“I may not have been a perfect Jew, but I’m a proud one. I want to be buried as Jews have been for thousands of years. I owe it to my ancestors. I owe it to my descendants. I owe it to my body—and I owe it to my soul.”
Add the following to the “Advance Directives” form on file in the prison.
NOTIFICATION INSTRUCTIONS UPON DEATH
1. Get a legal pronouncement of death.
2. I would like The HINDA Institute (Jewish Prisoners Assistance Foundation) to be notified at 847-334-1770 (or if no one is reached at that number then at 847-296-1770 or at 773-262-2770) and an e-mail sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, and my body to be retrieved for ritual religious burial. If it is the Sabbath (Friday night and Saturday), or a major Jewish holiday, when the rabbis will not be available by phone or email, I request that my body be held until they may be reached.
_____ AGREE _____DISAGREE
3. Notify next of kin as listed in this document of this request.
Name of Next of Kin:
IMPORTANCE OF JEWISH BURIAL
“Earth you are, and to earth you will return,” were G-d’s words to Adam, the first human being (Genesis 3:19). In the words of King Solomon, “And the earth returns to the land as it was, and the spirit returns to G-d, who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7). The next stage in the continuing saga of a human life is that the body should return to the earth, the source of all physical life, and be reunited with it, just as the soul returns to its divine root.
Indeed, these two “returns” are coupled. The earth is the source of physical life because G-d’s essence resides within it in a deeply hidden but profoundly real way. The natural decomposition of the body into the earth allows the expeditious return of the soul to its source. It is therefore of utmost importance to preserve the integrity of the body, and to allow the burial to occur as soon as possible after death.
The in-between state is most difficult for the soul, as it has no body with which to relate to our world, and neither is it free of its tenuous bonds to our world to see things from the purely spiritual perspective. The body’s “returning to the earth” is directly commensurate with the soul’s ability to return to the supernal Source from which it is drawn. Interment in the earth is also integral to the
process of the techiat ha-meitim, the future resurrection of the dead. As the first human being was initially formed from the earth, so, too, when the dead are brought back to life in the World to Come, their bodies will be reformed from the earth in which they have been interred.
The HINDA Institute (JPAF) in cooperation with other local Jewish agencies have made the necessary arrangements to pick up the deceased from the prison, and make the necessary arrangements for burial in accordance with Jewish law. These arrangements are made with no financial burden to the grieving family; all arrangements are made with utmost respect and dignity, and once again with no burden to the family.
In order for the niftar (deceased) to be released to The HINDA Institute (JPAF). The HINDA Institute (JPAF) has to be notified of the passing of the inmate. Therefore an amendment has to be made on the ‘advance directives’ form each inmate makes at the institution.
This is the amendment that has to be modified on the “Advance Directives”. Please note that once the amendment has been made, it must be once again notarized.
Once the amendment has been made, please notify next of kin of the change, and please notify “The HINDA Institute (JPAF)” via mail.