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Judge orders body of Jewish woman, 105, cremated

(JTA) — A Manhattan judge ordered the body of a 105-year-old Jewish woman cremated in accordance with her wishes, despite the objections of an Orthodox grand-nephew.

Ethel Baar’s remains have been stored in a Manhattan funeral home since her death in September. Baar reportedly had paid the funeral home in advance to cremate her remains, which she wanted scattered in Israel.

Her cremation has been held up by a challenge from her grand-nephew, who wanted her body to be buried in accordance with Orthodox Jewish tradition, which forbids cremation.

James Pollak, who lived with Baar for several years in the 1980s, said his aunt had changed her mind and wanted to be buried according to Jewish law, according to the New York Post. Pollak lives in Israel and did not attend the hearing.

Announcing her decision Monday, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Jane Solomon read from Baar’s June 2, 1999 will, which read, "I desire that my body be cremated."
 

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