To the editor:
Much has already been said about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and much more will be said in the days — indeed, years — to come. She has earned her place as a political and cultural icon.
For Jews, she was the very face of Jewish liberalism. For that reason, it is noteworthy that Justice Ginsburg, with all her progressive ideals, chose to be buried, rather than cremated.
Although it is a Biblical mitzvah to be buried, we find that growing numbers of Jews, particularly liberal Jews, choose cremation, believing it to be somehow more “progressive” than traditional burial. But there is a difference between true liberalism and mere fashion, and we can be certain that a mind as reasoned as Justice Ginsburg’s discerned that difference.
The decisions she authored impact every American, but it is Justice Ginsburg’s final decision that Jews — across the political spectrum — should take to heart when considering their own plans.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a liberal icon, but she was also Yita Rochel bat Tzirel Leah. She was born a Jew, she died a Jew, and she chose burial, because that’s what Jews do.
Rabbi Elchonon Zohn
National Association of Chevra Kadisha