Myth vs Reality
There are a significant number of myths associated with the subjection of cremation of human bodies, and we would like to dispel some of them:
- Is cremation permitted in Israel? - The legal opinion that we received unambiguously determines that cremation is not forbidden; on the contrary, practically speaking, there are many laws supporting the idea, such as the Basic Law Protecting Free Enterprise, the Law of Alternative Burial, The Basic Law Protecting the Dignity of the Individual and His/Her Freedom, the Environmental Laws, and others.
- Judaism does not allow the burning of human bodies - Wrong. When we turned to one of the Rabbis on this subject, we received a definite answer that not only does cremation not oppose Judaism, but this was even the custom during the period of the kings. One can find a number of quotes in the Bible supporting this assertion. Here are three of them:
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 burned 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 perfumer's art; and they made a very great burning for him."
Even today, in countries where Judaism is not under the control of one branch alone, a considerable number of people prefer this possibility.
- The crematorium causes air pollution - Wrong. The modern crematorium (like the one set up at the Crematorium Institute run by Aley Shalechet) is calibrated for an insignificant level of pollution, and meets the strictest world standards. As proof, crematoria similar to this one are located in the heart of many large cities throughout the world, including the United States and Europe.