Uncommon Mitzvah Performed in Florida

A rare mitzvah was fulfilled in Southwest Florida this past week. Five shluchim gathered to dedicate a new Jewish cemetery and perform the unique customs associated with the dedication.

By: Anash.org staff

A rare mitzvah was fulfilled in Southwest Florida this past week. Five shluchim gathered and performed a special ceremony customary on dedicating a new Jewish cemetery.

The dedication was arranged by Chabad Lubavitch of Southwest Florida under the leadership of Shliach Rabbi Yitzchok Minkowicz. The new cemetery is to serve the needs of the Southwest Florida Jewish Community.

The cemetery was dedicated by Dr. James & Betty Rubenstein in memory of Betty’s mother, Chava Rabinowitz. Honoring her memory, the cemetery will be named ‘Chava’s Garden’.

Gathering for the uncommon ceremony were are shluchim. Rabbi Yitzchok Minkowicz of Chabad Lubavitch of Southwest Florida, Rabbi Fishel Zaklos of Chabad of Naples, Rabbi Mendel Gordon of Chabad of FGCU, Rabbi Simon Jacobson of Chabad of Charlotte County & Rabbi Sholom Schmerling of Chabad of Venice & North Port. The shluchim were joined by Rabbi Jay Lyons, Director of the Florida Region of the National Association of the Chevra Kadisha.

Joining as well were four members of the Boca Raton Synagogue & several members of the Southwest Florida Jewish Community. Taryn Sasser a leading member of the Ladies Chevra Kadisha, and donors Dr. James & Betty Rubenstein also participated in this special consecration ceremony.

In line with Jewish custom for consecrating a cemetery, the Shluchim and the members of the Chevra Kadisha fasted all day. Arriving at the plot of land, the assembled read selected perokim of Tehillim & special tefillos, and then walked around the Jewish section 7 times. After each circuit, each attendee gave money to the tzedaka.

All present were very grateful to participate in this unique opportunity to be part of this special Mitzvah, one that is not common to come across.

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