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

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How many years before Yakov did Rochel die?

The torah teaches us that when Binyomin was born to Yakov, his wife Rochel died. How old was Yakov Avinu when Rochel died and how many years was that before his petira?
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2answers
123 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 ...
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2answers
941 views

Are there burial requirements for pets?

Halacha requires certain burial practices for people, because people are special. Are there any requirements or, especially, prohibitions regarding pets who have died? Is it acceptable to cremate ...
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2answers
149 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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1answer
52 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 ...
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289 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.
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419 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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102 views

Who killed Shaul?

Ⅰ Sh'muel 31:3–5: וַתִּכְבַּד הַמִּלְחָמָה אֶל שָׁאוּל…. וַיֹּאמֶר שָׁאוּל לְנֹשֵׂא כֵלָיו שְׁלֹף חַרְבְּךָ וְדָקְרֵנִי בָהּ… וְלֹא אָבָה נֹשֵׂא כֵלָיו כִּי יָרֵא מְאֹד וַיִּקַּח שָׁאוּל אֶת ...
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909 views

Tzar Balay Chaim- Killing Pests?

Are you allowed to kill flies and other pests (mice, mosquitoes, etc.) or would that go under the prohibition of Tzar Balay Chaim?
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270 views

sheidim, servant of satan, death on sight, duck feet?

Are sheidim servants of satan? Will you really die if you see it's true form? And do they really have chicken feet?
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93 views

Why should God punish the firstborn of another nation that was in Egypt?

The Pasuk describes the victims of the plague of the firstborn as follows: It came to pass at midnight, and the Lord smote every firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who ...
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43 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?
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194 views

Burial on Yom Tov Sheni

If someone passes away on the first day of Yom Tov - should the burial be done on Yom Tov Sheni? How is it done?
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1answer
73 views

What to do to fill the void when a Torah giant dies

I want to do something to fill the void left in the world from the passing of a Torah Giant. All the Torah that he learnt, all the Mitzvos that he did, all the merit that this world had because of him ...
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229 views

Sadducee kohanim gedolim dying on yom kippur

There were a few hundred kohanim gedolim in the second bais hamikdosh many of whom died on 'the job' on yom kippur in the holy of holies. Knowing this, what induced them to become a kohen godol which ...
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202 views

Learning near a dead body

May a person learn torah near a dead body? Does it matter if the corpse is Jewish or not? Please cite sources.
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35 views

Sitting shiva upon the death of excommunicated individuals?

If a Minudeh (excommunicated individual) dies, does his or her family sit shiva for them? Does it matter whether they previously mourned this individual as part of the excommunication process?
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62 views

If I'll tell you I'll have to kill you, maybe even then not

Can one tell Lashon Hara to someone about to die? It won't spread any further. Do poskim discuss this?
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1answer
215 views

Resuscitation of Aged Nursing Home Patients

Recently, there was a story about an 87-year-old woman who suffered a heart attack in a nursing home. The nursing home called 911 and the dispatcher begged the nurse to do CPR on the patient until the ...
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1answer
77 views

Adam and the tree of life?

I have been considering Adam and what G-d said about Adam pertaining to the tree of life directly after the fall. After Adam had transgressed, G-d commanded that the tree of life be withheld from him ...
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91 views

Does killing a pest make a person unclean?

I know there were previous questions asking whether it is OK to kill a pest, say a fly, but the consequences are unclear. So I'm asking if killing a pest makes a person unclean.
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83 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?
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181 views

What is the Tuma status of food which touched a corpse?

In general (DeOraisa), when Tumah spreads it lowers itself by a level. Moreover, a Keli can't make a Keli Tamei, nor can a food item make another food item Tamei (at least by Chullin). So a ...
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32 views

The Impurity of Teeth

In Bemidbar 19:16, the Torah mentions impurity conveyed by a person's bone. From this, the gemara learns out that those parts of a corpse that convey impurity are those parts that are like a bone in ...
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65 views

Proof that calling upon deceased righteous people is polythiesm

My assumption is that in the Jewish faith, if someone were to call upon a righteous person who is not alive for help, that would be considered polytheism. Are there any explicit verses in the Torah ...
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45 views

