X-Message-Number: 10728
Date: Mon, 9 Nov 1998 11:58:58 EST
Subject: cryonics and halakha (Jewish law)

Hi folks !      As this is a slightly long post (apologies) I'll state my
question upfront, then tell the whole story.   In a nutshell, does anyone know
of any Orthodox Rabbis sympathetic to cryonics ???

El Problemo :

My parents are what one might call "Orthodox Sympathetic Jews".    Let's just
say, they don't actually live that lifestyle, but are leached off of certain
members of that community who are in dire need of working individuals to
practise their talmudic skills on.

As a few of you know, I returned from Japan last year and recently married.
In order to keep the gates of hades from freezing over, despite my distaste
for religion, I agreed to allow my wife to convert if we could pick the Rabbi,
and it was done quickly and unobtrustively.   I figured 6 months of tsures
would beat years of it.

I've been wanting to "consumate" a cryonics contract.  Now with cryonics, the
meddlers enter my life again.   Reality is, if for some reason my parents were
to outlive me or us, and Jewish custom being burial within 24 hours, unless
I'm lucky enough to get hit by the car "erev shabbas" (before the Sabbath), in
a worse case scenario, there would be a lot of un-needed "kvetching" during
time prescious moments and in a highly volatile situation.   Although in the
end, I'd be suspended, I think it would be selfish for me not to try to
circumvent potential legal and emotional problems in advance.   

Therefore, I'm wondering if anyone knows of any Rabbi preferably orthodox,
though conservative or traditional woudl do in a squeeze, who could argue my
case for me to my parents.  Unfortunately the logical stuff about blind
superstition and a speach on the principals of humanism and potentiality of
mankind would not fair very well, I'm afraid.   Naturally, the most halakhik
case would simply be that cryonics is not a form of burial but a life saving
procedure, and that if for some reason the bodies had to be unthawed, they
would be burried.   - - Kind folks, please don't kindly state such a logical
arguement for me.     Logic comes in beard length and affiliations in this
family.   Besides, who knows, if the Rabbi is successful, some lucky Cryonics
org might get 4 for the price of two.   (Donning beards from the old HS
Fiddler on the Roof play is STRICTLY out of the question.)

Would appreciate your help !  

- - Ed    

Rate This Message: http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=10728