cemeteries and graves

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Kohanim in Eastern Europe

Another question on this website deals with the issue of kohanim in Auschwitz. To be "strict", a kohen today could simply avoid going to death camps altogether. Elsewhere, however, is not so easy. Are ...
2
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1answer
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Cohanim in Paris

Purely out of curiosity; Would a Cohen have to be careful when walking around Paris because of the Catacombs (an underground network of tombs where an estimated 6 million people's bones are buried), ...
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Why not stipulate that Machpela would be a burial site? (N'tziv)

Genesis 23 describes Avraham's purchase of a burial site from Efron the Hittite. The way Haamek Davar explains it — if I understand his commentary to verse 20 correctly — the transaction ...
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1answer
49 views

Visiting Deceased Loved Ones

Is it a mitzvah of some sort to visit the grave-sites of parents or other close relatives at the cemetery (as opposed to it being primarily sentimental/emotional in nature)? To what extent must one go ...
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2answers
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Gravesite of Moshe Rabbeinu Not Being Known

Where does it speak about the fact that we don't know where Moshe Rabbeinu is buried. Is this in the Talmud? Somewhere else in Chazal? I've heard the reason is that G-d did this in order that people ...
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What is the origin of using tombstone symbols?

I was at a cemetary today and noticed a few interesting "icons" placed on certain tombstones. Someone explained to me the following: spread-out fingers used for a Cohen, representing the position of ...
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1answer
71 views

Why are Mordechai and Esther buried in Hamedan, considering it is distant from Shushan?

According to Google Maps, Hamedan is about 470 KM from Shush, the Biblical town of Shushan. If Mordechai and Esther lived in Shushan (where Esther served as Queen), why were they buried so far away ...
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1answer
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Is there a minhag or halacha that states that men and women should be buried in separate cemetery plot areas?

I visited a cemetery yesterday and noticed that most of the rows of plots had double graves where husband and wife were buried next to each other. However, some of the rows had only men while the ...
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1answer
64 views

How do you inspect a field for graves?

The Gemara (Bab. Nazir 65) discusses some circumstances in which one must inspect a field for graves. How is this done? Do you dig up the earth to a certain depth? Do you dig a trench? Do you dig ...
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2answers
826 views

Why do Jewish funeral homes tend to be the main supplier of Jewish calendars?

Perhaps, this question is too "trivial". It seems that Jewish funeral homes tend to be the primary "printer" and supplier of Jewish calendars. For decades, many yeshivot as well as shuls get the large ...
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1answer
78 views

If shaimos are buried in the same grave as a person, where should they be placed?

I have heard that it has become customary for some people to bury shaimos (holy items such as unusable mezuzah parchments) in a grave together with the coffin as a person is being buried. I am ...
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Can one use the wooden planks placed on top of a grave for his succah?

I had heard from a rabbi that items used for part of a Jewish grave receive some type of "holiness" and may not be used for other purposes. E.g. - one can't take dirt already used to cover the coffin ...
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1answer
45 views

Why not visit a grave twice in a day?

I came across this in Mishna B'rura 581:27: ואין לילך על קבר אחד ב״פ ביום אחד.‏ That is, roughly: And one should not go to one grave twice in one day. (This is in Baer Hetev :17 also, ...
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1answer
216 views

Why don't Jewish people put flowers on graves?

I know that Jews have specific traditions regarding burial and cemeteries, and that one of these traditions involves putting pebbles on gravestones, which I think is quite beautiful, although I don't ...
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1answer
209 views

Can a non-Jew visit a Jewish cemetery to see how it looks?

