Are you morbidly minded and unsure what to do with your money in these grave economic times? Why not invest in a burial plot?
That’s former Mayor Ed Koch’s tongue-in-cheek plan, according to an article today in the New York Times. Sam Roberts writes:
He said he had recently paid $20,000 for the plot, a good investment, he explained, because the stock market, unlike the price of cemetery space, had since gone down.
Mr Koch’s newly bought burial plot is in Trinity Chuch Cemetery, which, at 155th Street and Broadway, is the last cemetery to still accept new tenants, though they’re reserved for the remains of “special citizens.”
Mr. Koch, 83, figures he’s got a good eight to 10 years left before he needs that plot,but he’s already taken care of the details that can so bedevil the newly bereaved:
Mr. Koch chose a plot on what he described as a “small mountain” overlooking Amsterdam Avenue, and he researched the propriety of being buried in a non-Jewish cemetery.
“I called a number of rabbis to see if this was doable,” he said. “I was going to do it anyway, but it would be nice if it were doable traditionally.”
He said he had been advised to request that the gate nearest his plot be inscribed as “the gate for the Jews,” and the cemetery agreed.
He was also instructed to have rails installed around his plot, so he ordered them.
Mr. Koch has even determined what will be engraved on his tombstone, which he has, of course, already ordered:
Carved on the tombstone is the most important prayer in Judaism, “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One,” in English, Hebrew and a transliteration, and the last words of the journalist Daniel Pearl before he was murdered by Islamic terrorists: “My father is Jewish; my mother is Jewish; I am Jewish.”