Typically, traditional Jewish burial law calls for a speedy burial in the ground, with no embalming or other unnatural preservation of the body. But what about if the ground is too frozen? Nowadays, cemeteries have technology that allows them to dig through frozen ground, or thaw it with heat lamps. But this technology is relatively new. I'm curious if anyone knows of Jewish burial law that relates to preserving/keeping bodies until the body is able to be buried.

  • 3
    If it's that cold presumably you don't need refrigeration to preserve the body
    – Double AA
    Apr 19, 2020 at 1:34
  • "no embalming or other unnatural preservation of the body" can you source that? Isn't that what they do when shipping them to Israel for burial? Apr 19, 2020 at 6:56
  • @DannySchoemann I always assumed that as a natural extrapolation from the requirement for the body to return to the Earth, since embalming often interferes with that. I looked further into it, and found that actually, some cite Genesis 50 (Joseph's embalming of Jacob in Egypt) as an argument for why some embalming for extraordinary circumstances (such as distance) is permitted. I suppose that could also apply in this case then.
    – Remy
    Apr 19, 2020 at 13:38
  • @DoubleAA That's true, I was just curious if anyone knew historically, if anyone knew of additional death rituals relating to keeping a body longer term if it cannot be buried.
    – Remy
    Apr 19, 2020 at 13:39
  • @remy find an area where it's not frozen
    – Moshe
    Apr 20, 2020 at 1:21


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