LANDSCAPES OF DEATH — THE KIBBUTZ AND THE CEMETERY
The Jewish Journal of Sociology, vol 54, nos, 1 and 2, 2012 1
This paper deals with the cemetery at Kibbutz Ein Harod, the first cemetery to be established in the Jezreel Valley and of historic importance to the Kibbutz Hameuhad movement. In an attempt to understand the extent to which the cemeteries have reflected tensions between the values of egalitarianism and personal diversity and the conflicts that have arisen as a result, I hypothesize that the burial plots reflect the cultural transformations that the kibbutz has undergone over the course of time.1
In the Jewish world outside the kibbutzim, burial and bereavement come under the auspices of people with specific functions within the community, the best known of which is the hevra kadisha (holy burial society), which is responsible for cemeteries and interment. Likewise, Jewish cemeteries in Israel are mostly administered and maintained by such burial societies, which adhere strictly to halakhah (the collective body of Jewish religious law and precedents). This impacts on the landscape, influencing the order of burial, the burial ceremonies themselves and the characteristics of the headstones.2
In contrast, and in the secular spirit of socialist revolution, the young, revolutionary and secular pioneers of the Second and Third aliyot (two waves of immigration between 1902 and 1923) rejected or altered many aspects of burial, just as they had rejected other established organizations that had existed in the Diaspora. As a consequence, not only were there changes regarding burial but also the issue of death was one that the pioneers and the collectives that they founded had to confront very early in their history.3 An issue that needs addressing, therefore, is the creation of alternative, intra-kibbutz, organizations for dealing with death, burial and commemoration.
A fundamental question in relation to kibbutz cemeteries is what they say about values such as equality and fraternity frequently mentioned over the past century. How do individual tombstones — their shape, the inscriptions they carry, and their location within the cemetery — reflect changing social relations within the kibbutz?
In this respect, the changes in kibbutz cemeteries are little different from processes occurring in cemetery landscapes the world over as a result of the cumulative product of many centuries of urbanization.4 Urban growth and population increase have greatly increased the population density of cemeteries in relatively constricted geographical locations. At the same time, tombstones not only convey something of the personal stories of the dead but also the social history of communities lived in. Moreover, as there is in life, religious, social and economic segregation occurs in cemeteries, with distinctive ―neighbourhoods‖ in different parts of the cemetery. This segregation after death reflects lack of equality, a constant thread running through human societies everywhere and a social characteristic transferred into the cemetery — a belief that a similar lack of equality exists in ―life after death‖.5
Much of the segregation in cemeteries exists simply because of religious ascription for a preference or an obligation to bury the dead in a ―sacred space‖ occupied by members of the same religion. This is in addition to distinctions within cemeteries based on the social status and economic stature of the deceased and their families. Segregation in the burial place is expressed by the size and degree of ornamentation of the tombstone or the quality of the material used, all of which contribute to creating ―good and bad neighbourhoods‖ within graveyards. Consequently, a basic assumption in the study of cemeteries is that they conceal symbolic representations and social statuses.
In this paper, from what can be gleaned in the cemetery itself and from archival material documenting sentiments expressed and decisions taken about death and burial, I concentrate on aspects of segregation and preservation of the principle of egalitarianism in the spaces of death. Thus I differ from Barbara Mann who used an interpretative method in discussing the Old Cemetery in Tel Aviv.6 Although this research is historical and local in geographic extent, it confronts several issues in the landscapes of kibbutz cemeteries over the eight decades since pioneers dug the first grave at the bottom of Mount Gilboa.
