Shavit v. The Chevra Kadisha (Burial Society) of Rishon Le Zion

C.A 6024/97 (1999)

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Shavit v. The Chevra Kadisha (Burial Society) of Rishon Le Zion

Israel Supreme Court (sitting as a Court of Civil Appeals)
C.A 6024/97 (1999)

KS

Facts

Fredrika Shavit (plaintiff) buried her deceased mother in Rishon Le Zion (defendant), a Jewish cemetery. Shavit requested that her mother’s headstone be inscribed with her mother’s name in both Hebrew and Latin and her dates of birth and death listed according to the Hebrew and the Gregorian calendars. The rabbi in charge of the Rishon Le Zion cemetery refused to allow any non-Hebrew inscription on the tombstone. Rishon Le Zion ultimately allowed Shavit’s mother’s first name to be inscribed in Latin letters; however, the cemetery continued to refuse to allow her birth and death Gregorian calendar dates to be inscribed. Shavit sued Rishon Le Zion to allow her mother’s headstone to include non-Hebrew dates. In response, Rishon Le Zion argued that the Alternative Burial Law, which authorized alternative, civil cemeteries, eliminated the obligation of Jewish cemeteries to allow non-Hebrew inscriptions. The district court dismissed Shavit’s petition. Shavit appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Cheshin, J.)

Concurrence (Barak, J.)

Dissent (England, J.)

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