Ultra-Orthodox Family Members of Transgender Woman Who Committed Suicide Appeal Cremation

Cremation contradicts Jewish law but May Peleg said in her will she did not want to be buried.

May Peleg, a transgender woman from Jerusalem who committed suicide im mid-November 2015.
Ofrit Asaf

The ultra-Orthodox family of a transgender woman who committed suicide has appealed to the Supreme Court against her request to be cremated.

May Peleg, who took her own life a week ago, left behind a will stipulating cremation and paid a funeral home for the job.

In her will, she said her mother had harassed her and warned that people would try to obstruct her decision. Last week, the Jerusalem District Court ordered that her will be honored and her body delivered for cremation, but Judge Arnon Darel delayed implementation until Sunday, which let the family appeal.

In the appeal, the mother wants the decision overturned and Peleg’s body buried. Unlike the request submitted in district court, the appeal usually refers to Peleg in the feminine form. According to the mother, Peleg’s alleged unstable mental condition cast doubt on her request in the will.

“We can at least assume that the deceased’s mental condition at the time of the writing of the will and the affidavit was not stable,” the family says in the appeal. According the family, “there is a strong suspicion” that the will and affidavit were prepared by “proxies” and do not reflect Peleg’s wishes.