I want to know whether a non-Jew can, according to Jewish law, enter and visit a Jewish cemetery, to know what it looks like and what symbols and images are used in the cemetery, for personal ...
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1answer
42 views

Kever of a Tzaddik “bechinas” Eretz Yisrael

I've heard many say before (usually in connection to Reb Nachman Breslover) that the kever (burial spot) of a tzaddik found outside of Eretz Yisrael is "bechinas" (or the likeness) of Eretz Yisrael. ...
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Not allowing one's tzitzis to show in a cemetary according to the Rambam

It's brought down in the Gemera in Brachos Daf 18a and paskened in Shulchan Aruch Siman OC 23:1 that a person shouldn't go into a beis hakavoros (cemetery) with his tzitzis visible because of "la'ag l'...
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1answer
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Where should the stone left on a grave come from?

I will be traveling for an unveiling soon and intend to leave a stone at the grave. Since I will be traveling I have to ability to bring the stone from where I live or to find a stone near the ...
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2answers
127 views

What is the tzror hachaim (bond of life)?

On tombstones one finds the acronym for t'hay nafsho/ah tzrurah b'tzror hachaim (may the soul be bound to the bond of life). What is this bond of life? Do we have any sources which explain what this ...
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221 views

Is an Jew allowed to visit a Christian cemetery?

If a Jew wishes to visit a grave at a Christian cemetery (say the grave of a patrilinial grandparent), is it permissible? Does it matter if it is a mostly unadorned cemetery vs. one with pictures of ...
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1answer
101 views

Halachot of burial vs. minhagim thereof

This answer gives a rough estimate that about 90 percent of hilchot kevura (laws of burial) are based on local minhag, rather than actual halacha. Taking this into account, the next logical conclusion ...
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1answer
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Washing After Leaving Cemetary

What are the earliest sources (i.e. Chazal or Rishonim) for washing one's hands after visiting a cemetery? Is this mentioned by the Rambam?
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1answer
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is there an issue in visiting a cemetery while menstruating?

Is there an issue about going to a cemetery while menstruating? If so, is it a prohibition or recommendation? What about going to a cemetery at night? I was told there might be an issue with ...
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Reform/Liberal Burials

Is there a problem with the way Progressive Judaism carry out their burials according to Orthodox Jewry?
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Who Is Rabbi Eliezer Yosef ben Rabbi Yitzchak HaLevi Letterberg לטרברג?

Someone told me that's it's written on the tombstone of רבי אליעזר יוסף בן רבי יצחק הלוי לטרברג: "הרבץ תורה ברבים ולמד וחזיר בעל פה למעלה מארבעת אלפים פעם מסכת ביצה וראש השנה" Who is רבי אליעזר יוסף ...
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1answer
105 views

Kohen-accessible Cenotaph

Scenario: An architect is building an extension onto a cemetery. As it will engulf the section traditionally reserved for Kohanim, he wishes to build an "overpass" with cenotaphs holding the ...
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2answers
112 views

How are Jewish cemeteries inaugurated?

Are there any methods necessary to make a cemetery Jewish, or can one just start burying people wherever one legally can?
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1answer
174 views

Cohanim in Auschwitz

A lot of people died in Auschwitz, and since cohanim are not allowed to become tamei (ritually impure) by touching a corpse, may cohanim enter Auschwitz?
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3answers
138 views

Origin of Unveiling

Often, the family of the deceased will have an unveiling service for the presentation of the matzevah.* What is the origin of this custom? *Source: Goldin, Hyman. Hamadrikh. Hebrew Publishing Company:...
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172 views

Why does the cave of machpelah have special significance?

Avraham spends considerable money and effort to acquire the cave of machpelah. I think the medrash mentions that Adam and Chava were buried there. My question is, is the cave of machpelah special ...
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The footstone sank into the ground & is next to the coffin. Can I retrieve it?

One of my relatives foot stone (I think that's what they call the "plaque" that lies flat on the ground.) sank into the ground and is now next to the coffin. Is there any halachic problem if I climb ...
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Vicariously placing stones on a grave

Can a kohen, or someone who will not have the opportunity to visit a grave for that matter, ask someone who will be visiting a grave to put stones there for him?
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1answer
543 views

How Many Stones to Place on a Grave?

