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Sancta Sanctorum

Not many people know that a Jewish cemetery exists in the pueblo of Santa Eugènia in Mallorca. It took me a while to locate it but, as always, it is really very easy once you know it. Mallorca’s only Jewish cemetery is located bang next to the Cementiri Municipal. Knowing where it is, does however not help you in getting access to it. The Sancta Sanctorum is always closed, locked, bolted, barred, whatever you want to call it. I guess if you want to visit you will have to contact the Ajuntament de Santa Eugènia during office hours.

In the book How to Run a Traditional Jewish Household, the author Blu Greenberg states that Just as there is a way to live as a Jew, there is also a way to die and be buried as a Jew. According to Jewish Law, the following rituals have to be observed in case of a death:

The body of the deceased is washed thoroughly. The deceased is buried in a simple pine coffin. The deceased is buried wearing a simple white shroud (tachrichim). The body is guarded or watched from the moment of death until after burial. Just before a funeral begins, the immediate relatives of the deceased tear their garments or the rabbi does this to them or hands them torn black ribbons to pin on their clothes to symbolize their loss. Upon hearing about a death, a Jew recites the words Baruch dayan emet (Blessed be the one true Judge) [quoted from jewishfederations.org].

The Comunitat Israelita de Mallorca currently amount to hardly more than 300 members, not counting Mallorca’s Xuetas (converted Jews). Some of them will make their last journey to the graveyard in Santa Eugènia.

More about Xuetas (Chuetas) in a future blog entry.

The photo was taken near Santa Eugènia, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: November 6th, 2011. The time was 16:35:27.

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