Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Tikkunim For Cremation?

(Picture by Geoffrey Booth)

A Simple Jew asks:

Are you aware of any tikkunim that a person can do to help the neshoma of a Jewish person who was cremated instead of buried in accordance with Jewish law?

Akiva of Mystical Paths answers:

Oy oy oy. A similar question came to me in somewhat recently, though in that case it was about a suicide. G-d help us, when referring to a neshama (a soul) who already took such an action (such as suicide,
G-d preserve us from such thoughts, or an intentional choice of inappropriate burial) and a desire to help them beyond this world, the true answer is that one must go to the top experts in such matters to address this question. This is particularly important because wrongly judging the circumstances of such a difficult matter can result in ineffective solutions or even, G-d forbid, negatively influencing the heavenly court. By doing our best to judge such a situation in as positive light as possible, considering all extenuating circumstances, we hand the neshama possible defenses and merits before the heavenly court.

For such a situation, one must contact the true mekubalim (kabbalists) and/or chassidic rebbaim. Only one such as they can consider the circumstances and determine if the neshama is still within reach of help of this world, or will have to deal with a rectification of the beis din shel shamayim, the heavenly court.

May Hashem have mercy and judge all of us favorably.


At December 6, 2006 at 7:53:00 AM EST, Blogger yitz said...

My parents-in-law had a close friend who had been an ardent Communist, and left behind a request to be cremated after he dies.
"We didn't listen to him when he was alive," said my father-in-law. "So why should we start now?" He had a proper burial.
But yours is a difficult question indeed, Hashem Yerachem [may G-d have mercy]!

At December 6, 2006 at 8:07:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would go to Uman and ask R. Nachman to help him. Seriously. Check out lesson 65 in Likutei Moharan, section I ("VaYomer Boaz el Rus")

At December 6, 2006 at 8:14:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Yitz: Unfortunately, I think a lot of people have stories where their families have dealt with this in the past few decades...

Thanks for your comments on this posting and on the 13 Kislev posting ;)

Yosef: Good idea!

At December 6, 2006 at 8:43:00 AM EST, Blogger yitz said...

PS - Both my parents-in-law, and l'havdil their departed friend are/were Holocaust survivors.

At December 6, 2006 at 9:16:00 AM EST, Blogger Akiva said...

The case of survivors or a communist is a good example of where we must judge favorably. Given their personal circumstances and history, they cannot be held responsible.

At December 6, 2006 at 9:23:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Yitz: Where were your parents-in-laws during the war?

At December 6, 2006 at 9:30:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course, ASJ, the "standard" things you can do I'm sure would certainly help- tzedaka l'ilui neshama, Torah, and maybe most importantly, daven for them when you do hisbodedus. Argue their merits and ask Hashem to help them. That is probably best of all :-). If you sincerely beg Hashem to have rachmanus on them, there's no way it won't help. Also, whenever you do any holy thing because of another person, they get some credit for it, since they were the motivating force for that good deed. Hashem is fair!
And even the most terrible things in this world, in the end Hashem will use for and turn into good. We just have to daven.

At December 6, 2006 at 10:30:00 AM EST, Blogger yitz said...

ASJ: My mother-in-law was politically astute, and WALKED out of Poland into Russia as soon as the Nazis ym"s came in. My father-in-law could have escaped as well, but preferred to stay with his widowed mother. He was eventually taken away, & miraculously managed to escape from a camp, & also get into Russia. He was sent to a labor camp in Siberia, eventually getting out of there as well, & he met up with my mother-in-law; they were married shortly thereafter. (This is the short version; come to Israel & you'll get the long version at my table!)

At December 6, 2006 at 2:34:00 PM EST, Blogger Batya said...

Two of my cousins, who were both very special in their own ways, were both cremated.
One was extremely spiritual. They didn't know halacha.

At December 6, 2006 at 2:56:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why would they want such a thing? Even without halocho people know that cremations is some kind if spiritual destruction.

At December 6, 2006 at 5:32:00 PM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

A Yid: This dark golus has clouded this reality from many of our people and many people today think of it as a valid alternative. If a person does not think about his or her neshoma on a daily basis - they do not have any concept of the damage that cremation does.


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