Re: Elaboration
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Frederick Nelson
>Caskets for Orthodox Jewish burial may contain no metal, and even any glues used in their manufacture must be of "natural" sources - merely "bio-degradable" isn't sufficient. Any linings, which usually aren't fancy, must also be of cotton or linen, that is, plant fibres that decompose completely. Occasionally, they are called "Kosher Caskets." Finally, the body itself is wrapped in little more than a shroud, although there are some interesting specifications regarding this as well. Upon burial, the casket must be placed directly in contact with the soil to hasten decomposition. Even in cemetaries where some kind of vault is required, it is little more than a "four-poster" of cinder blocks with a cement slab atop it, to prevent the grave sinking in when the casket collapses. The source of this information is "The Jewish Mourner's Book of Why" by Alfred J. Kolatch, and personal observation.

An additional material for casket manufacture is particle board for use in cremations. It burns nicely and completely, and the resulting ash can be separated from the remains very easily.

Finally, there is a company in the southern US that is making caskets out of ground almond hulls in some kind of binder. The resulting material moulds like plastic and machines where necessary like wood. It's weight is about the same as wood. It is probably not very biodegradable, and I'm sure the EPA would have something to say about burning it.

How did we get on this topic, anyway? Oh yeah, coffins are body shaped, while caskets are boxes, and a coffin can be shipped inside a casket.

Lovely topic for a Humpday.


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