Is the delaying of the burial of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Ruth Bader Ginsburg by placing her in State for some days rather than burying her as soon as possible a violation of Orthodox Jewish law?

It is not a violation.

There is no biblical requirement regarding burial in the Torah. The practices that Orthodox Jews follow when a Jew dies is based on traditions. These traditions are post-biblical and have changed frequently. Although based on tradition, Jews should observe the tradition whenever it is reasonable to do so.

The practice to bury the deceased as soon as possible after death is an example. Rabbis tell us that the practice was instituted to show respect to the human body and honor to the deceased. Yet, when the patriarch Jacob died he was not buried immediately but only after forty-days of embalming, despite embalming not practiced by Jews today. He was not buried in Egypt where he died but his family made a long trip to Canaan and buried him there. His son Joseph knowing that his family would not be allowed to leave Egypt to bury him, instructed his family to take his body to Canaan when they can leave Egypt and bury it there. According to tradition he was not buried for over 250 years. A Midrash states that his body was placed in water until then. My own grandfather, an extremely religious Orthodox man, left money for his entire family to take his body from Montreal, Canada and bury it in Israel. He knew that this meant that he would not be buried immediately. In fact, he died in 1948 during the Israeli War of Independence, and we, his family composed of many rabbis, waited to bury him for three years, until 1951, because of the war.

As previously stated many other burial practices changed over the years. Relating to the practice to bury the body as soon as possible, is the practice to place the body in the ground. Yet, in ancient times Jewish bodies were placed in caves and specially built buildings, including the patriarchs and most of the matriarchs and kings of Judea. Similarly, while the practice today is to clothe the body in a simple shroud, this practice only began when the leaders of Jewry saw that families spent vast amounts of money to show honor to their deceased relative and ruled that rich and poor should not waste their money in this fashion, and all Jews at all levels of wealth, should bury their family in simple clothes.

In short, there is no violation. The honors paid to Justice Ginsburg by the United States by placing her body in State far exceeds the tradition to bury a Jew as soon as possible.