Kibbutz Ein Harod and the Cemeteries
In summer 1921, as part of the Zionist Organization‘s policy and action establishing agricultural settlements in the Jezreel Valley, a group of pioneers established a tent camp near the spring of Ma‘ayan Harod on the land of the Arab village of ̳Ein Jalud. Several years later the first campsite near the spring was abandoned and moved several kilometres to the north to its current location (See Figure 1). The expansion of the kibbutz, the establishment of an economic infrastructure based on agriculture and industry, and the social and cultural centrality of the kibbutz in terms of ideology made Ein Harod one of the most prominent symbols of Zionist settlement in Palestine. By the mid-1940s, its population was over 1,000 and after the establishment of the state exceeded 1,300. Ein Harod‘s great schism, over which socialist party to support, occurred in the early 1950s, after which several hundred people left the kibbutz, setting up Ein Harod (Ihud) nearby. The older settlement, renamed Ein Harod (Meuhad), appears never to have recovered and even today, its population is the same as when the separation occurred.7
Figure 1: Ein Harod Location
Ein Harod as a collective has always been influenced by such national events as Israel‘s wars and, established with a collective-secular- pioneering ethos, it has been exposed to the same social and economic transformations that have overtaken Israeli kibbutzim in general. In the past decade and a half, this included wide-scale privatization, which came to Ein Harod early in 2010. The current lifestyles and standards of living differ widely from those of the kibbutz founders and these processes have affected the relationship between individual and collective in many areas of kibbutz life, one aspect of which is the basis for the current research. There is no archival evidence in Ein Harod that a special committee to deal with these issues existed and they appear to have been dealt with by a subcommittee of the kibbutz secretariat. It was only in the 1940s that the kibbutz Culture Committee assumed partial responsibility as it had also handled the issue of memory and commemoration. During the 1950s, the schism and the settlement crisis in Ein Harod, as well as a rise in mortality, led the kibbutz to establish an independent Cemetery Committee. This committee was active from the early 1960s and prepared proposals for decisions taken by the general assembly of the kibbutz as well as aiding the activities of the kibbutz secretariat on these issues. Twenty years later, responsibility was further divided when the Memory and Commemoration Committee was created. These two committees ran the cemetery, commemoration ceremonies, funerals, commemoration, care of mourners, bereaved families, and so on. Their activities were organized and authorized by rules adopted by the kibbutz movement in general and by Ein Harod Meuhad in particular over the years
Figure 2: General view of the old cemetery, Ein Harod
The first contact of the young pioneers of Ein Harod with death came in December 1923, about half a year after its establishment and involved the suicide of Nahman Gellerman. This was the first suicide on the settlement but not the last. This led to the establishment of the old cemetery (sometimes referred to as the Lower Cemetery, or the cemetery by the spring or the Gidonah Cemetery); during the 1920s and 1930s members of Ein Harod and of other kibbutzim were buried there. The exact number of burials is unknown though there are over 100 tombstones of different kinds. The graves are spaced relatively far apart, several metres from one another, and because of the slope there is a lack of uniformity in their height even within an individual row. Nahum Benari, who was then a member of Ein Harod, describes the place as it was in 1931:10
Two rows of cypresses lead upwards to the foot of the mountain. We dedicated the cemetery above the first vineyard planted. The tombstones rose between the vines, memorial stones to those we had lost. The graveyard is not […] isolated outside the camp; it is very close to us, housed almost amongst us. For the place that we have chosen for our lives, these swampy plains and the surrounding wilderness, have caused us suffering so that we were unable to flee difficult obstacles and disasters.
Continuing in this vein, Benari stated that in contrast to other more conventional cemeteries where mainly old people are buried, in Ein Harod, it is young people are buried, just as in other pioneering settlements throughout the country. He wrote his majestic, heroic and dramatic description as propaganda material for the Jewish National Fund, amont other things. However, the archive indicates that it hid a bitter truth about the cemetery during the 1930s. Although kibbutz Ein Harod moved to a fresh site, the old cemetery continued to serve the surrounding kibbutzim until 1938. In summer of that year, Haim Shturman was killed by a mine and his grave inaugurated the new cemetery at the kibbutz.
The new cemetery attracted considerable attention from the very beginning because of the symbolic importance of Shturman‘s grave. The formal expression in the general planning included the planting of avenues of cypresses and enormous Ficus trees. Close to the kibbutz buildings, the new cemetery expanded when a military cemetery was added in the early 1950s. And in the early 1980s further change occurred when a large Holocaust commemorative arrangement by the sculptress Dalia Yairi was established in the cemetery‘s northern section.11
The current cemetery (the ―New Cemetery‖) is seen as a spacious tree- shaded garden with two plots in which more than 500 people are buried. This cemetery is the focus of the present research. In Plot ̳A‘, the older one, there are several types of tombstone. Some of these are standing and uniform, constructed of vertical concrete slabs; others, of horizontal marble, lie flat with most resting on a concrete base. Here and there are headstones that stand out as different. In the newer plot, Plat ̳B‘, dating from the 1980s on, uniformity of shape stands out — horizontal marble tombstones. The question of uniformity and differences in tombstone design are dealt with later.
