughter, Rene Anderson; one grandchild; and sisters, Ruth Greenberg and Bernice White. Groman

Harry Gordon died Feb. 10 at 91. He is survived by his wife, Belle; daughters, Diane Colman, Lisa (Steve) Chorna, Ilene (Larry) Abramson and Joan; sons Marc (Claudia) Filler and Richard; eight grandchildren; one great-grandchild; sister, Natalie Roseman; and brother-in-law, Eli Silverman. Mount Sinai

Veronica Grant died Feb. 12 at 73. She is survived by her husband, Erwin. Groman

WOLF GURVITZ died Feb. 5 at 92. He is survived by his son, David; daughters Nasha Narod and Rachel Reed; nine grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. Sholom Chapels.

Sylvia Harmon died Feb. 17 at 87. She is survived by her daughter, Pam Burns; son, Charles Harris; and granddaughters, Elyse and Sharee Burns. Mount Sinai

BENJAMIN HARRIS died Feb. 5 at 81. He is survived by his wife, Sally; daughters, Susan (Jeff) Everett and Debbie (David Kommel); son, Bill (Alysa); eight grandchildren; and sisters, Seba Kolb-Tomkins and Betty Lee Curzon. Hillside

Leonard Daniel Hellman died Feb. 16 at 83. He is survived by his sons, Robert and Jeffrey; and sister, Janice Margolis. Groman

Gertrude Kagan died Feb. 10 at 97. She is survived by her daughter, Beryl Stoker; four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. Groman

BETTY KALMUK died Feb. 3 at 80. She is survived by her husband, Benjamin; son, Robert (Gail); daughter, Ellen (Dan) Neumark; and grandson, Griffith Neumark. Hillside

Max Katz died Feb. 17 at 76. He is survived by his wife, Carole; son, Jeffrey; two grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and sister, Sonya. Groman

Igor Kharitonovich died Feb. 12 at 29. He is survived by his sister, Olga. Groman

ALLEN KLATZKER died Jan. 24 at 89. He is survived by his wife, Sylvia; sons, David and Dale; six grandchildren; and sisters, Fern Saran and Mae Freedman. Hillside

Miriam Knable died Feb. 17 at 81. She is survived by her husband, Sidney; son, Robert (Dorothy); daughters, Deborah (Michael) Kopp and Joanna; and three grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

Jean Komoroff died Feb. 5 at 85. She is survived by her daughter, Sandra Cohen; brother, Henry Helfman; two grandchildren; and sister, Marge Bolmer. Groman

Annabelle Kositchek died Feb. 15 at 89. She is survived by her husband, Dr. Robert; daughter, Ellen (Burt) Pressman; son, Robert Jr.; three grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

Goldie Koster died Feb. 17 at 95. She is survived by her daughters, Susan Wazzan and Arlene (Dennis) Horwitz; brother, Irwin Williams; and five grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

Susan Koven died Feb. 16 at 64. She is survived by her husband, Allan; sons, David Sehler and Daniel; and daughter, Laura Sehler. Malinow and Silverman

Mary Langsam died Feb. 15 at 61. She is survived by her sons, Andrew (Susan), Michael and Perry; three grandchildren; sister, Lezlee Rubin; and brother, Dennis (Beverly) Chester. Mount Sinai

Beatrice Lehrer died Feb. 5 at 90. She is survived by her son, Steven; and daughter, Judith (Nicolas) Villa. Mount Sinai

Beatrice Levy died Feb. 8 at 89. She is survived by her son, Mark; daughters, Debbie Rubin and Myna; and two grandchildren. Groman

Howard Alan Lilenfeld died Feb. 17 at 61. He is survived by his wife, Barbara; son, Casey; daughter, Jamie; brother, Donald; and sister, Marilyn MacKlowsky. Groman

Fred Lobel died Feb. 6 at 89. He is survived by his wife, Pearl; son, Stephen; daughter, Diane; and brother, Charles. Groman

SYLVIA MALIN died Feb. 6 at 84. She is survived by her daughter, Marcia Labowitz; sons, Richard and Michael; and brother David Cohen. Sholom Chapels.

RICHARD MANNHEIMER died Feb. 6 at 80. He is survived by his wife, Myra; daughter, Jean Louise Forray; son, Paul; three grandchildren; and brother, Robert. Hillside

Bess Margolis died Feb. 15 at 93. She is survived by her son, Joel; sisters, Ann Caplan and Bella Garrick; brother, Sam Winer; one niece; and two nephews. Mount Sinai

Martha Cohen Mayer died Feb. 13 at 85. She is survived by her husband, Robert; and brothers, Cecil and Barney Cohen. Groman

Sidney Mencher died Feb. 5 at 88. He is survived by his son, Albert (Zipora) Shifberg-Mencher; three grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

Ethel Mendelson died Feb. 14 at 87. She is survived by her son, David; daughters, Marsha Rupel, Harriet Lick and Helen Freedman; brother, Joseph Miller; seven grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. Groman

Melinda Beth Metzenbaum died Feb. 14 at 53. She is survived by her father, Leon; and sisters, Debra (William) Schwaneberg and Christiana. Mount Sinai

