(RNS) As French cemeteries fill up, Jews seek burial plots in the Holy Land

Franck Darmon is only 35, but he already knows where his bones will lie. Not in his native France, but in Israel.

“When you compare a cemetery in Israel ”” with the blue sky, the sun and all the white tombstones ”” to a cemetery in France with the gray surroundings, it’s very distressing,” Darmon said. “The soul doesn’t have the same type of rest.”

Darmon is not the only French Jew reaching this conclusion, and not just because of the weather. France may have Europe’s largest Jewish population, but many don’t want to stay here for eternity.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Death / Burial / Funerals, Eschatology, Europe, France, Israel, Judaism, Middle East, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology

2 comments on “(RNS) As French cemeteries fill up, Jews seek burial plots in the Holy Land

  1. Terry Tee says:

    I am amazed that this article does not discuss the problem of shortage of cemetery space in Israel itself. The situation there is complicated by the fact that the Orthodox determine who is Jewish and who is not, and therefore who may be buried in a Jewish cemetery. If you are not Jewish in terms of halakha, Jewish law (eg descended from a Jewish father and not mother) you might not be eligible. I seem to remember reading in Haaretz of desperate families ending up accepting space in a Christian cemetery – and there are pressures of space on those too.

  2. Catholic Mom says:

    The Orthodox have actually dug up and removed individuals judged posthumously to be non-Jewish and this includes fallen IDF soldiers. It is hard for the outsider to understand the religious extremism that holds sway at the present time in Israel, although there is a strong popular reaction, as witness the current demands that the ultra-Orthodox serve in the army. They have a parliamentary system, however, in which minority groups with highly focused interests can provide the swing votes necessary to keep a party in power. Right now the religious parties are pretty much wagging the dog.