When visiting a gravesite, my Jewish relatives always place small stones on the gravestone as a showing of respect for the dead. They typically place one stone on the gravestone, but I find myself ...
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1answer
289 views

In a cemetery, when there is a headstone, what is the law or custom of walking OVER the “body” of someone buried there?

Our family recently unveiled the headstone on my mother's grave. Before the unveiling service, my elder brother told me NOT to walk over the grave of my mother. Through lack of space it was ...
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1answer
525 views

Days you shouldn't visit a cemetery

Someone told me you shouldn't visit a cemetery on Friday. Is this correct? More generally, are there any other days (holidays, events, etc) that you shouldn't go to a cemetery?
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1answer
162 views

Why aren't non-Jews buried near Jews or wicked people near good?

A colleague at work asked me why Jews are not buried alongside Non-Jews. He understood why we don't eat with them, but thought those differences should not extend in death and pointed at the ...
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2answers
153 views

Speaking to a deceased person

Is it permissible when visiting the grave of a deceased family member to "speak" to them as if they are there. To tell them how much they miss them, they love them. In general to express feelings, ...
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2answers
115 views

Trains traversing cemeteries - Kohanim

May a Kohen (that is, a member of the priestly clan, who are prohibited by the Torah from exposing themselves to dead bodies) ride on a train that passes over, through, or under a cemetery? May he ...
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How was the tomb of the matriarchs determined?

Apparently there is a "tomb of the Matriarchs" in Tiberias which is purported to house several nashim tzidkaniot. I'd like to know how it was determined that those women were buried in that place.
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Why did הַר הַזֵּיתִים become a place of burial

I am wondering if there was any particular reason that הַר הַזֵּיתִים was chosen to become a place of burial. Is there?
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1answer
150 views

Proving Jewish identity through gravestone

What needs to be considered to show that under a grave marker lies a Jewish person?
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1answer
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Is there a legal minimum on the amount of soil needed to make a suitable grave?

This is not being asked for any pragmatic need. I had the thought about people living off of planets. Without getting into the issue of whether a burial can take place anywhere beside Earth, I ...
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3answers
432 views

Why do plastic bags and not fuselages protect against impurity?

In a picture on this article, we see a kohen who has enclosed himself in a plastic bag so as to avoid becoming impure as a result of flying over a cemetery. Why is it that a pressurized fuselage does ...
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1answer
614 views

Kohen flying over a cemetery?

Is there a problem with a kohen flying in an airplane that may fly over a Jewish cemetery? If so, how can a kohen be sure that a flight does not go over a Jewish cemetery?
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2answers
450 views

Do modern Jewish cemeteries separate the “righteous” from the “wicked”?

Do modern Jewish cemeteries separate the "righteous" from the "wicked"? I have read in various sources that "we don't bury rashim near tzadikim"--that people must be buried near others of similar ...
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1answer
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Going to Cemetery on a yarhzeit

I heard before from a Talmud Chacham that if someone has a yahrzeit and they are unable to go to the kever where the person is buried then there is still and "inyun" of going to a Cemetery on that day....
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2answers
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Is there a Halacha that sons may not be present at the burial of their parents?

Is there a Halacha that sons may not be present at their parents' burial? I've heard that if the sons wasted seed (G-d forbid) negative forces are created which would be detrimental at the burial site ...
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1answer
378 views

Can a born-Jew who converted out of Judaism be buried in an Orthodox Jewish cemetery?

We've discussed previously that halacha prohibits the burial of non-Jews in the same cemetery as Jews. But what about born-Jews who converted out? What about Jews who were simply atheists?
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1answer
485 views

Historical account of Jewish worship via the graves of saints and Prophets

Are there any examples in the Jewish history of Jewish people falling into worshiping the dead saints and prophets in their tombs ? Also, does building Tomb and concrete structures over the graves ...
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How do Rabbonim know where graves are located?

There is an (or more than one) organization whose job is to ensure that Jewish graves aren't desecrated when construction companies do digs. How do they know that there are graves there? ...