One day after the Ministry of the Economy announced it would establish a committee to examine a possible approval for permitting the exhibition “Body Worlds” in Israel, Naftali Bennett, who holds the Religious Services portfolio in Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, has vowed that he would never sign on to rules permitting the importing of cadavers to Israel for entertainment.
“I will not allow the entry of a single cadaver, period, ” Bennett told the news website Kippa.
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In May, 2012, “Body Worlds” (Körperwelten in German) opened to the public in Tel Aviv. It is a traveling exhibition of preserved human bodies and body parts that are prepared using a technique called plastination, to reveal inner anatomical structures. The exhibition’s developer and promoter is German anatomist Gunther von Hagens, who invented the plastination technique in the late 1970s at the University of Heidelberg.
Couldn’t get any more ghoulish than that, could it? I mean, Heidelberg?
The exhibition was closed following an appeal to the Supreme Court. Former Chief Rabbi Israel Meir Lau expressed shock at the time, saying the exhibition desecrated God’s image which is embedded in mankind. He suggested the exhibition was an assault against the dignity of the dead and a man’s right to determined what would be done with his or her body.
Recently, the Ministry of the Economy launched an attempt to bypass the resistance from religious circles in Israel, by issuing individual permits for the importation of cadavers into Israel.
Now it appears that this move has been stymied and the cadavers will have to stay put.