Collapse of Champlain Tower South renders traditional practices for burying Jewish dead impossible to perform

JTA
For Jewish burial societies, Surfside disaster presents a grim and complex task
by Shira Hanau
June 25, 2021

Among Rabbi Mayer Berger’s first thoughts on seeing the 12 stories of the Champlain Tower South pancaked upon themselves: This is like Sept. 11. Then as now, destruction of unimaginable proportions claimed many lives without warning in a manner that rendered traditional practices for burying the Jewish dead impossible to perform. Those practices call for bodies to be buried as soon as possible following death after undergoing a purification ritual called tahara. But with both Jewish and non-Jewish victims, and bodies difficult or impossible to identify, catastrophes like 9/11 or what happened in Surfside, Florida, complicate the work of those who volunteer to carry out the traditional practices. READ MORE

NEW YORK POST Israeli army forms 3D images of fallen Florida condo to find victims The Israeli military has created an intricate set of three-dimensional mapping diagrams of the collapsed Florida condo building and the surrounding disaster site as part of its efforts to assist local authorities in finding victims in the rubble. The Israel Defense Forces provided The Post with various images of the remaining portion of the gutted Champlain Towers South in Surfside, where the death toll stood at 16 as of Wednesday afternoon.

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