Rabbi sues Pennsylvania over funeral laws

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports,

An Orthodox rabbi from Pittsburgh has filed a federal lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Board of Funeral Directors and two other state officials, saying that the board is violating Jews’ religious freedom by insisting that licensed funeral directors oversee all burials.

Rabbis can’t become licensed funeral directors because Jewish law prohibits embalming.  Apparently, there is no way to get a funeral director’s license in Pennsylvania without getting trained in embalming.

The lawsuit cites state and federal constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion and seeks “to preserve and restore the historical right of clergy to conduct religious burial and funeral rites free from interference and harassment by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and professional, secular funeral directors who serve no health or safety interest.”

The complaint is not available on PACER.  Once the complaint is posted, I will update this story.

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~ by siouxsielaw on August 7, 2012.

One Response to “Rabbi sues Pennsylvania over funeral laws”

  1. Good for him.

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