As society and burial practices continue to change, our team at Jeffer & Harris has seen more families choose cremation over traditional burials. If you and your loved ones believe this is the most appropriate option, we are committed to accommodating these requests. However, as a Jewish-owned funeral home, we want to give you the information you need to make an informed decision before moving forward.

Misconceptions About Cremation

One popular misconception about cremation is that it’s more eco-friendly than traditional burials. However, the reality is that this process can often be more harmful to the environment. Cremation uses fossil fuels and other chemicals that harm the atmosphere compared to natural burials. 

As for cost differences, cremation won’t always be cheaper than a burial. With our help, your family can arrange a traditional burial with similar costs to a cremation. Please contact one of our specialists to plan an arrangement that fits your budget. 

A Jewish Perspective On Cremation

In Jewish tradition, natural burials are the most appropriate way for the body and soul to separate over time gradually. This burial also symbolizes a peaceful return to nature and a way to embrace the cycle of life. For this reason, many Jews choose this method to ensure their loved one is treated with dignity and respect.

Conversely, cremation is seen as a hasty way to leave the world. It’s also seen as a denial of natural death. Additionally, cremations can create unnecessary disagreements between relatives, and the process isn’t reversible. Some congregations discourage it, and most conservative and Orthodox ones will prohibit its use.  

Handling The Ashes 

If you choose to cremate your loved one, the crematory will return the ashes to our funeral home within 48 hours. They will generally deliver the ashes in plastic containers. After you receive the ashes, you’ll have the choice to look into alternatives for your loved one’s remains. Some of the most common options are keeping the ashes in a personalized urn, burying them, or scattering them at sea. 

Choosing The Right Urn

Urns are available in different shapes, sizes, and materials. No matter which option you choose, all of them will securely hold your loved one’s ashes. If you choose to share the remains with other relatives, there are also smaller “sharing” urns you could buy for each person. Unique cremation pendants could also be a great way to feel like your loved one is always with you. If you’re unsure which option is right for you, feel free to contact us with any questions.

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