Why Bury?

A three-part argument against an increasing trend, even among Jews, towards cremation instead of burial.

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A grave is an address to which a family can come ever afterward in order to commune with its memories. Some people have told me that they want to be cremated because they know that "no one will ever come to visit or to take care of the grave anyway." We can sympathize with the pain that is reflected in such a statement, but it expresses a lack of trust in the family and in the community. Each person deserves a place and each family needs an address to which it can come in order to remember, in order to take strength, in order to give and to receive forgiveness, and in order to learn lessons in how to live.

For all these reasons, we continue to resist the trend toward cremation.

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Rabbi Elie K. Spitz

Rabbi Elie Kaplan Spitz has served as the rabbi of Congregation B'nai Israel in Tustin, California for more than a decade and is a member of the Rabbinical Assembly Committee of Law and Standards. He is the author of many articles dealing with spirituality and Jewish law, and teaches the philosophy of Jewish law at the University of Judaism.