O the Chimneys!

Although Jewish burial customs have changed over the centuries, they have always been based on two basic concepts that may at first seem contradictory.

January 1, 2019 10:07
Photo of Nelly Sachs, 1966.

Photo of Nelly Sachs, 1966.. (photo credit: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/NOBEL FOUNDATION)


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The subject of whether or not cremation is an appropriate Jewish practice for the disposal of bodies has seldom come up for public discussion recently. Living in Israel, I have not had occasion to deal with it. Although some things have disturbed me about funerals in Israel, especially the stranger kabbalistic practices of some of the Jerusalem Hevra Kaddisha groups and the way women are discouraged from reciting kaddish and otherwise participating, I have simply accepted our burial customs as appropriate without giving them much thought.


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