Showing posts from August, 2018

Lessons From Consecrating a ‘Green’ Cemetery

Lessons From Consecrating a ‘Green’ Cemetery By Rabbi Perry Tirschwell By far the most unusual thing I did this summer was consecrate a new, “green” cemetery on a steep, tree-covered hillside a few miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge. Having spent close to a month in Northern California this summer helping our daughter and son-in-law adjust to the birth of twins, I learned that most things in the Bay Area are marketed as “green,” “organic” and “vegan.” Though observant Jews utilize biodegradable “green” caskets in all cemeteries, the cemetery we consecrated requires it of even non-Orthodox burials. All graves at this cemetery must be dug by hand (without the help of mechanized machinery). Gravestones are small, natural boulders (no hewn marble) upon which names and dates can be etched. Lastly, this cemetery has no grass to water, which makes perfect sense in this rain-deprived region. The truth is that “Gan Yarok” (which is the cemetery’s name) is actually brown, due to