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Teshuvah for allowing a wife to be cremated

Question:

Hi, hope all is well.

I have a friend who is a baal teshuvah.

He recently told me, that his first wife (who was Jewish) died very young. He signed the papers allowing for her to be cremated and they went ahead with it. She was scattered over the seven seas. He now realizes it that what he has done was very wrong. He asked me what can be done for teshuvah, what do the rabbonim advise?

Kol Tuv

 

Answer:

Hello,

Aside from the regular teshuva to Hashem, when this man allowed his wife to be cremated, he did her a tremendous disservice, and essentially he would want to correct this in any way possible.

What I would suggest is along the lines of what the gemora in Babba Basra 4a writes regarding Hordos, that when a person does teshuva, it should be to enhance the idea that he wants to correct. The main issue with cremation is that it doesn’t give the person’s body a chance to correct itself, and it is also denying the belief that the dead will be resurrected. Therefore, a way to correct this to pray from her neshoma that it should get atoned, and secondly, to donate tzedakah in her soul’s merit to something that helps people who have died. For example, to give money to an organization that provides chairs, a sefer torah, and siddurim for a shiva house. Or to give money to an organization that helps with the funding for people that can’t afford a funeral, or a burial plot. This way you are correcting the idea of the original aveiro.

May Hashem accept everyone teshuva.

Best wishes

 

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