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Cremation: A Jewish Perspective

Why this growing trend isn’t a good idea.

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Visitor Comments: 70

(47) esty, July 11, 2013 10:09 PM

Please can someone comment

Please can someone settle my mind regarding burial and how we see in modern day ancient graves are dug up. It bothers me greatly. Its the only aspect of being buried I cannot get my head around

Wassim, July 21, 2013 6:49 AM

Quote from Yoda - "Luminous being we are, not this crude matter"

We are advised/instructed/commanded to take utmost care with our bodies in recognition of the invaluable soul it houses. A soul that yearns to know G-d is invaluable in our world, but once the body dies and the soul departs, the remaining skeleton is not the same thing anymore. Sure, it helps the grieving process to have a place dedicated to someone's memory and it may even infer a certain level of respect for that person. It may even tie in with our belief that the dead will be resurrected (although I always thought that was supposed to be understood metaphorically). Perhaps you would consider consulting a Rabbi on why it is you feel greatly concerned about the treatment of ancient graves. G-d has a unique way for tugging on the heart strings of everyone who cares. L'Chaim.

esty, July 21, 2013 11:51 PM

Thank you Wassim

Wassim, thanks for replying. I do get what you are saying and I have asked rabbis. The usual answer is there is no need to worry about such things. But this side of the world ( Australia ) graves are often desecrated and unfortunately it isnt unusual to hear about ancient graves being disturbed. I sure as HaShem made little apples do not want to be dug up hundreds of years from now, who in the right mind would??

Wassim, July 22, 2013 2:51 PM

G'day fellow Aussie!

If I had to choose, I'm more inclined to identify with my soul rather than with my body, should they become separated off-course. Even post my physical death, I think I would still feel somewhat protective and possessive over my own remains and the immediate surrounds as well. The issue of whether we should have the legal right to rest in peace and not have our burial grounds disturbed for as far into the future as is necessary (note I'm not ruling out physical resurrection of the dead, as per RAMBAM's 13) is an interesting perspective I hadn't yet considered. I agree it has moral merit, but to turn it into law you'd have to argue all sorts of issues many people consider pure mysticism. Whether the soul exists? Whether the soul has a consciousness so it can experience the continuation of its existence? Whether the departed soul retains the memory of the physical death event or even their physical lifetime(s)? Whether it remembers where its body was buried? Do you know any good lawyers (joke)? You're most welcome esty.

(46) Shimeon Weiner, July 11, 2013 1:23 PM

Cremation Environmentally Unfreindly

Lori - addtional points -with all the emphasis on going green etc - cremation is a very ungreen method - emits gobs of green house gasses - also - a true jewish burial affords the body a quick opportunity to decompose and replenish the earth - if propsed properly - a true Jewish burial - in a shroud and a plain simple box should have much more appeal to a pro-cremation person. Just some thoughts. SW

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