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Jan 22, 1998 - 06:09 -

I have a question:
What is the exact halachic reason of burying a cremated body? Judaism is against cremation, although there are some rabbis, who allows to bury a cremated body. I would like to know the reasons of allowing and forbidding it. Thank You very much.

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Cremation is not permitted by Judaism. The deceased must be interred, bodily, in the earth. Cremation has its origins in pagan religious practice. Deliberate cremation of a corpse is an offensive act that does violence to both the spirit and letter of Jewish law.

Under ordinary circumstances, cremated ashes may not be buried in a Jewish cemetery and there is no communal responsibility to care in any way for the remains. Furthermore, shiva is not observed, and kaddish is not recited, and no posthumous honor is made of any kind.

Under extraordinary circumstances (such a non-Jewish government decree) a specially marked off section of a Jewish cemetery may be set aside.

An excellent compendium of Jewish burial and mourning rituals is Maurice Lamm's book, "The Jewish Way in Death and Mourning". It can be ordered from Amazon.Com on-line at