Cremation and Judaism

Cremation itself is not in opposition to Judaism, and according to one of the heads of the Rabbinical Court, it was even the accepted practice at the time of the kings. Outside of Israel, the choice of cremation is common and accepted (even among Jews), and with the passage of time, the percent of people making this choice of leave-taking is increasing.

It should be pointed out that Orthodox Jews do not choose this method, while Reform and Conservative Jews do accept the practice.

One can find a number of references to cremation in the Bible; they unequivocally prove that the during Biblical times cremation was an accepted leave-taking practice, as can be seen in the following quotations:

SAMUEL I, 31, 12:

"All the valiant men arose, and went all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Bet- Shan, and they came to Yavesh, and burnt them there."

CHRONICLES II, 21, 19:

"... and he died of sore diseases, and his people made no burning for him, like the burning of his fathers."

CHRONICLES II, 16, 14:

"And they buried him in his own sepulchers, which he had hewn out for himself in the City of David, and laid him on the bed which was filled with sweet odors and divers kinds of spices prepared by the perfumers' art; and they made a very great burning for him."

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