On Sunday, October 12th JCAM hosted its annual book burial at the Chevra Thillim Cemetery in West Roxbury. Rabbi Terri Greenstein along with members of Klal Yisrael of Sharon, and other individuals from as far away as New Hampshire came to bear witness and participate in the mitzvah of burying shammot.
JCAM takes the responsibility for the burial of shammot, which include books, Bibles, scrolls, benchers, tefillin, talitot, photocopied pages, or papers with the Hebrew name of G-d on them to ensure that these items are treated with the respect our tradition accords them. These shammot gathered from synagogues, schools and individuals are brought to the community genizah located at the Pultusker Chapel on Baker Street in West Roxbury. When the chapel is filled, JCAM arranges the burial and provides the land.
JCAM Board Member, Rabbi Sharon Clevenger officiated the ceremony as each participant walked a book for burial into the massive grave. Everyone recited the traditional Kaddish prayer and each person lifted a shovel of dirt to place into the grave, similiar to what is traditionally performed at the end a Jewish funeral. After a brief discussion on the significance of properly handling sacred materials, all attendees were invited to participate in a Cemeteries Are For The Living educational tour of the Centre Street cemeteries led by JCAM's Director of Development, Lisa Berenson.
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