Are there any reasons that a non-Jew should not be cremated?

Answer:

Although the Gemara writes that the dead of non-Jews are buried with the Jewish dead, this is only on account of darkei shalom. Otherwise, there is no reason that a non-Jew should not be cremated.

Sources: The obligation to bury Jewish dead, and the corresponding prohibition on cremation, is limited to Jews; see Shulchan Aruch,Yorah Deah 348:3; 362:1.

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2 Responses to “Cremation”

  1. there is no kavod Hames by a Goy? I mean, though not Jewish, but there is no obligation to maintain human dignity by a Goy when he/she dies?

    • There is some degree of kavod hames for non-Jews. See, for instance, Kol Bo 114; Beis Yosef, YD 367, concerning standing for the funeral of a non-Jew, where Beis Yosef differentiates between a righteous non-Jew and a non-righteous non-Jew. However, the principles are not the same as those of a Jew. If the non-Jew wishes to be cremated, then his wish is also part of his “human dignity” (certainly, this is how non-Jews see it), and there would be no reason not to follow his wishes. The Jewish concepts of human dignity, whereby the body retains holiness even after death, and may not be destroyed, apply specifically to Jews.

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