original site continued


stop bodyworlds 2!

Treat the human body with dignity!


continued...The Boston Herald and Patriot Ledger reporters interviewed me by phone later that afternoon. I had sent them packets about the protest, and they had done their research before talking with me. Both articles appeared on June 8, 2006. My campaign was also mentioned in an article about the exhibit in the Boston Globe Arts and Leisure section(page N-6) on Sunday July 23,2006. Subsequently, I demonstrated at the museum on the evening of July 4th and for a couple of hours on Wednesday, July 17th, 2006.

I have received permission from the Patriot Ledger to post the article for 6 months(starting 7-12-06). The Patriot Ledger is the copyright holder.

Science or show business? Museum to exhibit dead bodies


The Patriot Ledger

Aaron Ginsburg braved pounding rain and a gigantic puddle to stand in


of Boston's Museum of Science with a message of protest: "Stand up

for human

dignity. Stop Body Worlds 2."

Ginsburg, a pharmacist who lives and works in Sharon, has launched a

campaign against the controversial exhibit set to open at the museum



"The Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies," as it is called,

includes more than 200 specimens, both whole human bodies and body


that have been preserved through a process called plastination. That


of preservation allows viewers to take an inside look at real human


"This is a matter of respect for the deceased," said Ginsburg, who

relates his message to his Jewish faith. "A lot of what Judaism is

about is

respect for other people. That means not making a public display.

This isn't

educational; it's show business."

The bodies, many of which are sliced open and flayed so viewers

can get a

closer look at what lies beneath the skin, are arranged in poses


playing baseball, skiing and performing acrobatics. The museum said that

active poses create an unparalleled educational experience. Viewers

can see

muscles stretched taut, for example, or the fat that lies on top of


"I've taught biology for 20 years and no model, no photos, no


captures the beauty, the delicacy and the detail of these real human

specimens," said Paul Fontaine, the museum's vice president of visitor


Dr. Gunther von Hagens invented plastination in 1977 while

working with

anatomy and physiology students at the University of Heidelberg in


He later founded the Institute for Plastination, which provides


for educational use and Body Worlds exhibits.

Ginsburg, who attends services at a conservative synagogue, said


education doesn't justify the exhibit's "macabre process" and that


could learn just as easily from plastic models.

Evelyn Krieger of Sharon agrees. She signed on in support of



"I home-school my daughter and we're learning about the human

body," she

said. "I would be interested in an exhibit to learn about that, but Body

World isn't something I'd consider."

She said the exhibit seemed graphic and sensational and conflicts



"We put a lot of emphasis on respect for the dead. That means very

quickly having a funeral. Before the funeral, the body is always


there's always someone saying prayers."

Ginsburg's rabbi, Rabbi Menachem Creditor of Temple Israel in


also supports the protest.

Rabbi Creditor said that donating one's organs is a Jewish


but only if those organs can help someone else survive.

"If I'm giving my body for display and not for healing," he said,

"I am,

in a sense, insulting the One who gave me my body."

Rabbi Terry Greenstein of Congregation Klal Yisrael, a reform


in Sharon, wasn't aware of Ginsburg's campaign. But she said that Body

Worlds 2 was counterintuitive to Jewish practices.

"It just brings up images of the Holocaust," she said, "the way they

played with human bodies."

Aaron Ginsburg doesn't think he'll be able to stop the exhibit,

but he

plans to return to the museum to demonstrate once the weather improves.

"It doesn't bother me if it ends up that I'm a one-man show,"


said. "I would just like to get people thinking. That's what this is


What I have learned is that many people do agree with me, but they vote with their feet, by not attending. A perusal of the Internet has turned up very few people who have spoken up publicly against the exhibit. I believe this is a result of apathy, a feeling that one cannot fight city hall, and a belief that there are more important things to worry about. I believe a few or even one determined person can make a difference. I believe that the feeling that there are more important issues, while true, can lead to a paralysis about acting on almost any issue.

My research has turned up the following who generally support the position I am taking:

Rabbi Frydman-Kohl has delivered a sermon about this issue, of

which I recently became aware. You may view it at


See Danny Bermant's pungent blog at http://www.bermant.com/blog/2006/01/dr-death-is-back.html

Carol Dickinson is waging a battle in Houston. go to http://www.hellohouston.com/blog/index.cfm/2006/5/26/Body-Worlds-3-Protest

Professor Harold Ellis made some good points at http://www.gktgazette.com/2002/may/lookingglass.asp

In addition read" 'Body Worlds' is fascinating, but divorced from reality of death" by Katherine Kersten in the Star Tribune of Minneapolis St. Paul, Minnesota.

How can you help? Contact me at dignityinboston@gmail.com. Sign and view the petition on the the Petition Page. Visit the comments page and, if you wish, add your thoughts. Help is also needed to defray printing and advertising costs. Want to join me when I picket the museum? Let me know. Or just come.