A Pittsburgh rabbi is victorious in his challenge of Pennsylvania’s funeral laws.
Rabbi Daniel Wasserman sued the state over a violation of his constitutional rights following an investigation into claims that he violated funeral director practices.
As is Jewish tradition, the burial practice does not call for embalming. Funeral directors who attended a funeral Wasserman oversaw alleged that because he was not embalming the body, Wasserman was violating the law.
But in a settlement, Wasserman and “individuals engaged in performing the ceremonies, customs, religious rites or practices of any denomination or sect” are excluded from the definition of “funeral director.”
As part of the settlement, the State Board of Funeral Directors needs to notify licensed funeral directors of the exception to the law.