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14
votes
5answers
2k views

Can you be buried in a Jewish Cemetery if you have a tattoo?

Can you be buried in a Jewish Cemetery if you have a tattoo? I.e., is it just urban legend that you can't?
14
votes
3answers
316 views

May a Jewish cemetery refuse a body?

Based on a recent news item wherein cemeteries have been refusing to inter the body of one of the (alleged) Boston bombers, I am curious whether a Jewish cemetery's operators are allowed to refuse to ...
13
votes
1answer
459 views

According to Halacha, does one have to bury teeth?

Is there a halachic obligation to bury teeth that have fallen out, just as one buries other body parts that become detached? If not, why? Does the same apply to detached skin? Or hair? Related: Do ...
11
votes
7answers
721 views

Do surgically removed body parts require Kevurah?

If one has surgery (may it never be necessary) that requires the removal of an organ of the body (e.g. a gallbladder or appendix), is burial required? Or can the body part simply be discarded?
10
votes
3answers
5k views

“How long is a Jewish funeral?”

A non-Jewish co-worker who was invited to a Jewish funeral asked me how long they typically are. I told her that, thank God, I hadn't been to many, but my understanding is that they probably vary a ...
10
votes
7answers
307 views

Why was Moshe buried alone?

Why did Hashem bury Moshe in an unknown place, and did not do so with other great Tzadikim like Avraham, Yitchak and Yaakov?
10
votes
1answer
130 views

What does a tahara accomplish for a dead person?

What does a tahara, the process of washing and dressing a dead person, accomplish spiritually for the meis?
9
votes
4answers
262 views

Cremations for Jews?

Why shouldn't Jews be cremated?
9
votes
2answers
189 views

Can one write one's own Hespid?

Tragically, I have an incurable disease and have little time left. I have told a number of friends about this and said good-bye to them in an email. In return, I have received a number of emails ...
9
votes
1answer
376 views

What happened to the Jewish practice of using burial caves?

A three-part question about funerary practices. In ancient times, Jews used to bury people for a year or two, then, after the body decomposed, collect their bones and put them in a family cave. In ...
8
votes
2answers
251 views

Closed caskets for Jewish burials

In the United States (and possibly other countries), what are the reasons behind Jewish funerals always having closed caskets?
7
votes
1answer
189 views

Burying on shelves, one on top of the other

Recently I read an article regarding burial in Israel. There seems to be a shortage of graves and therefore there are those that are using this method of burying 4 deep underground in order to ...
7
votes
1answer
157 views

What is the significance of the skull of Araunah the Yevusi?

Araunah the Yevusi sells the land upon which the beis hamikdash will eventually be built to Dovid HaMelech (II Shemuel 24:18). Subsequently his skull is found underneath the mizbeach at least twice ...
6
votes
1answer
101 views

Do cremated remains contaminate with tumas mes?

If a body is cremated, do the ashes transmit tumah as do other human remains, or does cremation render the body no longer tamei?
6
votes
1answer
93 views

burying the dead in Jerusholaim - 1948

The Rambam (Beis Habechira 7 14) rules that one may not bury people in the old city of Yerushlaim. What did they do during the siege in 1948 when they couldn't leave the old city? Where did they bury ...
6
votes
2answers
279 views

What is appropriate covering for non-Jewish men at a Jewish funeral?

I am going to the funeral of a close friend's sister; the family is Jewish. In the funeral notice it states: "Gentlemen please wear head covering". My question is: what is an appropriate covering ...
6
votes
2answers
892 views

Washing Hands post Funeral

What is the proper way to wash after a Funeral or a visit to the Cemetery?
6
votes
1answer
572 views

Can non Jews be buried in a Jewish Cemetery?

Can a non Jew be buried in a Jewish Cemetery under any circumstances?
6
votes
1answer
178 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
0answers
79 views

Onen and Meis Mitzvah

If an onen comes across a mas mitzvah (let's assume there is either another person to be involved with the onen's personal mas or there is more time to be involved with his mas later), is the onen ...
6
votes
2answers
54 views

Why are Bikkurim and burial different from each other?

In this weeks parsha we read about the mitzvah of Bikkurim. The Torah tells us to bring our first fruits of the season to the Beit Hamikdash, and offer it to the Kohanim. We are also told that the ...
5
votes
1answer
171 views

Travel on same plane as body to Israel?

