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 Question:

I live in the Russian Far East. On the plot of land that I have for building a private house, there are the remains of a Japanese Shinto sanctuary. These remains are part of a reinforced concrete foundation, hewn blocks made of granite and four Far Eastern yews. These trees are listed in the Red Book, so I can’t cut them, since this is a criminal offense, even if they dry, I can’t cut them. I will use parts of reinforced concrete foundations framed for a pedestrian platform in front of the porch. I plan to use the blocks for paving the car site. Now I’m building my house three meters away from this sanctuary. As it turned out recently, the workers who were planning the territory says that at the site of the house when moving the soil they discovered localized masses of dark soil the size of three-liter jars, presumably ashes from cremation, located in the correct geometric order on the ground. The plot is small, I can’t change the location of the house, I can’t sell it either, since the house is urgently needed for family needs. The region was conquered from Russia by the Japanese during the First World War and recaptured at the end of the Second World War, that is, the minimum burial period (if any) was 70 years.

Question: we need advice from a rabbi regarding trees, foundations, hewn blocks, and the alleged burial of cremation remains.

Answer of Rav Cherki:

Your wish not to get anything benefit from idolatry cults is quite right. In order to these remains lose all connection with idolatry it is need to do with them some humiliating action. For example, relieve on that place. After it you can use them for any goal.

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