Obituaries

Norma Weisberg
B: 1936-04-05
D: 2018-07-04
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Weisberg, Norma
Norma Weisberg
B: 1936-04-05
D: 2018-07-04
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Weisberg, Norma
Morton Backal
B: 1924-04-28
D: 2018-06-15
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Backal, Morton
Arthur Paley
B: 1932-10-24
D: 2018-06-01
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Paley, Arthur
Vera Anzel
B: 1923-05-08
D: 2018-05-26
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Anzel, Vera
Michele Aboaf
B: 1941-05-06
D: 2018-05-24
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Aboaf , Michele
Irene Tucker
B: 1931-07-14
D: 2018-01-21
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Tucker, Irene
Hannah Kent
B: 1929-10-09
D: 2017-12-08
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Kent , Hannah
Stephen Brotter
B: 1948-06-25
D: 2017-12-05
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Brotter, Stephen
Ida Goldberg
B: 1919-10-27
D: 2017-11-14
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Goldberg, Ida
Tatyana Bank
B: 1936-03-25
D: 2017-10-05
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Bank, Tatyana
Sidney Krumholz
B: 1918-04-02
D: 2017-10-04
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Krumholz, Sidney
Lilly Teich
B: 1925-04-24
D: 2017-08-11
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Teich, Lilly

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Can a Jewish Person Be Cremated?

can a jewish person be cremated star of davidDespite Jewish law and thousands of year of tradition, more and more members of the Jewish community are electing to be cremated. In recent years, the popularity of cremation has risen around the globe, and members of the Jewish faith have contributed to this growing trend. There are many reasons that people choose to be cremated including it being more environmentally friendly, it is cheaper than a funeral, and it helps you become one with nature more quickly.

Can a Jewish Person Be Cremated?

Many Jewish families often come to us asking “can a Jewish person be cremated?” Although this question is quite common, the answer can vary depending on who you ask. Many Rabbis believe that the traditional method of burial is the correct one and that cremation is prohibited.

 

Although there is no explicit prohibition about Judaism and cremation, there is material to support both cases. Jewish law does have specific prohibitions for defiling dead bodies and procedures for handling them before the burial. Those that are against cremation will argue that it does not follow these procedures and makes the argument cremation defiles the body. On the other hand, supporters like to refer to Genesis (3:19) which states - God declares of man: “For dust you are, and to dust you shall return”. Following this logic, as long as you bury the cremated remains, the remains will return to dust.


FAQ About Judaism and Cremation


1. Can a Rabbi conduct a funeral for someone who has been cremated?

This is another question where it's hard to give a straightforward answer. A 1986 report by the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards states that cremation is against Jewish tradition and should be advised so by the Rabbi. The report goes on to say that if your family ignores the Rabbi’s advice, the Rabbi may still choose to officiate the service at a funeral parlor before the cremation. Afterwards, the ashes should be buried in a Jewish cemetery making sure the ashes make contact with the ground.


2. Should the family honor the deceased’s wishes to be cremated?

For some families, deciding to cremate the remains of a loved one can be difficult if family members have differing views on the practice. Those that allow cremation believe that children should follow the wishes of their parents. However, if the wishes contradict their own religious beliefs, they are not obliged to follow them.


3. Will Jewish cemeteries bury cremated remains?

In most cases yes. No rule in Jewish law prohibits the burying of ashes. Most cemeteries will agree to the request and the majority of families that cremate loved ones choose to bury the ashes afterward. In some cases, a cemetery may refuse burial in order to deter others in the Jewish community from choosing to have a loved one cremated.