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

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3
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41 views

How can Nefesh mean a dead person?

In Vayikra 21:1 it's stated that one should not defile himself for any (dead) 'nefesh' person... How can a word like Nefesh which seems to be the force that animated the body and gave it it's life, ...
2
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2answers
147 views

dying person reciting shema

I have read a few times about people reciting the shema before dying. what is the reason for this and does it have any basis in halacha.
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1answer
34 views

Are there any statements in ancient Jewish literature that refer to the dead as being like angels?

Are there any statements in ancient Jewish literature that refer to the dead as being like angels?
3
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1answer
54 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 ...
6
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0answers
38 views

If someone is halachically dead and then resuscitated, does his wife need a get to be divorced (is she already a widow)? [duplicate]

If someone is considered halichically dead (apparently this is somewhat of a dispute), and then he is "brought back" through modern day medical techniques, does his wife need a get to be divorced, or ...
6
votes
2answers
88 views

Can one be liable for death by delivering upsetting news?

In Parshas Chayei Sarah (23:2), Rashi quotes Bereishis Rabbah (58:5) that the reason the Parsha of Sarah's death is juxtaposed to Akeidas Yitzchak is: לספוד לשרה ולבכתה: ונסמכה מיתת שרה לעקידת ...
3
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2answers
72 views

who makes brocha by bar mitzva if no dad?

If someone's father passed away, who makes the brocha of baruch shepotrani when he gets his aliya at the torah by his bar mitzva?
2
votes
1answer
57 views

Why do we cut the tzitzit out of a tallit for a dead person?

I have seen that when one of our community elder died and when they put on tallit they cut out the tzitzit part and let him put only the garment. Why is this done to a dead person? Is there a source ...
4
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2answers
99 views

Is there a halachic objection to human composting?

I just had a discussion with a friend about this organization, which proposes to inter human bodies in a giant composter (from which the family can retrieve the compost later) instead of burying them ...
3
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1answer
67 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?
6
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3answers
763 views

Wearing a deceased's shoes

A friend of mine asked me if a deceased's shoes should be disposed of, and if so - why.
2
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1answer
39 views

How to determine that someone is a גוסס?

Is there any article or guidebook that tells how to determine that a sick person has reached the stage of being a גוסס (gosess) to the extent that any kohen present should leave? A gosess  is a ...
2
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2answers
44 views

Speaking badly about a deceased person

It seems obvious that one shouldn't speak badly or in a negative way against anyone whether they are living or not. However does it say anywhere that particularly one should be careful about speaking ...
2
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1answer
54 views

Is it permitted to say Dayan Emet for deceased pet?

Judging from a few other posts on Mi Yodeya I am left with the impression we do not say anything for a deceased pet. But asking just to be sure.
2
votes
1answer
77 views

An obligation to intervene?

I was posed a hypothetical question about medical ethics today. I am not looking for a psak as much as for sources on the discussion about halachic responsibility. Case 1: You are personally told by ...
2
votes
3answers
86 views

In Judaism is there a book of the dead?

I am Jewish and I know that in Tibet, in Buddhism, there is a Book of the Dead. It is a text that describes, and is intended to guide one through, the experiences that the consciousness experiences ...
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0answers
830 views

Why do we wish someone “long life” on the occasion of the anniversary of the death of relative?

Why do english-speaking Orthodox Jews in the UK wish someone “long life” on the occasion of the anniversary of the death of relative? I can understand this wish directly after the death when I have ...
8
votes
2answers
598 views

May a non-Jew have an abortion?

Are non-Jews permitted to have abortions? (Consider the gemara in Sanhedrin 57b where "a baraita brings in the name of Rabbi Yishmael that a Ben Noach gets capital punishment if he intentionally ...
2
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0answers
42 views

Understanding Megillah 3a

The gemarah megillah 3a expalians that were it not for the targum we would not understand the verse in Zecharya 12:11 which says there on that day the mourning in Jerusalem was like the mourning of ...
7
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5answers
116 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 ...
7
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0answers
68 views

Post mortem Tahara

I'm looking for sources discussing the religious aspect of the Tahara done on deceased Jews. I recall someone mentioning that the religious aspect of it was a practice we picked up from the Muslims ...
11
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3answers
135 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 ...
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0answers
20 views

Has cryonics been treated in Rabbinic literature? [duplicate]

Has it been treated by rabbinic literature? If yes, what does it say about cryonics?
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2answers
119 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Why do many non-Orthodox Jews come to shul regularly only after a parent's death?

I attend a Conservative / traditional shul. Primarily because of neighborhood demographics (the neighborhood is now largely Orthodox), we have tremendous problems forming a daily minyan. It seems that ...
7
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3answers
198 views

Can one person say Kaddish for two different deceased people?

Can one person say Kaddish for someone at the same time he is saying Kaddish for his parent?
7
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1answer
67 views

Does one violate the Torah prohibition of tormenting a widow if she has remarried?

