Tagged Questions

Questions relating to the nature, function, or process of Death in Jewish thought.

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2
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1answer
29 views

Where can I find Rabbi Yehuda HaChassid's will online?

Rabbi Yehuda HaChassid wrote a famous will. The only place I was able to find it was on Hebrewbooks.org. However, it's an old print and an incomplete one at that. Is there somewhere the complete ...
-2
votes
0answers
27 views

Views on eden in the second temple period

What are the views on Eden preserved in writing from the second temple period? Did people believe Eden was a literal place? Did people believe that there had been no human sin before Eve ate the ...
8
votes
1answer
81 views

Is a ban on government workers wearing religious symbols a gezeirat hamalchut for which one would be obligated to give up his life?

So, i haven't heard that anyone today is making this punishable by death, but still... France has a law that prohibits government workers from wearing religious symbols on their job. This naturally ...
7
votes
2answers
46 views

What is the importance of the human body after death?

On one hand, we are told that the body is a simply container holding our soul. We have to take care of it while alive because we are borrowing it for our time on Earth. It is widely believed that our ...
5
votes
2answers
416 views

Killing animals for tefillin — how?

Are there halachas for how an animal for tefillin must be killed? Or can it, for example, be shot, assuming it was shot by a non Jew. If there are no restrictions, why not? (one would think that we ...
1
vote
1answer
23 views

Why did Yaakov only mention sheep dying?

In Bereshis 33:13 it says יג וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו, אֲדֹנִי יֹדֵעַ כִּי-הַיְלָדִים רַכִּים, וְהַצֹּאן וְהַבָּקָר, עָלוֹת עָלָי; וּדְפָקוּם יוֹם אֶחָד, וָמֵתוּ כָּל-הַצֹּאן. Yaakov initially ...
7
votes
1answer
173 views

Proliferation of species after the flood

I am curious as to how many species didn't go extinct immediately after the flood. There were 2 of each non-kosher animal that came off of the ark. I assume that the foxes and lions got hungry ...
2
votes
2answers
77 views

A theological problem with the Miriam “Magdalene” story in Chagiga 4b

There is an interesting story at the bottom of Chagiga 4b, top of 5a. The Angel of Death is telling a Rabbi of an incident that happened. The AoD has an assistant. The AoD tells him to reap Miriam ...
4
votes
2answers
55 views

Why did the dor hamabul earn a painless death?

There are, apparently, 903 levels of death, and the term vayigva is one of them. According to some, it refers to the simple act of expiration -- the creation of a corpse. Others, like the Rashi ...
4
votes
0answers
25 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
126 views

Tahara procedure for a body with an infectious disease

I've heard that one vector for the spread of Ebola is ceremonial contact that family members have with the body of their deceased relative. That led me to think about how Judaism deals with this ...
6
votes
1answer
53 views

Can Moshe die at will?

Devarim 32:49-50 עֲלֵה אֶל-הַר הָעֲבָרִים הַזֶּה הַר-נְבוֹ, אֲשֶׁר בְּאֶרֶץ מוֹאָב, אֲשֶׁר, עַל-פְּנֵי יְרֵחוֹ; וּרְאֵה אֶת-אֶרֶץ כְּנַעַן, אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי נֹתֵן לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לַאֲחֻזָּה. נ ...
0
votes
0answers
52 views

Did the ancient Rabbanim believe that the spirits of the dead walked the Earth?

In the Midrashim I noticed that Rabbanim keep mentioning events in which the Rabbi would be walking along and come across a man doing some task and it would turn out to be the spirit of a dead man who ...
3
votes
1answer
47 views

Is עליו השלום inappropriate to say about a living person?

The phrase "olov hashalom" is often appended to names of the deceased. I don't know very much about it's history or any deeper implications, but at face value it just means "peace be upon him." I ...
2
votes
1answer
36 views

When may a body be removed from its resting place and buried elsewhere?

In what instances may a body be removed from its resting place and be interred elsewhere?
2
votes
3answers
697 views

(Why) do we close the eyes of the deceased?

I heard someone say that when one passes away we have to close their eyes. Where in halacha does it say this? Why do we do this?
0
votes
2answers
56 views

What class of entity are Wisdom and Death?

