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

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9
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2answers
312 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
310 views

Does one make a blessing if preparing to die al kiddush Hashem?

If one is reasonably sure that he is about to die al kiddush Hashem does he make a blessing before fulfilling this mitzvah? What would the nusach (text) of this blessing be? Note: I realize that even ...
8
votes
2answers
81 views

Would they have died anyway?

I preface my question by noting that this question can be uncomfortable to some people, but hope that this great community can answer it Take any tragic event where people died, be it 9/11 or the ...
8
votes
2answers
188 views

Davening for someone to end a painful life

Are you allowed to daven for a person to die because he is in a lot of pain?
7
votes
1answer
182 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
85 views

Do you have to judge dead people favorably?

In Avot we learn that one should judge all people favorably ("והוי דן את כל האדם לכף זכות"). I would like to know if that includes the deceased. Meaning, can I look back on the life of a person who is ...
7
votes
1answer
223 views

How was Rabbi Yochanan allowed to walk with his son's bone?

It says in Brachos 5B that R' Yochanan used to show people his tenth son's bone (all of his children passed away, and he used to carry a bone of his tenth child). How was he allowed to not bury this ...
6
votes
4answers
180 views

Commemorating Death

What are some sources about when it is appropriate - if ever - to celebrate the death of an enemy? My question is inspired by last night's news of the death of Osama Bin Laden, naturally, as well as ...
6
votes
3answers
220 views

Cities of Refuge when Moshiach comes?

Why do we need Cities of Refuge when Moshiach comes if at that time there will be no more death?
5
votes
2answers
437 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
273 views

Do Animals Have an Afterlife

What does Torah say about an afterlife for animals? Is there somewhere animals go after they die? Please include the sources of your answers.
5
votes
1answer
229 views

Why did Miriam die in the desert?

We are told why Moshe and Aharon passed away in the desert (Bamidbar 20:12), but we are not told why Miriam died. According to Rashi (Bamidbar 1:49, 26:64), only the men who were counted in the ...
5
votes
1answer
183 views

How to handle cadavers

My fiancée is going to university, working towards a degree in dentistry. For about a year, she will be required to handle cadavers in the classes. First of all, is this forbidden in Torah? Secondly, ...
5
votes
1answer
156 views

Postmortem organ donation in halacha

I know we generally accord respect to our dead, which includes not mangling their bodies. On the other hand, obviously saving lives is more important than, well, almost anything, including respect for ...
5
votes
2answers
162 views

How to reconcile conflicting statements on martyrs feeling pain

According to the Maharam M'Rotenberg (explained in this answer) martyrs don't feel the pain of death. How then can we understand these following medrashim? When R' Chanina ben Tradyoin was being ...
5
votes
1answer
219 views

Kohen following a Mes into a tunnel

We know a Kohen can not be in the same ohel as a dead person. From what I learned, a moving vehicle does not block the tumah from coming into the car/van/plane etc. So, if one is traveling in a ...
4
votes
2answers
137 views

Does “die” in Bereishit 2:17 imply the *beginning* of a process death, or simply *death*?

It is true that Adam and Eve didn’t die the exact day they ate, as some seem to think Genesis 2:17 implies. The Hebrew is die-die (muwth-muwth), which is often translated as “surely die” or ...
3
votes
1answer
77 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?
3
votes
2answers
109 views

Leather and vegetarianism according to Rav Kook?

According to Rav Kook, it is ideal to be a vegetarian. This is because he assumes G-d would not create a world in which creatures could not exist in harmony (see linked article) and therefore this ...
3
votes
2answers
160 views

Specific things to do when a Gadol passes away

Are there are any Segulot, Tefilot, Limudim brought down in the Sefarim for the passing of the Sadik HaDor?
3
votes
2answers
154 views

If Sarah's Death is a “Merit” for Cheshvan, Why Isn't Moshe's Death a “Merit” for Adar?

When I was young(er) I used to listen to to Toravision's Purim Story tape. (Yeah, I know, I'm dating myself.) It's a great tape, and the older I've gotten, the more it's amazed me how close the tape ...
2
votes
3answers
746 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?
2
votes
0answers
135 views

Is a Jew able to go hunting?

What is the Halacha in regard to whether or not a person can go hunting? What have Poskim said on this issue?
1
vote
1answer
83 views

Should we really say kaddish for twelve months for a parent?

Is Kaddish really twelve months for a parent? When I said Kaddish for my father fifty years ago I read in the prayer book at the Chevra Kaddisha Bnai Jacob in Montreal that it should only be for ...
0
votes
1answer
31 views

Age range of meisei midbar

The dor hamidbar was cursed to die before entering the land. Children under 20 were not included in the curse. Was there an upper limit to the age of those who died in the desert?
0
votes
3answers
114 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
113 views

Questions surrounding Bilam's death

In Parshas Matos (Bamidbar 31:8) it says וְאֵת בִּלְעָם בֶּן-בְּעוֹר הָרְגוּ בֶּחָרֶב. Did Bilam do anything to avoid getting killed? What did he do? And who actually killed him?
-1
votes
6answers
480 views

Can God destroy Himself?

I was thinking about it lately. If God can do everything, can He destroy Himself? Is there something about this possibility in any of the holy books?
-2
votes
4answers
103 views

What does Mot Yumat mean?

In the chumash, any sources. What is the literal translation and does it mean, mot = this world, yumat = the next world?