Thursday, January 26, 2006

Chesed Shel Emmes? Or Geneiva?

This story blew my mind! It's hard to belive that there are actually such sick individuals in this world. JewishPress: .....In the early 1980’s Reb A’s parents and siblings decided to buy a family plot in Eretz Yisrael because they wanted to be buried in adjoining graves. They contacted a Chevra Kaddisha and, for a considerable sum of money, purchased a family burial place in a cemetery in Yerushalayim. At the time of the purchase they received official-looking documents attesting to their ownership. These were put away in a safe place, and no further thought was given the matter. (In order for the reader to fully understand the problem, it is important to point out here that the organization from which Reb A’s family purchased their family burial place is not one of the chevra kadishas of Yerushalayim.)About ten years ago Reb A’s father passed away. After a funeral in the U.S., Reb A flew with the nifter to Eretz Yisrael in order to have his father interred in one of the family plots. At the time of the actual burial Reb A noted that the grave that had been dug for his father was not where he thought it should be — while in the same row, it was adjacent to the plots indicated on the deeds in his possession. When Reb A mentioned this, his concerns were dismissed, and he did not argue....About a year ago, Reb A’s mother became quite ill. To save her from dying from infection, it became necessary to amputate one of her legs. Since the limb required burial, Reb A contacted representatives of the Chevra Kadisha of Yerushalayim to advise them that he would be sending the limb for burial. It was then that Reb A got the shock of his life: He was told that his family did not own any graves next to his father. Reb A was dumbfounded. He could not believe what he had been told. "I have certificates for graves next to my father, for my mother, my siblings and me," he insisted. After a good deal of back and forth it emerged that the organization that had sold Reb A’s family the plots had also sold those same plots to a number of other families. Another family had purchased the plots two years before. These buyers had deeds from the Chevra Kadisha of Yerushalayim, whereas the deeds that Reb A had were issued by another organization. Those with deeds from the Chevra Kadisha of Yerushalayim were the rightful owners. Reb A’s official-looking certificates were worthless. The greed of the representatives of this other organization had led to a scam...After some discussion, he was told that the required number of graves was available in a spot not far from where his father was buried. Before agreeing to the purchase of these plots Reb A wanted to see them, so he flew to Eretz Yisrael. Upon his arrival in Israel he met with a representative of the Chevra Kadisha of Yerushalayim and was shown the plots being offered. He agreed to take them. But now the question was who would pay for the purchase of these new plots. Reb A naturally felt the organization that had taken his family’s money for a fraudulent sale of nonexistent graves should pay. At first this organization actually had the nerve to equivocate about paying. It was only after Reb A threatened to contact a lawyer and go public with this sordid incident that the organization agreed to pay for the new plots. Reb A and his family now have graves near each other and his mother’s leg is buried in one of them. He still, however, cannot get over the fact that his family may never, after 120 years, be buried in the same row as his father........... Buyer beware — of grave robbers.
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