Figure 3: The new cemetery at Ein Harod Meuhad
Segregation in the Cemeteries at Ein Harod
Bar-Levav claims that ―the location of the dead in the cemetery should reflect their status in the religious world of the living: it is fitting that the righteous be buried close to one another; similarly for the sinful. Disregard for this rule is likely to cause great discomfort among the dead, who are helpless in this regard‖. The cemetery is not the appropriate place to demolish social boundaries. In effect, Bar-Levav claims that the Jewish cemetery reflects the community and its social organization, by relying on what appears in tractate Sanhedrin (47, 71) of the Babylonian Talmud, where it is stated that it is forbidden to bury the sinful alongside the righteous.12 The broader significance attributed to this prohibition is the spatial segregation within the traditional Jewish cemeteries. This is the usual explanation for the allocation of separate plots to different social groups, as is apparent in the old cemetery in Tel Aviv or in the cemeteries in Jerusalem.13
Among the better-known types of segregation in Jewish cemeteries are those associated with kohanim (the priestly caste) and, in sharp contrast, suicides. Out of fear that kohanim be contaminated by impurities originating with the dead, there is a long string of prohibitions concerning their burial. They are usually buried near the principal routes through the cemetery or in separate lanes, thereby permitting their priestly relatives to participate in funerals. Another form of traditional segregation in Jewish burial grounds originates in the prohibition against committing suicide. In the past, it was usual to bury suicides in a special plot on the periphery of the cemetery or even outside the cemetery. At the same time, halakhah recognizes the possibility that the suicide might perhaps have regretted his or her action in the final seconds of life and repented during this time, allowing a normal Jewish burial.14
The issue of a separate plot for the burial of suicides was not apparently discussed in Ein Harod even when each of the first three deaths in 1923 was unusual: the suicides of Nahman Gellerman and Nehama Avrumin and the murder of Aharon Rozin, Avrumin‘s lover. These were the first graves in the Old Cemetery at Gidonah. As the pioneers did not regard suicide as a social aberration or a sin, not only were the graves not segregated and they were buried ―as everyone else‖ but the causes of death were actually noted, in the form of: ―He stole his soul‖. This practice was accepted when in 1938 when Leah Hirschheut, a young immigrant to Ein Harod from the Netherlands, ended her own life at age 23. (Figure 3)15
Yet contrasting with the non-segregation of the suicides, another form of segregation is prominent in both Ein Harod cemeteries. In kibbutz terminology this concerns ―the parents of members‖. The ―parents‖ were quite a large social group, living on the kibbutz but were not kibbutz members, first arriving at the kibbutz in the second half of the 1920s. In the early decades the ―parents‖ numbered about a sixth of the formal membership of the kibbutz and as a natural course of events, their proportion declined from the 1960s onward.
The parents‘ graves were dug in the old cemetery in segregated lines laid out on what was then the edge of cemetery, some distance from the graves of kibbutz members. The segregation was apparent not only in their location in the cemetery but also in the separation of rows – one line for men, one for women; married couples were separated at death. About a third of the graves in the Old Cemetery are those of parents, with a similar ratio between members and parents in both parts of the New Cemetery. Thus it is clear that segregation of members and parents was an accepted practice when the New Cemetery opened in 1938 and this continued into the 1970s.
Figure 4: ―She stole her soul, Old Cemetery
The practice of segregating the parents at death is an indicator of the way they were segregated in life from the community of pioneers. As Muki Tzur notes: 16
The kibbutz did not pay attention to the fact that ageing is an essential part of the human life cycle and [the life cycle] of the kibbutz. When members‘ parents appeared on the kibbutz, they were completely separated from [this] rebellious community, which had incorporated the insurgence of youth. This separation also existed because the parents demanded kosher food. [They had] lost their former traditional lives the moment they had immigrated to the kibbutz [and] they aged quickly … in their lifestyle, the parents lived as a community [that was] separated from the kibbutz.
