12 April 2016

An open letter to Australian messianic Jews and non-Jews


10 April 2016

Dear Aussie Jewish believers,
I’m so troubled, and there’s no way to dance around this.

Here’s what happened. Last week, a 57-year-old Jewish believer died in Sydney. He had not organized his own funeral, and long story short, his mother, in her 80s, who is the one who paid for everything, didn’t want him to be buried with other believers. “He’s Jewish; the chevra has to organize everything; he will be buried in the ordinary Jewish section.” And even though his daughter, a teenager, a Jewish believer herself, wanted me to perform the funeral, the grandmother said no. As a result this man’s testimony ended with his passing.

If he had organized a messianic funeral at the special section we have set up, we would have gathered as a community to support all the family. They would have heard all the ordinary elements of a Jewish funeral, and also we would have pointed others to Messiah Yeshua. Some use video flashbacks and eulogies. Sometimes there are two locations to the burial: the service at a funeral home and the burial itself at the cemetery.

In the same way that a person makes a testimony in their life during bris, Bar Mitzvah and in their wedding, so in death a messianic Jew can also testify. We are buried near one another in a section called “Messianic”. Typical set up so that the community esprit d’corps continues even after we have passed on.

Individuals make arrangements for plots or niches directly with Woronora. Their contact details are (02) 9545 4677. Location: 121 Linden Street, Sutherland, NSW 2232

Right now the cost of the plot is $13,000 and may be shared with a spouse (thus each costs $6,500- stacked). That rate will no doubt increase over the years. The cost of a niche (for those who choose to cremate) is appreciably less. The niche is shown here. The plots may be sold (like real estate) should circumstances warrant or situations change.

Anyone who wants to identify with the Jewish people and in this case with the Messiah of the Jewish people, Yeshua, may be buried in the Messianic Section of Woronora. This serves intermarried couples that would otherwise be prevented from being buried together by other religions.

Each plot in Woronora is monumented with the same headstone, Headstones, although there is opportunity for variation in measure. Due to the method of the MBS (Modern Burial System) employed, the headstones will remain exactly as they are laid from the beginning. This is new and will prevent the ‘jagged teeth’ of the Prague Jewish cemetery or falling headstones even at Eastern Suburbs or Rookwood.

I understand that distance from family matters, and if you live in Perth or Melbourne, even in Newcastle, the distance seems too far. But reality is that families move, and we simply don’t have enough of us to make such a section in each capital city. In the meantime, this is IT.

Please consider this for you, for your family, and both book in with Woronora and email me to let me know of your decision.

God bless you in this life, and in the life of the world to come. Let us exalt His name together. (Psalm 34.3)

Bob Mendelsohn

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