Most Jews and Christians will only recognize the angels as being the only other spirits made by G0d, but angels are not omnipresent nor omnipotent and it seems to me that the Spirit of Wisdom in ...
-2
votes
4answers
70 views

What does Mot Umat mean?

in the chumash, any sources. What is the literal translation and does it mean, mot = this world, Umat = the next world?
7
votes
2answers
211 views

Do Jews pray to deceased forefathers?

Shalom, I would like to know if Jews consider it acceptable to pray to deceased ancestors, forefathers, or "saints" like some Christians in the Catholic tradition do. Deuteronomy 18:11 would seem to ...
4
votes
1answer
78 views

Life after death? [duplicate]

Can anyone direct me to a book or commentary on Jewish thoughts on what happens after death, and the evolution of those ideas. I understand that Judaism is centered on how to live life, but from I can ...
4
votes
1answer
112 views

Is taxidermy kosher?

Is the art of taxidermy kosher? What about keeping animals that are stuffed in your house? My family has recently become more observant and my brother wanted to get several stuffed animals, fish, ...
4
votes
2answers
71 views

Kill a no-longer-profitable horse?

My understanding is that a horse is killed when its profit no longer matches its expense. Is this something Jews should/may do? I can think of some pros and cons, but wonder what authorities have ...
7
votes
1answer
109 views

What is the Orthodox Jewish position regarding a criminal ban on abortion?

I know that many Orthodox Jews oppose abortion - presumably because they see this as a religious requirement - but does Orthodox Judaism see it as required or preferable to support a secular law ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

Kohen travels next to a hearse under tree branches

related to: Kohen following a Mes into a tunnel If a Kohen is driving his car and a hearse is next to him and they are both in a area where there are trees in a narrow road (or say regular road with ...
3
votes
1answer
32 views

Is a deceased obligated to pay financial debts

Say someone becomes niftar and owes a petty sum (under 100 currency units) is his next-of-kin chayav to pay his debts under halachah?
7
votes
1answer
137 views

What is the correct emotion to feel upon hearing about enemy civilian casualties?

Recent missiles sent by Hamas landed in Hebron. When my neighbor told me about this, it was unclear whether they had hurt any Arab civilians. I said that I hoped not, while my neighbor basically said ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

Halachically dead & Yibum

From organ donation discussions I learned that some don't view brain death as death and only view the cessation of the heart's beating to be death. According to that, if someone's heart was stopped ...
5
votes
2answers
203 views

When is a Yartziet Observed?

When is a Yartzeit observed, the day of death or the day of burial? I ask this question in response to the news of the terrible death of the three boys in Eretz Yisrael who died weeks before their ...
7
votes
1answer
151 views

The proper term for responding — “Boruch Dayan HaEmes” or just “Emes”?

When an an avel makes the brocha "Boruch Dayan HaEmes," the term is "HaEmes". However, I often hear people reply "Boruch Dayan Emes" when they hear news of a death. Is that a proper term or should ...
7
votes
4answers
82 views

Why believe angels' showing Aaron dead after being fooled about Moses?

When Moses didn't come down from Sinai, the Jews requested a replacement leader, explaining (Exodus 32:1) that this Moses man who lifted us out of the land of Egypt — we don't know what has ...
4
votes
1answer
85 views

Who says the Mourner's Kaddish for a synagogue member who had no family?

If a synagogue member dies with no living family members remaining, who says the Mourner's Kaddish for them? Can anyone volunteer to say Kaddish for them?
4
votes
3answers
113 views

Why did the Jews complain that the mon would kill them after they spent 39 years eating it?

In Bamidbar 21:5, the Jews complained about the mon. Rashi explains that this was because it was entirely absorbed into their bodies, and they had no need to relieve themselves after eating it, so ...
6
votes
2answers
53 views

Can one accomplish Tzedaka through a will?

