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Concerns for Kohanim with Overhanging Tree Branches
T’uma can be transferred from a grave by overhanging tree branches. It may be possible for t’uma to spread from tree to tree. This applies whether one is walking, cycling, or riding in a car. Therefore the cRc recommends the following:

A kohain should circumvent any tree branches that overhang both a Jewish cemetery and the road/walkway.

Such tree branches are present at:

  • New Light Cemetery – westbound driving lanes and sidewalk on Pratt Avenue, between  Hamlin Avenue and East Prairie Road in Lincolnwood.

  • Memorial Park Cemetery – Jewish graves abut Gross Point Road. and parts of Skokie Boulevard and Old Orchard Road. The only possibly problematic tree overhangs are over the right most northbound lanes on Skokie Boulevard.

  • Jewish Graceland – northbound sidewalk on Clark Street, between Grace Street and Irving Park Road. (The trees do not currently overhang the driving lanes.

If the tree branches overhang a non-Jewish cemetery it is preferable to avoid the overhanging tree limbs.  If they are not easily avoided, a Kohain may drive under them (preferably with the windows closed).

HaRav Gedalia Dov Schwartz, ZT"L
Rosh Beth Din

HaRav Yona Reiss, Shlit"a
Av Beth Din


Rabbi Sholem Fishbane
Kashruth Administrator

Rabbi Levi Mostofsky
Executive Director

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