Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Obsession with Death

Okay, so it seems to me that many people, but Christians in particular, are obsessed with death.

1 – Why would anyone want to see an open casket with a body it in?  In some cases you need people to identify the body, but you don’t need hundreds of people.  Maybe one or two close friends would be enough.

2 – Why all the agony about burn vs. bury?  I can’t possibly imagine why anyone would wish to be cremated except for purely financial reasons (it is cheaper to be cremated).  The whole idea about being scattered in the ocean or the back yard or hanging out on a mantle.  Puhleeeze.  Can you not imaging a world better than this one?  Do you really want Aunt Bessie to have nothing better than hanging out on your mantle?  And if you want to remember her, what about a nice picture or keep sake of some sort rather than ashes you somehow need to look after?

3 – The time between death and burial (Jews never get cremated, according to Jewish law it is desecration) is short.  This time period is generally 24 to 48 hours unless there is a very good reason.  From the point that one of the 7 (mother, father, spouse, sister, brother, son, daughter) finds out about the death, they literally have no other responsibility other than to take care of the deceased.  So why need it take so long?  I know of someone at work who knew on Monday that he had to go to a funeral on Friday.  Man, so you are sitting around sad, but not yet able to deal with things and move on because the body is still hanging out for another 5 or 6 days.  Oh no, that cannot be good.

In generally, this is really just a feeling of mine.  Jews experience death, confront it head on and deal with it, get closure, mourn/grieve/reflect, and then go on with life.  It just seems like a very healthy way to deal with things.  All of the other things that sometimes go on, but need not, seem to really obstruct these healthy processes.  Goyim just spend too much time thinking about it/worrying about it/getting off of work for it/looking at it.

But that’s my opinion, I could be wrong.



P.S.  Next post or two will be about Michael Jackson and the real person who ought to go to jail in that case (other than Michael if he is found guilty).



At 12:33 PM, Blogger Jewish Blogmeister said...

You could also be DEAD wrong (heh)
I couldn't missed the opportunity.

At 7:57 PM, Blogger WBS said...

I don't know how you reconcile obsession with having an open casket. One has nothing to do with the other. I can understand if you don't understand the why but perhaps (if you care) you should actuallly, you know, ask someone, instead of being so quick to criticize. I must go, I have to start obsessing over my (Goy) uncle's death.

At 5:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am surprised to hear such a criticism coming out of you. Where is the open-mindedness, the acceptance of other cultures and traditions? Some cultures burn their dead, some cultures consider it blasphemy. Some cultures have open caskets and grieve for 40 days, other cultures consider death a passage to a better life. We are all people and we are all afraid to die - it's in our nature. We are fascinated with something that we have no explanation for and no control over. Even when we are asking ourselves what is the meaning of life, we are actually expressing the desire to understand death.
You seem to be falling into the perspective of whatever is not Jewish is bad. It can be a dangerous path for usually this is what fanatics preach. I am sure you don’t want to become a fanatic but it seems narrow-mindedness is closing in on you.

At 2:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with you--but I know why many members of my (Jewish family) have chosen cremation. If you go to Brooklyn or Queens, you see a huge swath of the city that is the old cemeteries. Several square miles. Relatives of mine grew up near there and felt that the land would have been better used for housing (in scarce supply then), or parks, or places where their kids could play. It's a land use thing.

At 1:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reform Jews also have open least the one we belong to in Florida. I was a little girl when my mother passed away and it was quite freaky seeing her lying there "asleep." Also, as for cremation, it's something that I want, mostly, because of being forgotten. Unless you are born and raised in the same town as your family and other relatives, when do you actually go and visit the cemetary? Especially these days when so many people live far away from each other and are so spread out.

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