If one gives Tzedaka through a will -- so it is meant to be given after death -- does that person get the Mitzvah of Tzedaka? The reason I would think "no" is because it is difficult to understand ...
3
votes
1answer
86 views

Near Death Experience and Judaism

How does Judaism view Near Death experiences? do we believe they are a figment of the imagination, or do we accept them? and if we do accept them, how do we believe stories of people who claim that ...
2
votes
2answers
55 views

Aaron Hakohen and his children

Why did Aaron get praised when he was silent upon hearing of the death of his children - wouldn't that seem to be very cold and unfeeling?
3
votes
3answers
245 views

Kaddish for an unborn child

Does one need to recite Kaddish for an unborn child? A google search produced only references to an unrelated book.
4
votes
1answer
83 views

Burial in Space

Assume that we have a space-colony, or ch"ch, a member of an interplanetary mission dies in space. We know that cremation is forbidden, so what would the process for burial be? Would it be similar to ...
3
votes
1answer
73 views

Is honey extracted from a dead bee kosher?

Bees themselves are not kosher, but their honey is. The honey is taken from the hive. If I found a bunch of dead bees and I cut them open and extracted the honey from the body, can I eat this?
5
votes
0answers
44 views

What is the timeline of the connection of the soul to the body after death?

Speaking to the Rabbi who runs the chevra kadisha in my neighborhood recently, regarding the pending cremation of the mother of a friend, he mentioned several interesting concepts with respect to the ...
2
votes
0answers
27 views

Source for dying upon reaching a set number of words spoken [duplicate]

If I recall correctly, it says somewhere that we each have a predefined number of words to speak, after which we die. (The idea being that one should be careful not to speak unnecessarily.) Assuming ...
6
votes
1answer
96 views

May one publish or read the private diary of a deceased person?

Recently the private diary of Rav Kook was published; diaries of other Rabbis have also been published posthumously. Is there any halachic problem with publishing these documents, and, if there is, is ...
4
votes
3answers
92 views

Why didn't God kill Adam and Eve?

וּמֵעֵץ, הַדַּעַת טוֹב וָרָע--לֹא תֹאכַל, מִמֶּנּוּ: כִּי, בְּיוֹם אֲכָלְךָ מִמֶּנּוּ--מוֹת תָּמוּת. - Bereshis 2:17 Why did not not kill Adam and Eve the very day they ate from the tree of ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

which animals have tuma neveila

tuma sheretz applies only to the shmonei sheratzim (8 critters) mentioned in the torah. But what about tuma neveila (which is more severe)? Is it for all other animals or some? what about small ...
4
votes
1answer
110 views

Is a convert allowed to say Yizkor for their non-Jewish parents? [duplicate]

Is a convert allowed to say Yizkor for their deceased parents if they are non-Jewish?
0
votes
3answers
145 views

dead bodies in the house of God

Is there a law or any guidance about bringing a dead body into the house of God? I seem to remember there was something in Leviticus, but I can't find it.
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Does halakhah forbid Jews from eating pets that die naturally?

Suppose you keep a goldfish in your house. One day, it dies. Assuming that it has died a natural death (that is, you didn't intentionally kill it), is it kosher to eat this goldfish?
5
votes
1answer
49 views

How did Moshe know that Nadav and Avihu were greater than either himself or Aharon?

In Vayikra 10:3 after the two sons of Aharon, Nadav and Avihu, were killed, Moshe said to Aharon “This is what the Hashem said, saying: I will be sanctified through those near to Me, and before all ...
4
votes
2answers
57 views

Why were Yisrael allowed to mourn for the death of the two sons of Aharon, but not Aharon and his two remaining sons?

After the two sons of Aharon were killed by Hashem, it says in Vayikra 10:6 “ And Moses said to Aaron and to Eleazar and to Ithamar, his sons: Do not leave your heads unshorn and do not rend your ...
0
votes
3answers
106 views

How was Shmuel permitted to kill Agag?

How was Shmuel Hanavi, who was a nazir (Nazir 66a, Rambam Nezirus 3:16) allowed to kill Agag if in doing so he became tamei l'mais? I am looking for answers other than Shmuel using a wooden sword or ...
3
votes
0answers
50 views

Why does Samuel turn to leave and then kill agag?

In Samuel I 15:27 Samuel turns to leave then Saul admits guilt, asks for forgiveness, and prostrates, and then Samuel summons Agag and kills him. It seems that had Saul not stopped Samuel, he would ...