Figure 5: Tombstone ―Ein Harod Member‖, New Cemetery
Azza Ronen, the kibbutz archivist, wrote is similar vein in 1984: ―The members‘ parents … these were mostly religious old people who had immigrated from the Diaspora and lacking any alternative came to live amid the pioneers. They were allocated a special area where they retained values close to Jewish religious tradition.‖ She added that this was particularly the case amongst those parents who had come from Russia and Poland but not among those originating in Germany. In addition, as already mentioned, the burial was in separate rows for men and women.17
A further distinction between the parents‘ graves and those of the members can be found in the shape of the tombstones and also to some extent in their inscriptions. Despite the locational segregation the form of the tombstones is usually identical in the Old Cemetery at Gidonah: vertical tombstones of concrete (in the Ashkenazi style) in the shape of cubes with small marble tablets sunk into them carrying minimal personal details of the deceased, including personal and family names, date of death, age, and connection with Ein Harod.
Figure 6: Tombstones of the graves of ―parents‖, New Cemetery.
With the move to the New Cemetery, distinguishing features began to appear in the shape of the tombstones: vertical concrete headstones were erected for the parents (often with a crown on top) whereas for the kibbutz members, the memorial stones were of concrete and were horizontal (Sephardi style).
In addition to the segregation of parents, there is further segregation in the two Ein Harod cemeteries that is no different from traditional Jewish cemeteries, i.e., in the burial plots for children; this is a traditional issue that does not need to be discussed here in detail. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that what is special at Ein Harod is that at the Old Cemetery at Gidonah there are no headstones at all in the children‘s section and it is unclear how many children were buried there. It addition, not all the children interred there were from Ein Harod; premature babies from the nearby hospital were also buried there.
There is no doubt that the death of a baby or infant was a hard blow for the family just as it is throughout the world. But from what appears to be at the Ein Harod cemeteries there is a wide gap between kibbutz society‘s investment in children and the severity, bordering on suppression, of the apparent disregard for their deaths.
The Headstones at the Ein Harod Cemeteries
As a new and revolutionary community, the kibbutz marked out the value of egalitarianism as one of its central ―Ten Commandments‖. This was the dream of the pioneers who had worked so hard to make this a reality
during their lives in Ein Harod, as in other kibbutzim. According to this, through never-ending debate and discussion over decades, the kibbutz world drew up rules, regulations and technical prescriptions to turn the egalitarian dream into reality for kibbutz members. With reference to burial, some kibbutzim preserve egalitarianism meticulously: tombstones are uniform and inscriptions completely regular. However, other kibbutzim recognize the fact that in spite of everything, people‘s lives and their contribution to the kibbutz and wider society differ. Consequently, there is no reason not recognize this after death. ―Kibbutz members are not identical to one another during their lifetimes and there is no group obligation to be assimilated and to lose one‘s personal character‖; ―we need to express our esteem to our comrade through a pleasing verse or a sentence appropriate to the way he lived, to his creativity, his work, [and this] should be placed on the tombstone‖.18
Figure 7: Haim Shturman’s Tombstone
Figure 8: Shturman Family Burial Plot
From the development of the cemeteries at Ein Harod we can ascertain that in the Old Cemetery, until the death of Haim Shturman in 1938, egalitarianism in the form of headstone design and inscriptions, was largely preserved. Nevertheless, the kibbutz did not oppose the erection of other tombstones. For the most part egalitarianism after death was maintained on the tombstones in the New Cemetery. However, a more detailed examination indicates that there were exceptions, mostly related to central or special kibbutz personalities, among them Yitzhak Tabenkin, Aharon Zisling, Haim Shturman, Haim Atar, Zerubavel Gilads.
