After 9 years of effort by Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal, Chief Rabbi and Head Shliach of Berlin, the Berlin Senate has endorsed a law that will allow burial to take place immediately, moving to overturn a previous law that only allows burials after 48 hours.
Nine years ago, in 2014, Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal, Chief Rabbi and Head Shliach of Berlin, met with Mario Czaja, Senator for Science, Health, Nursing and Equality in the Berlin Senate, to discuss creating a new law in Berlin that would allow Jewish burials to take place after 24 hours.
Presently the law in Berlin is that burials can take place only after 48 hours. This law dates back over 150 years, to a time when it was much harder to determine death. Times have changed greatly since then, however, and modern medicine has many ways to prove death, allowing for a faster burial. Seemingly, nothing would stand in the way of approving this new regulation.
But it wasn’t so simple. Over the years, Rabbi Teichtal has met with many members of the state legislature to move this forward. It took 9 years and many many meetings to move it forward.
On Tuesday, the Senate of Berlin, the government body of Berlin, endorsed the law and it will now go to the parliament for approval for it to become law.
“This is a concrete major step for the advancement of Jewish life in Berlin. This enables communities to live according to Jewish law in Berlin,” a shliach in Berlin told Anash.org. “Rabbi Teichtal is very excited and thankful to God that we reached this point.”
“Special thanks goes to the antisemitism commissioner of Berlin Professor Salzborn as well as to the two ministers, minister of justice Professor Dr. Lena Kreck, and to Senator for Science, Health, Nursing and Equality Ulrike Gote,” he said. “This is a major step that will strengthen awareness of Jewish life in Berlin.”
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