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Cemeteries in Cape Town #southafrica


Colin Plen
 

When the first Jews came to South Africa, to the best of my knowledge, the
belief was still to design houses of prayer to face towards Jerusalem, as
they had prayed in der heim, so their houses of prayer faced East or South,
as they would have in Europe. Only later did they take into account that
Jerusalem is North >from South Africa and shuls were built accordingly
thereafter. Maybe this has something to do with the way the graves faced?

Colin Plen

I have asked this question on numerous
occasions and have not received a satisfactory
reply. Hopefully, this message will now bring the
answer for which I am looking.

All over the world the head of a Tombstone faces
Jerusalem, which means that Tombstones are one
next to the other in rows. In Pinelands cemetery in
particular, Tombstones are back to back. Therefore
not all heads of Tombstones are facing Jerusalem as is in Jewish
Tradition.

Is there a reason that Cape Town cemeteries are
different >from the norm?

Beryl Baleson
Israel.
balden@zahav.net.il


Beryl. B <balden@...>
 

You are correct re Synagogues, which in South Africa
should have the Aron Kodesh facing North East.

However my question re Pinelands Cemetery is more
in line with "why are the Tombstones back to back"
which means that one row of Tombstones is not facing
the correct direction.

I have tried to put this question as simple as possible,
taking into account that Pinelands Cemetery in Cape
Town was first opened in the 1940's when most
Eastern European immigrants had been settled in
South African for quite some while and it was not
the first Jewish Cemetery opened in Cape Town but
is the only cemetery that has its Tombstones back
to back and not in one line!

The facing Jerusalem of the Aron Kodesh in
Synagogues is world wide - so each country has
a different direction, depending on which direction
Jerusalem lies >from a particular country. >from South Africa
Jerusalem is North East.

Beryl Baleson
Israel.
balden@zahav.net.il.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ev and Col Plen" <evancol@iafrica.com>
To: "South Africa SIG" <safrica@lyris.jewishgen.org>
Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2006 8:07 AM
Subject: [safrica] Cemeteries in Cape Town


When the first Jews came to South Africa, to the best of my knowledge, the
belief was still to design houses of prayer to face towards Jerusalem, as
they had prayed in der heim, so their houses of prayer faced East or South,
as they would have in Europe. Only later did they take into account that
Jerusalem is North >from South Africa and shuls were built accordingly
thereafter. Maybe this has something to do with the way the graves faced?

Colin Plen


Ann Rabinowitz <annrab@...>
 

Beryl:

In other postings on this subject on JewishGen, your basic assumption that
all tombstones all over the world face towards Jerusalem has been provden to
be erroneous.

I have been in cemeteries in quite a few places including America, South
Africa, Great Britain, Lithuania, etc., and they all have different setups
depending on the space given over to cemetery use, the terrain, etc.

Most are arranged higgledy pigledy as they are developed in sections,
although there are those which sometimes do face Jerusalem. The cemetery in
Rokiskis, Lithuania, for instance, is quite large and roams over hill and
dale with tombstones facing every which way.

Even in South Africa, cemeteries in places other than Cape Town do not
always follow the rule of facing towards Jerusalem that you espouse.

Another example is the cemetery where my parents are buried in South
Florida. A series of formal pathways are laid out throughout the cemetery
so you can drive through. On either side of the pathway, sometimes the
tombstones face each other and sometimes not and there is even a circular
ediface where there are burials. In my parents section, the tombstones face
south and not northeast towards Jerusalem.

There is even the wonderfully odd burial of colonial patriot Abram Simon in
America who was buried standing up with his rifle to "meet the devil face to
face".

Ann Rabinowitz
annrab@bellsouth.net