As recorded in minutes of meetings, the question of egalitarianism and tombstone uniformity arose from time to time after the establishment of the New Cemetery. One example from 1945 concerned a discussion over family burial and order of burial: ―A year ago the kibbutz council unanimously decided that no special family burial plots are to be arranged in our cemetery. The majority opinion of members was that the graves should be arranged row by row, with no exceptions. We are all the children of a single movement and we all have an equal share in this world, all the more so in the world to come …‖. 19 Notwithstanding this statement, there was no direct reference to the shape of the headstone; rather it was an echo of a desire to be equal not only in life but after death. It would appear that without any explicit decisions about tombstone uniformity and egalitarianism, the custom was retained throughout the 1950s and was valid for ―settlement man‖ — any kibbutz member whose public or community activities had been unexceptional.
Figure 9: The Headstone on the grave of Yitzhak Tabenkin
A sharp disagreement over the principle of egalitarianism and tombstone uniformity occurred in the cases of members of the Tabenkin family. Visitors to the cemetery cannot but be aware of the gigantic slanting limestone block in the middle of the cemetery, over the grave of Yitzhak Tabenkin, raised above the other graves. This enormous piece of non-indigenous limestone stands out as an alien being among the local black basalt stones that had already marked the graves of the Shturman family.
It is perhaps a symbolic reference to Tabenkin‘s life, which had been lived mostly outside Ein Harod. Tabenkin had been a public figure on the national stage — a social philosopher, the founder of the Kibbutz HaMeuchad movement, a Knesset member, a political activist, and more. When he died in 1971, the valedictory ceremony took place at the Histadrut Executive building in Tel Aviv where the General Secretary of the Histadrut and Golda Meir, the Prime Minister eulogized him. A siren was sounded on each of the kibbutzim of HaKibbutz Hameuhad at the time of the funeral.20 When the cortege reached Ein Harod cemetery, there was little doubt as to where to inter the most notable personality the kibbutz had produced — in the centre, which had been the space for all public assembly since the 1940s and which had remained unoccupied.
There was nowhere more fitting than this place in the cemetery to inter its principal leader even if this meant deviating from convention and physical planning in an egalitarian society. There Cemetery Committee held no discussion on the location of Tabenkin‘s grave or the type of headstone; the family and institutions outside the kibbutz took all decisions. It would appear that the critical roles played by Tabenkin and his prominence created a situation to which the members of Ein Harod agreed in silence, considering decisions concerning Tabenkin as a natural incident, despite its deviating from all norms and convention.21
But the actions of fathers are not necessarily visited upon their sons. The poet Moshe Tabenkin, Yitzhak Tabenkin‘s son, who died in 1979, was also a central figure in the cultural and educational life of the kibbutz and is buried close to his father. The issue of his headstone is a case in point. Moshe Tabenkin had lived in Ein Harod and immortalized the place and the pioneering period in his poems. When the Tabenkin family decided to erect a black granite headstone, the issue appeared on the agenda of the Cemetery Committee. The committee took the position that ―a black granite tombstone … is different [and unconventional] [our convention being white marble]‖. The family did not wish to make an issue over the size of the headstone. The case at hand involved just the type of stone and this was regarded purely as a financial issue.
In May 1980 the kibbutz assembly decided to ratify a set of rules for the cemetery and the first clause dealt with the issue of egalitarianism and the form of headstone:22
The headstones in the cemetery will be of uniform size and material. It will be possible to select a headstone from three models in the cemetery (one of horizontal marble and two different vertical models). By special request, the marble can be replaced by a stone of different colour. The inscription on the headstone will be coordinated with the family.
The grave of Moshe Tabenkin, like other family members, was located close to that of Yitzhak Tabenkin. This is evidence that in order of burial, proximity to family members had become an important consideration in locating a grave within the cemetery. Although it had been determined as early as 1945 that there would be no family plots in the kibbutz cemetery, reality proved stronger and over the years several portions of the cemetery became family plots.
Figure 9: Decorated headstones — Puah and Tolik Shavit, Kibbutz Members
The issue of egalitarianism and hierarchy in the cemetery became more moderate from the 1980s when a new section of the cemetery was inaugurated. This was marked by a decision by the general assembly of the kibbutz in 1980 to allow limited choice in the shape of the headstone from among three models, to permit the family almost total freedom of choice regarding the personal inscription, and to approve the custom of reserving a plot for a partner. This brought about greater landscape uniformity within the newer section as compared to the older, as most people chose the horizontal tombstone with broader lettering, with only a few preferring the vertical headstones that had been popular in the older section.
