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Author Doron Kornbluth, who spent over three years studying the subject, talks about the reasons some people choose cremation, and explains why throughout history Judaism and Jews have insisted on burial.

Cremation or Burial?

Cremation or Burial?

A Jewish View

Related Links:

Here’s the related article by Doron Kornbluth: Cremation or Burial?

Doron Kornbluth is a bestselling author of Why Be Jewish?, Raising Kids to LOVE Being Jewish, and the newly released Cremation or Burial? A Jewish View (all by Mosaica Press). A renowned international lecturer, Doron speaks in over 50 cities a year to all types of audiences, on many subjects. Doron is also an inspirational licensed Israeli Tour Guide who offers fascinating and inspirational tours to individuals, families and groups. For more information, visit his website or click here to purchase his latest book.
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Discussion (22)
December 19, 2015
To follow-up on my question of not having one to say the Kaddish for you. What happens if your all alone, and no-one knows you died? Do you ask your local rabbi to check up on you every so often to make sure your still around? It scares me to know that I have no-one to say it for me after doing it for my abusive father for 11 months. Truthfully, if I knew then what I know now about him I would never have said it!
Maurice H Bank
Clovis, CA
December 10, 2015
I am convinced
What a lovely presentation. I also love to stroll through cemeteries. I feel at such peace when I am there although some people I know think it's odd or even morbid. You have answered many questions for me and I thank you for that. I believe you have swayed my choice to be buried when the time is right of course. I hope my children will follow my wishes.
October 1, 2015
To Anonymous
As you know, cremation is absolutely forbidden according to halacha. Therefore there is no shiva or kaddish for someone that is cremated, especially at the person's own request.

If the cremation has not yet happened, I encourage you to do everything you can stop it and work on getting your wife's friend an authentic Jewish burial. Even if she requested cremation while she lived, now that she has passed, her soul knows what is truly correct. A Rabbi may be able to help as well. Please let us know if you need help getting in touch with one.
Eliezer Zalmanov
September 30, 2015
My wife's very good friend passed away this morning after suffering from cancer. She left specific instruction with her sister that she be cremated, a wish her sister is going to fulfil. What is the Halacha as regards sitting Shiva and prayers?
South Africa
September 28, 2015
Excellent presentation, thank you. I am an undertaker of nearly forty years; I am not Jewish. But, it has long been my desire to be buried as a Jew. Over my career I've helped families through dark times, but I've never failed to impress the importance of burial (whether cremated or not). You are most correct: the choice of what to do with the body is not merely "up to" that person. There is familial responsibility. You are most correct: cremation is (generally) less expensive, and I believe you and I see eye-to-eye in that value has little to do with money. You are most correct that families that choose traditional burial do not regret that choice. There are myriad reasons "to" opt for cremation, but the reasons not to far outweigh them.
Eric Butlre
Cleveland, Ohio
July 16, 2015
To Maurice
I am sure that your local rabbi would say kaddish for you, I suggest you speak to him about that. Additionally, there are organizations which say kaddish for people who don't have whom to say it for them. You can find out more about that at this link, please feel free to contact us for assistance at any time.
Mrs. Chana Benjaminson
July 15, 2015
All I know is I have no-one to say the Kaddish for me, and that worries me. I did say it for my father for 11 months, so I was told that will save my soul to. I hope so, and I hope the Almighty understands and says "he said Kaddish for his father for 11 months, so he gets a pass."
Maurice H Bank
Clovis, CA
April 12, 2015
Donating Organs
I have a new question...
What about donating our Organs - are we allowed? To me it's a great Mitzvah to help another live, in in fact possibly many others live a better life. And then if we are allowed - the body is then not all together obviously, so what about that?
SAn Diego
March 18, 2015
Creamation for Jewish people
1st would love to hear the answer to Horace's question.
Great info and suggestion, however I have a different scenario: I am Jewish - my Husband is not, and so knows even less of all that needs to be done than I do. No Family to help as my immediate Family is on another Coast - so also - the likeliness of anyone visiting my Site is slim., esp. since my Husb. does not believe that is where we remember people.
If we follow the next day Burial rule, then no way my Family would be able to even get there for that - if they even could, depending on how old we all are! Then - the money is another added issue. And w/ that in mind - I am certainly not going to request being sent back to my home town where some Family is buried.
AND anyway - I would much prefer to get buried (ashes) where I want - not in some random plot somewhere. So as long as we are still getting buried/going back to the earth - what is the harm in that?
Lezlie(Yafah) Ely
San Diego
March 17, 2015
This is why we have a Torah

Without the Torah, we're in the dark with so many moral dilemans We often have competing values and do not know which takes precedence. The Torah, however, serves as our manual. Coming from the the word OR, meaning light in Hebrew, Torah is like that flashlight that shows us where to turn in an otherwise dark world.

The very same author of Torah is also the author of creation. G-d understands these factors but nonetheless tells us that despite what may seem like a good reason to us, the correct place to be buried is the ground. This is important for both body and soul, good for us physically as well as spiritually.

The eteneral Torah is why we're still here as a people thousands of years later. And it continues to guide us...
Rabbi Yisroel Cotlar for
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