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I am an Italian noahide.

I wonder if Halakhah allows Gentiles to cremate bodies. My personal opinion is that this practice does not violate Noahide Laws, as it is not included in one of the relevant seven categories of commandments. I do not see a conduct that violates the prohibition against idolatry because, at least in the Mediterranean tradition to which I belong, the ancient pagan populations at some point abandoned cremation to use the burial (see for example the Romans and the Greeks), while maintaining their polytheistic cult; therefore cremation was not a peculiar characteristic of such cults.

I would also add that, even admitting that cremation means contesting the belief in the resurrection of the bodies (and I do not agree that those who decide to be cremated do not necessarily believe in the resurrection), Halakhah does not foresee any obligation for the Gentiles to believe in bodily resurrection, merely saying that the "righteous among the Nations", if observe the seven precepts with the conviction that HaShem has revealed them in the Torah,they will deserve a part in the World to Come (Rambam's Mishneh Torah-Hilchot Melachim 8:11 ).

Obviously I am referring to the case in which the decision to be cremated is not one adopted by the Gentile with the aim of making cult in this way towards one or more idols.

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    Amos, I am so sorry for what you and your country are going through right now. I sincerely hope this question isn't motivated by current events. If it is, note that even if the answer to your question is generally no (which I don't think is the case), almost anything is allowed if it's needed to prevent a danger to life, and the health department are the people best qualified to assess that. – Heshy Mar 29 at 12:00
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    @Heshy Thank you very much for your kind words. We are in a very difficult period, with over ten thousand dead. In the city of Bergamo they were forced, by necessity, to cremate a few hundred corpses. I have no doubts about the legitimacy of the cremation for the Gentiles in a circumstance of necessity, but I think it is lawful in general, for us Goym I mean – Amos74 Mar 29 at 17:09
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AskNoah is a Jewish-authored resource for Noachides.

The Director of AskNoah.org answers your question (extracts of his answer):

Gentiles do not transgress the Noahide Code if they use cremation. But a meritorious soul will lack the mode of spiritual cleansing from unrepentant sins that burial in the earth can provide.

Rabbi Moshe Weiner of Jerusalem explains that based on that Torah verse, burial in the ground is a moral obligation for all Gentiles, so they should not be cremated. Nevertheless, these matters are not Torah-law requirements for Gentiles.

From the Mishnah, “Ethics of the Fathers” (Pirkei Avot) 3:14 – “[Rabbi Akiva] used to say: Beloved is Man, for he was created in the image [of G-d]; it is an even greater love that it was made known to him that he was created in the image [of G-d], as it is stated, “For in the image of G-d He made man” (Gen. 1:27).

This refers to all mankind, so a human body should not be treated disrespectfully, even in death. Therefore, burial is preferred and encouraged for Gentiles, since it is the most honorable way to treat the special significance of the deceased human body, which was a host to a human soul that is created “in the image of G-d.”

So, cremation is not explicitly forbidden but neither is it recommended.

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