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Can one (halachically) eat to have the strength to dig a grave for a recently passed away Jew?

Assume you can't pay a gentile to do it for you.

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Do I have to also assume that there is no other Jew that can do it and can do it without eating? – Gershon Gold Aug 9 '11 at 18:40
Well, its Tisha B' Av. Everyone Jew is hungry. Your not about to have your 12 year old son dig a grave... – wizlog Aug 9 '11 at 19:01
Being hungry does not me you do not have strength. I for one feel stronger when I fast. – Gershon Gold Aug 9 '11 at 19:06
Firstly, that just odd. Secondly, that doesn't help answer the question. Does the Mitzvah to bury people quickly trup that of not eating on Tisha B' Tv? – wizlog Aug 9 '11 at 19:13
@wizlog, if I'm not mistaken, we do not perform burials on Tish'ah BeAv. Hence, the question is irrelevant. People can do many things after breaking a fast - many have the custom to begin building a Sukkah immediately after Yom Kippur ends, once they have eaten something. – Seth J Aug 20 '12 at 20:41
up vote 3 down vote accepted

I don't definitively know the answer to this, but it sounds quite a bit like the procedure of the person who has to escort the goat 'L'Azazel' to the cliff and throw it off during Yom Kippur. In that instance, the person selected has to walk miles in the desert to get to said cliff. The person passes a series of booths (stationed a mil apart - about half a mile or so) that has a small amount of refreshment in case the person feels faint from the heat.

I would assume, then, that seeing as fasting on Tisha B'Av is a rabbinical decree and burying the dead outweighs this day, in the EXTREMELY unlikely circumstance that there was only one Jew around to bury another Jew (and there was nobody else around who could do the job), if the person felt faint while digging he could eat. But I can't see how someone in that instance would be allowed to eat unless they knew beforehand that they would not be able to even get started without eating first.

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