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Kvura BiKarka/In-Ground Burial

The neshama's return to heaven is dependant upon the body's return to the ground.  That is what the Prophet means when he says,

"The dust returns to the earth...and the spirit returns to G-D who gave it."

Jewish Law is, therefore, concerned with the immediacy of burial and the natural decomposition of the body.  Mausoleums are forbidden since they retard the process of return to the earth.  Cremation is certainly forbidden.  It is the harshest form of indignity to the body, and is a pagan ritual that denies the existence of G-D. 

The only acceptable burial is directly in the ground, with family members and friends helping to fill the grave completely until a mound is formed.  No attempt to retard the body's decomposition is permitted.

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