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Can mycelium coffins be used?

Question:

I recently saw a company that produces coffins made of mushrooms (named the loop cocoon) by mixing mycelium with saw dust . They sprinkle a solution that promotes mushroom growth into the mixture then they set the mixture into a coffin mold. The coffin is said to break down in 45 days. Are these ok for a kosher burial?

 

Answer:

Thank you for your question.

The halacha is that the deceased person has to be buried in the ground, otherwise it causes severe distress to the neshoma of the deceased person, as the din is still strong until after the body has disintegrated. Therefore, it is important that the body have contact with the ground. This is why the wooden coffins have holes in them etc. or some other solution to this issue. These coffins although they disintegrate quicker than wood, would still have to offer some sort of solution to this issue.

Best wishes

Sources:

שולחן ערוך יורה דעה הלכות אבילות סימן שסב סעיף א

(א’) {א} הנותן מתו א] בארון (א) ולא קברו בקרקע, עובר משום מלין את המת. ב] ואם נתנו בארון וקברו בקרקע, אינו עובר עליו, א ג] ומכל מקום יפה (ב) לקברו (ב’) בקרקע א’} ממש, אפילו בח”ל. וע’ ש”ך שם סק”א וז”ל “ומ”מ יפה לקברו בקרקע קשה ממש. כלומר אף על פי שהארון קבור בקרקע מ”מ לא יהא הארון סתום מכל צד אלא יקבר המת בקרקע ממש”..

 

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