Catacombs Make a Comeback as Jerusalem Seeks Room for the Dead

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20 May 2015

For Jews seeking eternal rest, the most coveted real estate on Earth lies in the soil of Jerusalem. Unfortunately, the city is rapidly running out of room to bury the dead.

And so it has come to pass that an Israeli burial organization has teamed with a cutting-edge construction firm to bore deep under a mountain here to create a vast underground necropolis — with ­elevators.

The first phase of the new subterranean city of the dead will include 22,000 crypts, arranged floor to ceiling in three tiers, in a network of intersecting tunnels now being dug through the rocky clay soil beneath Jerusalem’s largest cemetery.

The $50 million project, begun a few months ago and paid for with private funds generated by the sale of burial plots — mostly to Jews overseas — is the first of its kind here in modern times. And it is likely to be the start of a trend.

The full story is found at The Washington Post.

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.