cemeteries and graves

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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 ...
4
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1answer
58 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
53 views

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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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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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
65 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
41 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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165 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
157 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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38 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 ...
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1answer
62 views

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
104 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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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
79 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
87 views

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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754 views

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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57 views

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
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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
105 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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152 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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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 ...
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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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38 views

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
537 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
198 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
423 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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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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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
108 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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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
414 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
535 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
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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
59 views

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 ...
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2answers
244 views

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
345 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
441 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? ...
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1answer
410 views

Is a bat kohen allowed to go to cemetery?

Besides the permitted reasons for male kohen, is a bat kohen allowed to go to cemetery for other reason?
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1answer
1k views

Can non Jews be buried in a Jewish Cemetery?

Can a non Jew be buried in a Jewish Cemetery under any circumstances?
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Have not gone to parents grave in seven years

A friend recently mentioned that she has not gone to her parents grave in over ten years due to its distance and when she wanted to go she was told by a Rabbi that if she has not been there for over ...
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1answer
327 views

Non-Jews Tending to Abandoned Cemeteries

Those of you who may have read my profile know that I have been reading and transcribing information on tombstones in towns in the Spis Region of Slovakia, in which no Jews remain. My colleague is ...
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Why do mourning practices surrounding suicide differ from Shulchan Aruch?

It used to be that a person who committed suicide was buried in a separate part of the cemetery and the relatives did not sit shiva (see Shulchan Aruch YD 345). We no longer do these things and we ...