The diversity concerning the issue of death and bereavement on the kibbutz is reflected in a collection edited by Shua and Ben-Gurion in which they write that the cemetery is23
―like a history book of the place. If people could make the tombstones speak, they would hear the personal stories of the people interred … chapters and events from the distant and near past, about the history of the place. In this sense, the traditional Jewish designation — beth olam, the house of eternity — is apposite for this place.‖
They indicate that in many kibbutzim, as in Ein Harod, there are special graves from the ―early days‖, in which many of those who died young and who survived the suffering of that period are buried, becoming the ̳veterans‘ layer‘ of the kibbutz. These and others ―represent the ̳founding fathers‘ and the collective myth, the original vision in all its purity‖.
By using this approach, in which the cemetery becomes a sort of history book of the settlement, I have attempted to examine one of the important principles of the kibbutz as a socialist community where the merit of egalitarianism is inscribed. It seems that as in life, the attempt to maintain the value of egalitarianism in Ein Harod Meuhad was neither dogmatic nor unequivocal. Egalitarianism degenerated in the context of social ascription — kibbutz members were segregated from the parents but nevertheless attempted to maintain some semblance of uniformity within each group. There is a strong congregational expression of personal and intergenerational differences here. In addition, the kibbutz commemorated its outstanding members, those who had been highly esteemed and who had achieved national political and cultural renown during their lifetimes, making them different from ordinary members.
There is also a distinction between the inscriptions on the gravestones of members and parents in the New Cemetery of Ein Harod. In two-thirds of the headstones of parents there are no inscriptions other than the bare personal details. Nevertheless, in addition to traditional Jewish inscriptions, such as נ―פ (here is interred) at the top of the stone and ,May his soul rest in peace) at the bottom, during the 1970s( ה―תנצב family attributions began to appear as part of the inscriptions on the graves of parents: ―our dear mother‖, ―widow of …‖. From the 1970s and 1980s personal inscriptions appear on some of the parents‘ graves, such as ―With a hammer and … with all his heart‖ or ―Mother from Poland, Father from Syria. Her language was Yiddish, her words were Arabic, Hebrew [was] in the middle, a bridge to their love‖. At the same time, there was a significant rise in personal inscriptions on the graves of the kibbutz members, too. Occasionally, the inscription was personal or had a pioneering ring; on others, it carried a poetic or literary quotation. In parallel, there was an increase in the number of headstones of kibbutz members using traditional Jewish motifs. In most cases, this involved the use of ה―תנצב after the personal inscriptions, such as a proclamation which signals the life of a member of Ein Harod as a Jew. Is this an indication of a return to Jewish beliefs, a form of repentance? A return, perhaps, to the sources that had guided their parents and the generations that had preceded them?24
Shua and Ben-Gurion further indicate that the kibbutz movement, with hundreds of settlements and differing ideological streams developed a range of solutions to the issue of bereavement, memory and cemeteries. In this regard, one of the important components in the variation among the kibbutzim is the extent to which the principle of egalitarianism is preserved after death, as expressed in the local cemetery. In contrast to the relative pluralism at Ein Harod, there are many kibbutzim, especially those of the ―Kibbutz Artzi‖ movement which, over the years, have not only scrupulously preserved the uniform shape of the headstone but also the order of buria, which was chronological, except for those designated as special cases and which were segregated, such as parents, children and soldiers. The power relationships between individual and collective- communal, as observed in the landscapes of these cemeteries, may be different from Ein Harod.
The accuracy of these observations will be tested in coming years. As many kibbutzim have been privatized, it will be fascinating to examine the influence of privatization on the pattern of kibbutz cemeteries. What will happen in the cemeteries and at personal commemoration sites in the kibbutz when they, too, carry a price tag as in capitalist societies? There will be a bill for a burial plot, a charge for a headstone, a fee for a page in the memorial book or a memorial plate in the ―founders‘ house‖, a price to maintain a file in the kibbutz archive, an outlay for a funeral, and more. Is it to be expected that the future landscape of the kibbutz cemetery will appear more capitalist, less representative of the founding fathers and the collective myth and of the original vision in all its purity?
