Brooklyn Group to Collect Blood of Synagogue Shooting Victims for Burial
October 28, 2018
Brooklyn Group to Collect Blood of Synagogue Shooting Victims for Burial
A Brooklyn group will try to recover every drop of blood belonging to the victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting to satisfy Jewish burial requirements.

The Jewish faith necessitates that the dead are buried physically intact. So the non-profit group Misaskim has dispatched a team to comb through the Pennsylvania crime scene where 11 people were murdered Saturday to recover any of the victims’ blood and possible body fragments left behind.

“According to Jewish law, a Jewish body has to be buried in its entirety, and when a situation like this happens, all the blood and bodily tissue that goes out must be recovered,” Rabbi Jack Meyer, co-founder of Misaskim, told The Post on Sunday.

Volunteers will painstakingly clean every inch of the house of worship, cataloging any human remains they find so they can be buried with their owners, Meyer said.

“It’s a very tedious process,” he said.

The team uses hydrogen peroxide and other cleaning solutions to bring blood to the surface of wood, carpet or concrete — then they wipe away the vital fluids with towels that will later be buried alongside victims.

The process requires Misaskim to work closely with crime-scene investigators, the rabbi said.

“They know where each body was laying within the synagogue” and can help match remains to their owner, Meyer explained, referring to authorities.

Misaskim must wait for police to complete their investigation before the cleaning can begin, he said. Although Jewish law requires the deceased to be buried as soon as possible, Meyer said, it’s best that investigators take their time crossing every “t’’ and dotting every “i” in the probe.

“The perp is alive, and whatever charges are against him, you want them to stick, so we don’t want to hamper the investigation one bit,” Meyer said. “[Police are] working feverishly — they understand they’ve got to bring [the victims] to burial as soon as possible.”

Meyer said the remains that Misaskim recovers can be buried at a later date if need be.

Misaskim is lending a hand in Pittsburgh because the task would otherwise be left to local rabbis who may not have experience in responding to mass-casualty tragedies, Meyer said.

The group provided similar remains-recovery efforts last year after an October terror attack in Manhattan that killed eight people and a fatal Hanukkah house fire in December that claimed the lives of four Brooklynites.

“We’re coming from the big city. We have the experience as a group to do it. There are people in Pittsburgh, but they definitely don’t know how to deal with a tragedy of this magnitude,” he said.

New York Post


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