The “modern invention” of “green burials”

By | February 18, 2008

The Scripps News wire recently ran a story which the Boston Herald picked up, ‘Green’ burials get a boost.

Apparently, the idea of burying someone wrapped in a simple shroud, in a plain wooden coffin, with no embalming and no concrete vault, is so revolutionary that it deserves news coverage.

Admittedly, the “green burial” movement introduces one new concept that traditional Jewish burial practices don’t employ — burial “in a woodland, where a new tree or a stone marks the grave.” Other than that, it sounds just like how Jews have been burying their dead for at least a thousand years. I was sufficiently amused that I dashed off this letter to the editor of the Herald, although I don’t know if they’ll print it:

To the editor:

If forgoing embalming, metal caskets and burial vaults exemplify “good old-fashioned Yankee simplicity and frugality” (“Eco-friendly consumers really dig green burials”, Feb. 18), then apparently the Jewish people have been Yankees for thousands of years.

The assertion that green burials are a modern invention is almost as funny as the statement I read recently on-line, “I guess Jesus knew what he was doing calling for the observance of the Sabbath.”

As we are taught in the Jewish Bible (Ecclesiastes 1:9), “There is nothing new under the sun.”

Jonathan Kamens

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3 thoughts on “The “modern invention” of “green burials”

  1. jik Post author

    The “they” who created that link is probably an automated output filter which searches for keywords in article text and generates links for them automatically. But I imagine you knew that already :-).

  2. jont

    I liked how they linked the word “Yankees” in your letter to a search page about baseball!


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