Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Israeli Court Affirms Transgender Woman's Request To Be Cremated

The Forward reports on an interesting and heartening case out of Israel involving a transgender woman's request to be cremated. Cremation is generally prohibited under traditional Jewish law (a prohibition which predates, but was emotionally strengthened by, the Holocaust), but for a variety of reasons some secular or Reform Jews prefer it to a traditional burial. Among them was a transgender woman who requested in her will that she be cremated because she was worried that in a traditional burial her status as a woman would not be honored by her family. As if it to vindicate those fears, the woman's mother sued contending that her "son" was "undergoing a deep mental crisis and was not capable of drawing up a will."

A Jerusalem court, however, rejected the mother's suit and allowed the woman to cremated according to her wishes. This of course seems morally correct and important both as an affirmation of transperson's rights of self-identity as well as a rejection of the notion that such self-identity is simply a "mental crisis."

May her memory be a blessing.

UPDATE: The Israeli Supreme Court just affirmed the lower court decision.

No comments: