Israeli bomb victim finally buried
Sunday August 3 2:23 PM EDT

Israeli bomb victim finally buried


TEL AVIV, Aug. 3 (UPI) _ Grisha Peshahovich, the youngest victim of last week's suicide bombing in Jerusalem, has finally been laid to rest in a Bahai cemetery after being refused burial in Jewish and Christian graveyards.

Grisha, a 15-year-old emigrant from the Urals, in the former Soviet Union, was killed in Wednesday's double suicide bombing in a Jerusalem market.

It was a melancholy conclusion after authorities took 24 hours to establish his identity with blood and DNA tests.

Rabbis refused to bury him in a Jewish cemetery because his mother was not Jewish and therefore, under orthodox Rabbinical law, neither was he.

The Greek Orthodox Church would not take him because their cemetery was for Christians only and his mother, Olga Peshahovich, insisted: "He lived as a Jew. Grisha wasn't Christian. I don't want him buried as a Christian."

Eventually, a place was found for him by Israel's small Bahai community, which believes one's purpose in life is to worship God and advance civilization. They donated a plot in their burial section in Jerusalem.

Grisha's classmates showed up for the funeral, and with his parents and Bahai officials standing by, a rabbi friend of the family recited a section of the Jewish scriptures.

The grave was covered and no prayers were said. The general secretary of the Jewish burial society in Jerusalem, Chanania Shachor, paraphrased the final customary address to the deceased whose dignity they may have harmed.

"I ask you for forgiveness," he said.

Copyright ©1997 by United Press International

Page last revised 090999