Above: May Peleg
High Court Rules Transgender Ex-Haredi Woman Can Be Cremated
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Israel’s High Court of Justice Supreme has affirmed a lower court ruling rejecting a petition filed by the estranged haredi family of a transgender woman, May Peleg, Ha’aretz reported. The petition sought to block Peleg’s cremation.
Peleg committed suicide 10 days ago. In the days before she killed herself Peleg filed a will and an affidavit specifying that she wanted to be cremated and leaving specific instructions for what should be done with her ashes. Peleg also wrote that her estranged family would likely try to interfere and asked her attorney and friends to do everything possible to prevent them from being successful.
Because of the haredi control over life-cycle issues, the only way Peleg could be legally buried in Israel would be to be buried as a male, something she strongly rejected.
Peleg’s estranged mother claimed the will should be disregarded because it violates halakha (Orthodox Jewish law). She also claimed Peleg, who she still referred to as a male, was mentally ill and unfit to decide what should happen to her body after death, even though Peleg had recently undergone a psychological assessment that found her competent.
The lower court rejected the mother’s petition last week. The High Court upheld that ruling today.