After a recent death here in South Africa it arose in conversation that there is a problem for mourners to fly on the same plane as the body to its burial in Israel. Aside from Kehuna issues (which ...
5
votes
2answers
202 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
69 views

Why is Shimshon buried “in the grave of his father” and not father and mother?

Nearly everywhere in the story of Samson, more than in most stories in Tanakh, both parents are mentioned quite frequently. Leading up to birth, both parents share about equal page-time. After ...
4
votes
2answers
137 views

Childrens' Tombstones

Why are childrens' tombstones smaller than those of adults?
4
votes
1answer
2k views

How long does one say Kaddish for a parent?

For example, if one's parent died on 1 Nissan, and was buried on 2 Nissan, what is the last day on which kaddish would be said for them?
4
votes
1answer
82 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
39 views

Why did Esav care about burial in machpelah?

The midrash records that Esav tried to stop Yaakov from being buried in the cave of machpelah. I would like to know if any commentators explain why Esav would care about this? I recall hearing that he ...
4
votes
1answer
49 views

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 ...
4
votes
0answers
67 views

What constitutes a “Hesped” (eulogy)?

There are certain dates throughout the year when one may not give a "Hesped" (eulogy) because of a certain level of happiness associated with those dates. However, I've attended funerals conducted on ...
4
votes
0answers
93 views

After-death care of a non-Jewish relative

If a Jew has been entrusted with the after-death care of a non-Jewish relative, what should be done? Specifically, if the non-Jewish relative requested to be cremated after death, can or should a Jew ...
3
votes
1answer
588 views

Traditions what to do with removed foreskin

In Germany we recently started a debate, whether foreskin-amputation of children (not only Jews, but Muslims as well) has to be forbidden according to our fundamental laws. Some magazine illustrated ...
3
votes
2answers
174 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
515 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
213 views

What are the oldest known Jewish graves/tombs?

I was thinking about old Jewish graves. Certainly there's Ma'aras HaMachpeila in Chevron (was that continuously identified by Jews, or did our identification rely on Arabs' identification) and the ...
3
votes
1answer
79 views

Rosh hashana: is it really two days?

Regarding the chagim (festivals), we know that a chag is really one day (not including the rabbinic chag a/k/a yom tov sheini). However, for Rosh hashana, Israelis observe a two day festival. So is ...
3
votes
1answer
82 views

What is to be done with a Sefer Torah written by an apikoreis, or by a soffer of unknown apikoreis-status?

What is to be done with a Sefer Torah written by an apikoreis, or by a soffer of unknown apikoreis-status (whether it be a question of the status of the soffer who wrote it, or if it is unknown who ...
3
votes
1answer
136 views

Are we supposed to say “go…” when parting from the dead?

The g'mara on B'rachot 64a quotes R. Avin Halevi as saying that when we depart from a person we should say "go to peace" (like Yitro to Moshe), not "go in peace" (like David to Avshalom), but that ...
3
votes
2answers
112 views

Burial in Kittel

There is a custom for men to wear a Kittel, a special white robe, on the High Holidays and at the Pesach Seder. Also, a Kittel is one of the traditional Jewish burial garments. The same word is used ...
3
votes
2answers
238 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
88 views

Source for story of rabbi's claiming land said “you're both mine”

I heard the following story recently (though I paraphrase, and may have some details wrong): When Rabbi M'nachem Perr lived in Queens, New York, he had an Italian, non-Jewish neighbor who, during ...
3
votes
2answers
158 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?
3
votes
1answer
150 views

Where are Bilhah and Zilpa buried?

Where are Bilhah and Zilpa buried?
3
votes
1answer
229 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?
3
votes
1answer
421 views

Going to a levayah (funeral)

Can I get some info on meaning or purpose of attending a levayah of someone you knew? Like what's the idea behind it?
3
votes
1answer
131 views

Eating for strength to bury on Tisha B' Av

Can one (halachically) eat to have the strength to dig a grave for a recently passed away Jew? Assume you can't pay a gentile to do it for you.
3
votes
1answer
97 views

Burial of Children

Why is it customary to bury children on the outskirts or in a separate section of the cemetery?
3
votes
0answers
113 views

Parent dying overseas - visit now or attend funeral?

A person lives far away from a dying parent and cannot afford more than one visit. What do the halachic sources say about when they should visit? Should they visit the parent immediately and miss the ...
2
votes
1answer
62 views

Jewish headstone abbreviation

What does פ"נ on a Jewish headstone stand for? I have seen it on many stones, seems to be a common occurrence.
2
votes
1answer
120 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 ...