In the photo: Rabbi Kobi Weiss
Moshe Silman was entitled to burial costs from Bituach Leumi after he died but not to a place to live when he was alive. Rabbi Kobi Weiss hopes that the right to die with respect will be echoed by the right to live with respect for those insist to live.
The state of Israel defines criteria for the living and criteria for the dead, and the one who is entitled to die here is not entitled to live here. According to the regulations of Bituach Leumi (1995) and the the rulling concerning burial expenses, burial costs are paid by the state of Israel via Bituach Leumi, including the burial plot. Moshe Silman who was made miserable by Bituach Leumi in his lifetime and was not entitled to be given a place to live by Amidar, received a place on his death.
Could we imagine that at the cemetery gate would stand a representative of Bituach Leumi who would determine that, owing to the shortage of land and many recent deaths, Moshe Silman would not be entitled to a burial plot? Incidentally, this almost happened when Silman’s family asked that he be buried next to his mother in Holon and not inHaifa. He will be buried in a grave above his mother’s.
Jewish law has for generations sanctified the basic right of a person to everlasting rest. One of the ordinances of Joshua Ben Nun dealt with “Met Mitzva – Kone Makomo.” An unidentified dead body is buried in the place where it is found at the expense of the owner of the place, without consideration of the location. The Halacha also recognizes the concept of “Every Jew has four measures in Israel,” every Jew has two cubic metres of land in his name, reserved for placing his body in. The idea is that, after a man’s death, a minimal place is reserved for him, so in life too he is considered a property owner.
Israel cars for the dead more than for the living
The policy of the Israeli government opposes public housing for those who are alive, makes strict criteria for receiving public housing, does not build flats for public housing, and creates queues of tens of thousands waiting for a roof over their head – the state of Israel is, in fact, saying: I choose to care about the dead body rather than a live one, the dead over the living.”
We are now hearing about a disabled army veteran who has set himself on fire in Yehud. Is his life better than his death? It seems he already answered this. As a veteran, he chose the shocking path of “It is good to die for our country,” and, indeed, in death you will find rest while in life you will be humiliated and reduced to ashes.
Moshe Silman will be brought to rest today. The basic respect that he did not receive while alive will be given to him, the right to a decent burial. Let his sacrifice lead to the right to living honourably for all those who still refuse to die, all those who are not ready to set themselves on fire, like the wretched disabled army veteran, who insist for whatever reason on living in this country.
May Moshe Silman rest in peace
The writer is an activist in “Rabbis for Human Rights” working for social justice. He also was one of those who assisted Moshe Silman. The post was first published on Walla.