In a regrettable incident, Alina Falahati, a 23-year-old Jew, fell victim to the October 7 Hamas attack at a music festival near Kibbutz Re’im.
Despite being in the process of converting to Judaism, she was laid to rest outside Beit She’an cemetery, deviating from Jewish burial traditions.
According to an official from the Chief Rabbinate, her incomplete conversion course was initially cited as the reason for this departure.
“She had not yet completed her course for conversion to Judaism,” an official of the Chief Rabbinate was quoted as saying by Haaretz.
Rabbi Eliezer Simcha Weiss, representing the Chief Rabbinate’s committee on respect for the dead, admitted an error in the handling of the burial.
Falahati’s mother Olga lamented the inability to properly mourn her daughter according to Jewish tradition. “Alina was murdered as a Jew,” she said. Falahati had been missing for three weeks before her remains were discovered.
Oded Forer, committee chairman and Yisrael Beiteinu member, expressed concern over the dishonor brought to those who sacrificed their lives for Israel. He advocated policy changes, proposing the alignment of military burial law with civilian law for victims of hostilities.
“We have greatly insulted those who sanctified the land of Israel with their blood, who came here and left their place in exile,” Forer said, adding that he wants to be buried next to such a person, “even if it means being buried outside the [cemetery] fence”.