1 Bar-Levav, A. (2005) Another Place: The Jewish cemetery in culture, Pa’amim 98–99: 35–39 (in Hebrew). An early version of a paper on the cemetery at Ein Harod appeared as: Bar-Gal, Y. and Azaryahu, M. (1997) Israeli Cemeteries and Jewish Tradition: Two Cases. In: Brodsky, H. (ed.), Land and Community: Geography in Jewish Studies. (Bethesda, MD: University Press of Maryland), 105–25.
2 Of the many sources dealing with the issue of the Jewish cemetery and customs relating to mourning and bereavement, it is worth noting the important basic work by Tikochinsky, M. (1960) Gesher HaHayyim (The Bridge of Life), Jerusalem: Salomon Books (in Hebrew); Roobin, N. (1997) Qetz HaHayyim — Tiqsei qevurah ve-evel be-meqoroth hazal (The End of Life: Ceremonies of burial and mourning from Jewish sources). Tel Aviv: HaKibbutz HaMeuchad (in Hebrew); Lichtenstein, Y.S. (2007) Mi-tumah le-qiddushah — teillah ve-heftzei mitzvah be-vatei qvaroth v’aliyyah le-qvaroth tzaddiqim. (
Tel Aviv: HaKibbutz HaMeuchad (in Hebrew). A short survey also appears in Meizlisch, S. (1987) Hayyei addam — Zikhron le-vrachah. (Human life, of Blessed Memory). Ben Shemen: Modan (in Hebrew).
3 An important source of material on bereavement and cemeteries in the kibbutz movement the collection edited by Shua, Z. and Ben-Gurion, A. (1990) Yalqut Aveluth (Mourning Anthology). Beit HaShittah: The InterKibbutz Committee and Festival Archive.
4 See, for example: Curl, J.S. (2002) Death and Architecture. (Stroud: Sutton Publishing); Worpole, K. (2003) Last Landscapes: The Architecture of the Cemetery in the West (London: Reaktion Books); McGuire, R.H. (1989) Dialogues with the Dead: Ideology and the Cemetery. In: Leone, M.P. and Potter, P.B. (eds.) The Recovery of Meaning: Historical Archeology in the Eastern US. (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press), 435–480; Etlin, R.A. (1984) The Architecture of Death. (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press); Miller, D.S. and Rivera, J.D. (2006) Hallowed ground, Places and Culture. Space and Culture 9 334–50.
5 Park, C.C. (1994) Sacred Worlds: An Introduction to Geography and Religion. (London: Routledge): 223; C. Howett (1977) Living landscapes for the Dead, Landscape 21 9–17.
6 Barbara Mann (2006) The Zionist Uncanny: Reading the Old Cemetery on Trumpeldor. Chapter 2 of A Place in History: Modernism, Tel Aviv, and the Creation of Jewish Urban Space. (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press): 26– 71.
7 Kibbutz Ein Harod is one of the best documented and most researched kibbutzim, not only because of its primacy but also because of its status within the Kibbutz Hameuhad movement. Tens of books and articles have been written by kibbutz members and various researchers. The following are examples: Zerubavel, G. and Zisling, N. (1972), Ein Harod: Jubilee Chapters (Tel Aviv:
holiness:Praiseand objects for good deeds in cemeteriesandgraves of the
From Impurityto righteous). Hakibbutz Hameuhad) (in Hebrew); Yanai, A. (1983) The History of Ein Harod (Tel Aviv: Davar), (in Hebrew); Levita, L. (1983) On Ein Harod by the Slopes of the Gilboa (Tel Aviv: Hakibbutz Hameuhad) (in Hebrew).
8 After the schism and until the end of the 1960s the members of Ein Harod (Ihud) continued to be interred in the cemetery located on Ein Harod Meuhad until they consecrated their own separate cemetery, which I do not deal with in this article. Nevertheless, several of the veteran members of Ein Harod Ihud have requested burial in the cemetery at Ein Harod Meuhad and their requests have been granted.
