Living Higher
December 28, 2017
Living Higher

A fire like the one that decimated the Azan family home immediately takes on the status of a “crime scene,” until criminality is ruled out. So along with dealing with the crushing pain and loss and making logistical arrangements, there is also a need to educate the various agencies on the scene in matters pertaining to kevod hameis — which in this case included the New York Fire Marshals, NYPD Arson and Explosion Unit, NYPD Detectives Force, and the NY Medical Examiner.

Misaskim, which assists during crisis situations and provides services for the care of the deceased and their families in accordance with halachah, requested and obtained extra personnel to assist the examiner in expediting identification and subsequent release for the levayah, in record-breaking time. And in a show of respect, the firemen lined the walkway as the bodies were removed, so as to offer some degree of privacy and respect. Ironically, Monday, December 18 — the day of the tragedy — was the scheduled Misaskim Day of Appreciation to the New York Fire Department. Although the date was postponed, it will soon be held with a fresh appreciation for the mutual cooperation and shared commitment to respect and dignity — in life and in death.

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