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Jerusalem Burial Customs.
I hiring mv long residence in Jerusalem I never be came reconciled to the Oriental method of conducting funerali. I never saw one without feeling in a degree shocked at the haste with which the body, al er he breath had left it, was taken to the grate, W"U*«* lamentable lack of quiet and order which attended tic barial Mv previous ideas of BKWkratiofl,«•_ lh , d / ad , were wholly at variance with what I saw or heard At such times, we (i. c.. Americans) arc Slow and sedate in all our movements; the Oriental is quick and hasty. After death we wait a consider able time before burying; the Oriental buries as soon JIS possible. We are quiet in our expression of grief, while the Oriental is loud and boisterous. If for example, a person dies in the early part ot the night, he is buried as early the following morn. lag as possible. If a person .lies before daybreak, he is buried before noon, although occasionally there is a delay till afternoon. If a person dies in the morn ing or'before noon, he is always buried before night. The burial follows the death as soon as the grave can be made ready. Let my readers imagine what a shock it would be to them were they to leave home in the morning, having said good-by to a certain neighbor, and on returning in the evening be told that that neighbor was dead :\tu\ buried ! Such an experience is not infrequent in Jerusalem. When the funeral services arc over, just a few hours only alter a friend or neighbor has ceased to breathe, much of the solemnity of death is taken away, lam sure that this was the effect on myself of these hasty iti nera Is. . ■ His only the protectants that invariably bury their .lead in coffins. In reeentyears the Latins have done so as a rule, with very many exceptions, but it is the rare exception where the Creeks use a eofhin— say in the ease of some distinguished person, while they are never used by the M >hammcdans or Jews. Thus, ordinarily, no time is required to get ready a coffin, for none is needed, and a shop where under taker's supplies can be bought is unknown. What ever crape or black cloth is needed can be purchased at one of the small dry goods stores, and whenever a coffin is to l>e used, a carpenter can in a few hours put the rough boards together. A singular thing among Orientals is their indiffer ence to disease. Measles which sometimes carries off hundreds of c lildren. fevers of various kinds, and even smallpox, which is very prevalent and to a large de gree fatal, are thought as lightly of as ordinary colds are with us. A person dies of small-pox in the room where the family live; his body is handled and his clothing divided and worn by the friends without it being cleansed. Such cases I have known. But no one thought that anything improper had been done. In case of death by smallpox, there is no privacy in the funeral; the body is carried exposed through the streets, and is considered just as harmless as if the person had died of old age; at least no one ever thinks to the contrary. In the long list of human sicknesses, the only one that the Orientals are afraid of is the cholera. Let a rumor be started that chol era is approaching from Baghdad or elsewhere, and the entire native population becomes panic stricken at once. , ~ . When a eoflin is used, the lid is removed so that the body is exposedjas it is being carried to the grave. The body, when no coffin is used, is carried on a bier, and, in case of Mohammedans, is always covered. At the head is a post a foot or more in height, fastened to the bier, on which is placed the head dress, red fez, or turban, white or green, as the case may be, of the deceased. If the deceased is a woman, her veil is tied over the top of the post and a small colored scarf is wound about it. The Jews have a sort of stretcher, a piece of canvas fastened to two 1 >ng sticks with no crossbars to keep the sticks apart. The body in its everv-day clothing is laid on the stretcher, and fre quently wit lout any covering is carried to burial. Both Mohammedans and Jews alwayscarry the body on the shoulders, while Christians carry it in their hands. It is very common f>r Jews to bury their dead at night, which other sects do not do. When Christians carry a body to the grave they chant music in low, dull tones, while the Mohammedans have hired mourners, who cry aloud and shriek as the procession passes along. The body of a Moslem is carried very slowly to the grave, and never in a straight line,"but always zigzag; their idea is that the spirit of the deceased wishes the body to be kept back from burial as long as possible. The Jewish burial committee hire a man to dig a number of graves, say a dozen or more, by the job, and as persons die they are buried in these graves, in the order of their death, with no reference what ever to family or family lots. The last part of this statement is true likewise of Mohammedans and Christians, although they do not contract for a num ber of graves to be dug at once. Until about six years p ist, the Greeks, Latins, and Armenians buried in different parts of an open field on Mount Zion, south of the south wall ot the city. The American cemetery, in the same field, was the only one that was enclosed by a wall. As these graves became crowded, the plan was adopted oi dig ging up the bones of recent inteiments, levelling the ground, and starting afresh. A large section of the Greek ground was thus remodelled, and a ghastly pile of skullsand bones collected, of which, before they were fmallv removed, I took a photograph. A very few bodies"were reinterred, but in the great majority of instances all signs of burial places were wiped out. On the new ground they began to bury m order, one body next to another, as soldiers are buried on a The same thing was done by the Latins. A lew