Does one violate the Torah prohibition (Ex. 22:21) of tormenting a widow if she has remarried? You may be inclined to say that the purpose of the Mitzvah is because she's defenseless and the Torah ...
3
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0answers
48 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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1answer
36 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 ...
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2answers
51 views

Do “blind” and “housebound” define death?

In Rashi on Bereishit 28:13, there is an explanation as to why the text speaks of "the God of Isaac" even though Isaac is still alive. {text and translation from Chabad] } ואלהי יצחק: אף על פי ...
0
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1answer
36 views

Who aside for Avraham and Adam in the torah died prematurely before their destined years?

I know Abraham died early because of Aisuv, Adam because of David. Who aside from them died prematurely, i.e. before their destined years?
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2answers
790 views

Did Abraham know that Lot Survived the Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah?

In last week's Parasha, we all know the story of Abraham arguing with God to have God spare the cities on account of the righteous. However, I haven't heard much about the end of the story. ...
1
vote
1answer
104 views

Would a tattoo of burial wishes ever be permitted?

If a Jewish person, for whatever reason lived alone/in isolation from other Jews/or was not known to many other Jews on his area, would it be permissible for such a person to have their burial wishes ...
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0answers
44 views

What would a Jew be willing to die for? [duplicate]

What things would a Jew be willing to die for? Answers with a textual basis would be preferred.
10
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2answers
636 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 ...
3
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0answers
68 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 ...
8
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1answer
110 views

Why do fish die?

There's an interesting Rashi in Parshas Bereishis (3:6): וַתֵּ֣רֶא הָֽאִשָּׁ֡ה כִּ֣י טוֹב֩ הָעֵ֨ץ לְמַאֲכָ֜ל וְכִ֧י תַֽאֲוָה־ה֣וּא לָעֵינַ֗יִם וְנֶחְמָ֤ד הָעֵץ֙ לְהַשְׂכִּ֔יל וַתִּקַּ֥ח ...
1
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1answer
59 views

Why was King David so sad over Avners death?

At the end of Shmuel 2 chapter 3, Joab kills Avner. Why was King David so upset and sad over his death? From reading the Tanach, it seems as if he barely knew Avner and Avner was not fond of the house ...
9
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2answers
135 views

When saying Shema Yisroel as your last words, should you say “בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד”?

Ad 120 Since the "Baruch shem..." that follows the statement of "Shema yisroel" was collocated to "Shema yisroel" by rabbis, and is subordinate to the extent that we say it in an undertone, must it ...
5
votes
2answers
122 views

Does Judaism require burial of the dead?

Does Judaism require burial of the dead? What Biblical passages mandate that? Can grave sites be reused after some time (e.g. 200 years) ? I am asking this because the practice of burying the dead in ...
3
votes
1answer
37 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?
14
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4answers
934 views

Why do we say “You should live till 120”?

Prior to the Mabul people lived for hundreds of years. After the Mabul lifespans shortened although we see that the Avos lived in the 180 year range. In the Pasuk in Tehilim we say Yemei Shenoseinu ...
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vote
1answer
77 views

When a tzaddik dies, does he leave his positive traits in this world?

I heard it said once that, when a righteous person (tzaddik) passes away, they somehow leave their positive character traits in this world to be used by others. Does anyone know the source for this ...
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0answers
21 views

How did Saul Die- The Amalekite claims to have killed him [duplicate]

In Book 2 of Shmuel chapter 1 The Amalekite that tells David of Sauls death. Did the Amalekite that claimed to have killed Saul tell that to David for his prestige? Why did he claim to have killed ...
6
votes
1answer
47 views

Do lost items belong to someone's heirs?

Let's say you found a dog on the street. You house and feed it, and place posters on the street. Two weeks later, the owner calls and identifies the dog, and plans to come to get it. On the way to ...
11
votes
1answer
281 views

Can Mamzeirim live?

The gemarah in Yevamos (78b) says "mamzer eino chai" (A mamzer [who is not known, look later in the daf] doesn't live [for more than 12 months] so not to proliferate mamzeirim). On the other hand: ...
0
votes
1answer
170 views

Can one say Kaddish for a deceased family member even if their parents are still alive? [duplicate]

If a family member dies without leaving any children to say Kaddish for them, can another family member take on the job of saying Kaddish? Is it permissible even if the parents of the one saying it ...
4
votes
0answers
50 views

What do Jews believe happens to Christians when they die? [duplicate]

I've been reading a lot about Judaism and Christianity lately, and how people say they're completely incompatible, so my question is, given the differences between them, what do Jews think happen to ...
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2answers
60 views

Why didn't Joshua take Prisoners When conquering Israel?

Why didn't Joshua take prisoners when conquering Israel? In Joshua chapter 10 it lists a number of nations that they conquer and kill. In verse 35 it states: [they] destroyed every soul that was ...
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4answers
115 views

What prayer may be said upon the death of a beloved pet, specifically, a dog?

Our beloved Yorkshire Terrier has died, due to complications of old age. What prayer(s) may be said, and, is there any one prayer, in particular, that stands out as the most commonly cited prayer upon ...