Lillian Mezey died Feb. 14 at 88. She is survived by her daughters, Gail Simpson and Geraldine Marks; and three grandchildren. Groman

Aaron Harry Milder died Feb. 16 at 97. He is survived by his daughter, Marilyn Abrams; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Groman

Donald Milhander died Feb. 7. He is survived by his son, Rabbi Ken (Laura); and four grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

David Moses died Feb. 8 at 69. He is survived by his wife, Lily; daughter, Orli; son, Ofer; and brother, Benjamin. Malinow and Silverman

Shirley Reva Ogulnick died Feb. 7 at 81. She is survived by her daughter, Elyse Lidman; son, Ron; four grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and sisters, Jeanne Mendelssohn and Rhoda Matten. Mount Sinai

Vafa Hanna Pashaie died Feb. 9 at 67. She is survived by her husband, Amir; son, Billy; daughters, Dahlia and Neda; and sister, Maneejah Amiri. Groman

Leonard Israel Pode died Feb. 14 at 86. He is survived by his wife, Marion; son, Charles (Laura) Pode; daughter, Donnasue (John) Boni; five grandchildren; sisters Shirley Priceman and Lillian; and three nieces. Mount Sinai

Carolyn Ada Rainer died Feb. 6. She is survived by her husband Edwin; son, David; daughter, Judy; and four grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Lorraine Roseman died Feb. 8 at 79. She is survived by her daughter, Carol (Eric) Mills; son, Ross; three grandchildren; brother, Maynard (Nettie) Sarvas; and sisters, Rose Schoenfeld and Grace (Irving) Hartman. Mount Sinai

BENJAMIN ROSENMAYER died Feb. 6 at 83. He is survived by his wife, Betty; daughters, Julie (Pat) Iantorno, Jan (Jimmy) Okun; son, John (Jennifer); and nine granchildren. Hillside

Michael Morris Roth died Feb. 8 at 96. He is survived by his son, Fred; daughter, Susan Gleason; two grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren. Groman

Shirley Linda Rubenstein died Feb. 6 at 61. She is survived by her brothers, Neil and Michael. Groman

Marcy Sagerman Sanders died Feb. 9 at 36. She is survived by her husband, Brian; son, Benjamin; parents, Marvin and Judy Sagerman; and sister, Sheryl Brager. Groman

Jean Sanzel died Feb. 5 at 91. She is survived by her son, Paul Feinberg. Malinow and Silverman

DAVID SEIGEL died Feb. 6 at 87. He is survived by his wife, Norma; sons, Gary and Scott; daughters, Debra Hartley and Andrea (Steven) Blumenfeld; 10 grandchildren; and brothers, Sanford and Edwin. Hillside

Renee Sherr died Feb. 5 at 66. She is survived by her husband, Stephen Fainsbert; sons, David and Spencer Jacobson; brother, Carl; and sister, Irene Talbot. Malinow and Silverman

DOROTHY SILVERMAN died Feb. 6 at 93. She is survived by her husband, William. Hillside

Ethel Skolnik died Feb. 6 at 77. She is survived by her son, Jeffrey; daughter, Leslie; brother, Sam Breiloff; sister, Alice Weiner; two grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Groman

Faye Skuro died Feb. 15 at 96. She is survived by her son, Elliott (Ximena); and three grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

David Sterkin died Feb. 11 at 90. He is survived by his wife, Doris; stepson, James Samurin; daughter, Lynne; stepdaughters, Beth and Amy Samurin; two grandchildren; and sisters, Bella Barnet and Dorothy Rankin. Groman

JOSEPH TANENHAUS died Feb. 3 at 89. He is survived by his daughters, Marianne Pogoler and Sara; and one grandchild. Hillside

Mildred Tarlow died Feb. 17 at 92. She is survived by her sons, Gerald (Nan) and Barry; daughter, Eleanor (Michael) Rapposelli; two grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Groman

Rita Gail Teller died Feb. 5 at 65. She is survived by her husband, Robert; son, Jeff (Dena); daughter, Jodi (Ryan) Miller; five grandchildren; and sister, Carla (Lawrence) Klein. Malinow and Silverman

Edward Allen Toppel died Feb. 5 at 64. He is survived by his wife, Rabbi Judith Halevy; son, Neil (Cari); daughter, Jessica (Bill) Cleary; three grandchildren; mother, Lilian; sister, Gail (Mark) Sherman; and brother, Lewis (Margaret). Mount Sinai

ANTONY DOUGLAS TRATTNER died Feb. 7 at 74. He is survived by his wife, Marilyn; sons, Greg (Carolyn) and Darren (Elizabeth); and grandson, Ryan. Hillside

BERNARD PAUL UNICKEL died Feb. 7 at 89. He is survived by his daughters, Sue and Martha; son, Steve; five grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. Hillside

Chaim Jerome Weinstein died Feb. 16 at 80. He is survived by his daughter, Gila; brother, David; and nephew, Jacob. Groman

Robert Weinstein died Feb. 10 at 74. He is survived by his wife, Sarah; sons, Leonard and Daniel; daughter, Jackie Fineman; three grandchildren; and sister, Ruth Urban. Malinow and Silverman

Bernard Weisberg died Feb. 15 at 82. He is survived by his wife, Beatrice Chankin. Mount Sinai

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