death and dying

Pushback From Some Orthodox Rabbis On Brain-Death Ruling

Major players uphold former ruling; RCA seeks to clarify its non-position; UK rabbinate rejects brain-death criteria.

01/11/2011
Staff Writer

A panel of Conservative rabbis, faced with two well-founded conflicting positions of Jewish law regarding same-sex commitment ceremonies, ruled in 2006 that both were valid opinions.

Faced with two well-founded positions of Jewish law on when death occurs for the purpose of organ donations, the country’s major Modern Orthodox rabbinic group has similarly ruled that both brain-stem death and the cessation of heartbeat are valid opinions.

In both cases, the two movements left it to their fellow clergy members to determine for themselves which opinion to follow.

Rabbi Dov Linzer, left, RCA’s Rabbi Shmuel Goldin.

Catskills Accident Claims 3 From Crown Heights Family

07/18/2003
Staff Writer
The lone survivor of a crash in upstate Monticello that killed three members of a Lubavitcher family has returned to her home in Brooklyn. Rachel Leah Scheinfeld, 10, received only minor injuries when a car driven by her grandfather was run over by a tractor trailer on Route 17B. The grandfather, Isaac Scheinfeld, 65, was killed, as was his daughter, Bella Raksin, 44, who was Rachel's aunt. Scheinfeld's wife, Rose, 62, died at the scene.

Cop Who Killed Couple Was Drunk, Tests Show

03/21/2003
Staff Writer
The off-duty cop whose car killed an immigrant couple on their way to work in Brooklyn on March 4 was drunk, according to test results released by the cityís medical examiner. Rifka and Anton Goldenberg, who worked together at Reisman Brothers kosher bakery in Bensonhurst, died at the scene of the early morning crash, as did Michael McGibbon, a three-year veteran of the police force. Test results showed that McGibbon had three times the legal alcohol limit in his blood at the time of the crash.

Immigrant Couple Killed In Brooklyn Car Accident

03/07/2003
Staff Writer
A couple who found a better life in New York after immigrating from Ukraine more than 30 years ago were killed early Tuesday morning on their way to work at a Brooklyn kosher bakery. Anton and Rifka Goldenberg died at the scene on 24th Avenue in Bensonhurst when their car collided with a vehicle driven by Michael McGibbon, 28, an off-duty policeman, who was also killed. The accident took place at 4:48 a.m.

Funeral Giant Targets Orthodox Market

01/07/2000
Staff Writer
The Texas-based corporation that dominates the Jewish funeral market here is seeking to appeal to Orthodox clientele by catering to their special needs. Although each of the 14 funeral homes in New York operated by Service Corporation International (SCI) provides (at added cost) optional halachic amenities such as tahara (ritual washing) and an overnight shomer, or guardian of the deceased, SCI has now redesigned one of its homes in Brooklyn to appeal strictly to Orthodox clientele.

Sparks Fly In Borough Park Aftermath

10/08/1999
Staff Writer
The outcry over the police shooting of a disturbed Borough Park man escalated this week, as family members called the incident an “execution” amid new doubts about the official version of events. “I am absolutely furious,” said Doris Busch Bosky, whose son, Gary Busch, died in a hail of bullets on Aug. 30 in a confrontation outside his 46th Street apartment. At a press conference this week, Bosky, her former husband and Busch’s brother accused the police of presenting false information on the altercation.

Last Laugh For Henny

03/06/1997
Staff Writer
Story Includes Video: 
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You could see the line coming from a mile away. “God,” said Rabbi Noach Valley, pointing at Henny Youngman’s coffin, “take Henny, please.”

It was, everyone agreed, the kind of funeral the King of the One-Liners would have wanted: few tears, plenty of laughs.

“People,” the comic legend used to say, “are dying today who have never died before.” Just because he was now one of those people was no reason to hold the jokes.

Henny Youngman

Round-The-Year Burials

11/13/1998
Staff Writer
Jewish cemeteries will now be open on all secular holidays under a new, five-year contract ratified last week that ended a seven-month work stoppage at eight New York area Jewish cemeteries — the longest in history. Until now, families that wanted a funeral on holidays, such as Christmas Day or July Fourth, had to hope cemetery personnel could convince work crews to come in on their day off.

New Approach To Life’s End

11/13/1998
Jewish Week Correspondent
Liza Lister, 6, died from her two-year battle with leukemia the way she had wanted — in her mother’s lap. Her mother, Dr. Elena Lister, a psychiatrist and analyst at Columbia and Cornell medical centers, credits the support she received from hospice care with making that possible.

Judge Orders Feeding Tube

04/14/2005
Staff Writer
Terri Schiavo might still be alive had she been in a hospice in New York State rather than Florida. A Queens Supreme Court justice, citing state and Orthodox Jewish law, ruled last week that a feeding tube is not medicine and must be inserted into a patient who cannot swallow unless the patient had provided explicit instructions to the contrary.
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