9 There are various decisions regarding burial and bereavement procedures in Ein Harod from different dates, such as the kibbutz decisions of June 20 1970 and those verified by the Inter-kibbutz Society committee of March 1978. In addition to these there is the minute book of the Cemetery Committee and other relevant documents in the memory and bereavement practice of the kibbutz in Box 21.6.2. For the development of this issue in the kibbutz movement, see Bereavement Anthology, pp. 143–44. (See Endtnote 11).
10 Benari, N. (1931) Ein Harod, (Tel Aviv: Jewish National Fund): 78—83. Nahum Benari (Brodsky) (1893-1963) immigrated from the Ukraine, joined Ein Harod, and became a pioneer emissary abroad. He left the kibbutz in 1942, becoming one of the designers of the cultural and educational activity of the Histadrut (Federation of Labour Unions).
11 The landscape architect Shlomo Oren Weinberg planned cemeteries and gardens in many kibbutzim and his work at Ramat Hanadiv in Zikhron Yaaqov was widely praised. See: Enis, R. and Ben-Arav, J. (1994) Sixty Years of Kibbutz Gardens and Landscape (Hebrew). (Tel Aviv: Ministry of Defence): 88–91. In Weinberg‘s estate at Kibbutz Yagur there is no evidence that he planned the cemetery at Ein Harod but in the Ein Harod archive there is a draft of a planning map signed by him. On the design of the commemoration area in the cemetery, see The Bereavement Anthology: 322–23. I thank Ruth Enis for this information.
12 Bar-Levav (2005): 10—11.
13 In Tel Aviv there is a subdivision into writers, statesmen, important rabbis, etc. See: Kroll, Z. and Leinman, Z. (1940), The Book of the Old Cemetery in Tel Aviv (see Mann, 2006: Chapter 2). In Jerusalem, the segregation is most extreme with the great abundance of burial societies and the division of Har Hamenuhot into tends of subdivided plots by community and other criteria. These include a plot for The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, members of the Haganah and many others. See:
14 Meizlisch, S. Modan): 58 (in Hebrew)
15 On the subject of suicides in the early days of settlement at Kinneret and other collectives, see: The Bereavement Anthology, pp. 122–27. Of the 33 graves in the Old Cemetery at Ein Harod, five bear an inscription listing suicide as the cause of death.
Benvenisti, M. (1990)Cityof Rest:Cemeteries in Jerusalem.
(Jerusalem: Keter). (in Hebrew).
(1987) Human life,of BlessedMemory. (Ben Shemen:
16 Muki Tzur, cited in The Bereavement Anthology, p. 130.
17 A document written in her hand from 27 May 1984 exists in the Memory File, Box 21.6.2 in the archive of Ein Harod Meuhad. Azza Ronen was born in Ein Harod, served in the Palmah and worked as an educator. She died in 2009.
18 The first of these quotations is from 1970 and was noted at Kibbutz Revivim. The second is undated from Kibbutz Na‘an. See The Bereavement Anthology: 299
19 From a document of the Culture and Cemetery Committee, apparently written by Gur-Aryeh on 19 January 1945. Memory File, Box 21.6.2 in the archive of Ein Harod Meuhad.
20 The Ein Harod Diary, 1162, 9 July 1971: 3–4. On Tabenkin, see: Canari, B. (2003) Tabenkin in the Land of Israel, (Kfar Habad).
21 In a conversation with Ahuviah Tabenkin (24 December 2010), Yitzhak‘s son, he divulged that is brother Yossele Tabenkin requested a company engaged in the transportation of rocks to find a suitable large stone, which was then brought to the kibbutz. The first inscription on the tombstone was in metal and became dislodged over the years and was replaced with a limestone plate that was attached to the rock.
22 Cemetery Rules, Decisions of the General Assembly of the kibbutz, 17 May 1980.
23 The Bereavement Anthology: 256
24 These are just some of the examples of inscriptions. The textual analysis of the tombstone inscriptions is an extensive chapter in the connection between ―the living and the dead‖, which, because of word limitation is not dealt with here.