May 10, 2013

The Burial of Tamerlan

Nobody wanted his body. The Worcester police chief asked for assistance in burying the terrorist, the Boston bomber.  An anonymous individual stepped up and the body of Tamerlan Tsarnaev was buried at an undisclosed location in the middle of the night.

Thomas L. McDonald reminds us that burying the dead is one of the seven corporal acts of mercy.  Tobit, and Tamerlan: The Dignity of Burial

Tobit was a righteous man. His story is told in the book of the Bible that bears his name….

Tobit is a man who performs many acts of charity, but the most dangerous is his burial of the dead, particularly strangers, and, notably, those who have been executed.
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Touching the dead rendered one impure for a period of time. Although it was a necessary thing to do, performing the act for strangers is a profound act of charity. Indeed, Tobit is forced to sleep outside after performing the burial because he is impure, and he winds up blind as a result.
Some of the bodies buried by Tobit have been cast “beyond the wall,” where the unjust would have been thrown. It’s interesting to note, however, that the only place in the law where rapid burial is explicitly commanded is in the case of criminals who have been executed….
Posted by Jill Fallon at May 10, 2013 12:35 PM | Permalink