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Facebook Post Triggers Events Culminating In Proper Religious Burial For Jewish War Veteran

Facebook Post Triggers Events Culminating In Proper Religious Burial For Jewish War Veteran
vin-funeral-10-725x543The casket of Landsman was buried in a pine box, lowered into the ground by Volunteers of the Rockland County Orthodox Jewish community (Photo: Rabbi Jonathan Gewirtz)

Rockland County, NY – It was a Facebook post in a local Monsey group that set in motion a chain of events that ended with a Jewish war veteran receiving a proper burial in accordance with Orthodox Jewish law.

Max Landsman, a World War II veteran, died at Weinberg Village in Tampa on Sunday at the age of 96.

A former Monsey resident and a father of six who had 16 grandchildren and great grandchildren, Landsman was due to be buried today next to his wife Ida at the Frederick W. Loescher Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Spring Valley.

His daughter, Gloria Levine, who lives in Florida and was unable to attend the funeral for health reasons, was concerned that there would not be a minyan at the cemetery and posted a request on Facebook asking for help assembling the requisite ten people. Levine’s posted was shared last night by a cousin in Brooklyn to the Monsey Area Neighborhood Facebook group where word of the funeral began to spread.

After hearing of the planned levaya, Wesley Hills resident Rabbi Jonathan Gewirtz began working the phones trying to arrange both minyan and a full Jewish burial in an Orthodox Jewish cemetery.

“I knew it was a non-Jewish cemetery,” Rabbi Gewirtz told VIN News. “I spoke to Chesed Shel Emes, the Hebrew Free Burial Society, the heads of the chevra kadisha of both Rockland and Monsey/New Square. Things were difficult because Mr. Landsman’s daughter was having medical treatments last night when all this was going on and I went back and forth with the cousin in Brooklyn. As of this morning we were told that nothing was going to change about the burial location, to please just try and get a minyan.”

Details about the Landsman levaya were sent out to Monsey shuls through email and social media, asking anyone in the area at the designated time to please attend the funeral. Approximately 30 men from Monsey’s diverse Jewish community came to pay their respects to Landsman, who also received a full military funeral.

Video below shows Max had his first aliya at the age of 95 on Jan. 2, 2014, at Tampa Florida Bais Menachem Chabad run by Rabbi Levi Rivkin.


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