Location for medrash cited by the Chizkuni

The Chizkuni in Parshas Achrei Mos 16:22 writes that the ish iti (the person who would take the goat to har azazel) would not live through the year. He cites from a medrash that the person knew he was ...
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56 views

How to handle cadavers which are highly likely to be Jewish

This question How to handle cadavers asked what should be done where a student had to handle cadavers in their medical (dentistry) classes. A comment took the view that outside of Israel, the ...
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61 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 ...
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83 views

Death penalty convict status

If a Jewish woman is married to a Jewish man, and she has been sentenced to death or declared a resident of a Rebellious City, but not yet been executed, is she considered technically "dead" to the ...
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67 views

Can people in heaven see our world? [duplicate]

Do people who have died and are in heaven have the possibility to see our world? E.g. can my grandmother who passed away last year see me?
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128 views

How can saying vidui for a dying person substitute for his own confession?

The Mishna at Sanhedrin 6:2 says that anyone who confesses his sins before dying has a share in the World to Come. The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch at 193:13 says that when visiting a sick person who is ...
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118 views

Should I rend k'riyah if I witness the death of a non-relative? If so, what's the procedure?

In another question, Chalutznahal cites Yoreh De'ah 40:5, which says that when I witness a fellow Jew die, I must rend my shirt out of sadness. And British Rabbi Dr. Moshe Freedman brings this down as ...
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311 views

Kaddish for non-blood relatives

Does one say kaddish for a non-blood relative such as (chas v'shalom) a daughter-in-law? I know that a husband says kaddish when the parent of his wife passes away, but my understanding is that this ...
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304 views

Does Kiddushin 81b imply that one opinion allows for suicide if that is the only way to keep from sinning?

The Gemoro in Kiddushin 81b brings down the following (shortened version of the) story: Rabbi Chiya Bar Ashi used to say 'May God save me from the Yetzer Hora'! When his wife overheard him she ...
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153 views

Why is it called parshas Chayei Sarah

2 Weeks ago was Parshas Chayei Sarah, and in the beginning for the first Alia (portion) it spoke about how Abraham buried Sarah.And then for the next 6 Alia's it speaks about Yitzchok and the whole ...
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827 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?
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166 views

How many people died before Pinchas killed Zimri?

In the mass death at the end of Parashas Balak, how many people died before Pinchas killed Zimri?
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2answers
88 views

Did Pharaoh himself drown at Yam Suf

It would appear from the text that he did. Firstly the fact he was there, and leading the army himself: (Exodus 14 verse 10) with Rashi Pharaoh drew near, and the children of Israel lifted up ...
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2answers
112 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 ...
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85 views

The משלח is dead, long live the משלח!

Tosfos (Gittin 13a, s.v. לא יתנו) write that דאע"ג שמינה המגרש בחייו השליח לא חשיב להיות כמותו אחר מותו כאילו הוא עצמו קיים אלא חשיב גט לאחר מיתה Even though the husband appointed his ...
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2answers
788 views

If a widow married the brother of her deceased husband

If a widow married the brother of her deceased husband so the deceased husband can have children in the deceased husband's name, then how does the brother have any children in his own name?
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1answer
148 views

Innocent babies killed in flood

In Parasha Noach, why were presumably innocent babies killed in the Flood? I would appreciate if someone could provide some elucidation.
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1answer
97 views

Is a Jewish med student allowed to use body parts donated to science?

Would you be required to refuse to work on bodies donated to science for educational purposes?
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1answer
175 views

Is it necessary to buy a burial plot while still alive?

Must someone buy a burial plot while still alive? Moreover, is doing so a segula to stay alive or the opposite? The segula can be because he shows he believes in life after death and does not want to ...
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1answer
48 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 ...
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2answers
73 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?
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1answer
147 views

Adom eating from tree of knowledge

Why didn't Adom eat from the tree of life first and then eat from the tree of knowledge so he can live forever? Do any Medorshim discuss this?
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2answers
176 views

Geihinom and Gan Eden

What are Gohenom and Gan Eden? Is it common to go to Gohenom before Gan Eden?
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1answer
52 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?
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208 views

Are there any early mentions of the concept of “l'iluy nishmas”?

On his Rationalist Judaism blog, R' Natan Slifkin posed this question: I am very interested to know if there are any early mentions of the phrase "l'iluy nishmas" or the concept thereof. (I am not ...