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Does one need to wash hands after touching a gentile corpse just as after a Jewish one?

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Can you provide any indication why you think one might have to do so? Or why you ask about only a gentile corpse? – Double AA Jan 2 '14 at 21:03
@DoubleAA The quoted texts there do not specify a Jewish corpse. – Adám Jan 2 '14 at 21:10
I attended a shiur that talked about this last year (it talked about Jewish, gentile, and animal corpses) and I remember there's a machlokhet, but alas I don't remember any details (and it was on Shabbat, so no notes). – Monica Cellio Jan 2 '14 at 21:25
@MonicaCellio I have been wondering for years why Chaza"l didn't prohibit torah study on shabbos to prevent inadvertent writing... :-) – Adám Jan 2 '14 at 21:33
Let's be glad they didn't! (I'm going to hazard a guess that there was less note-taking during their time and more focus on memory.) Besides, forbidding torah study in any but the very limited cases it's forbidden now would seem to, well, run counter to the torah. :-) – Monica Cellio Jan 2 '14 at 21:53
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Rambam Hilchos Tumas Mais 1:15 says that one becomes Tamei when handling a non Jewish corpse. The only difference is that a non Jewish corpse does not make one Tamei in the same building.

Nitei Gavriel in the name of the Elya Raba says this is done to remove Tumah.

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