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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
336 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
538 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
918 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
6k 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
335 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
144 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?
10
votes
2answers
206 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
4answers
279 views

Cremations for Jews?

Why shouldn't Jews be cremated?
9
votes
3answers
311 views

Just how overpriced was Efron's burial cave anyway?

In B'reishit 23 Avraham pays 400 shekels to Efron for the cave of Machpelah. This seems to be an enormous amount of money and Rashi suggests it's even worse than it appears (referring to larger ...
9
votes
1answer
423 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 ...
9
votes
0answers
174 views

Can a Jew who dies on Mars be buried there?

Recently, the news has been talking about sending people on a 1-way trip to Mars. AFAIK, no Jews have applied or are scheduled to make the trip. B"H, because I see all sorts of interesting halachic ...
8
votes
2answers
282 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?
8
votes
4answers
81 views

Why are Bikkurim and burial different from each other?

In this week's 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Ripping out a blade of grass by a funeral?

At my great-uncle's funeral today, all of the participants (except the mourners) were told to rip out a blade of grass and say a passuk (I don't remember which). Is this a Jewish minhag? If so, what ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Washing Hands post Funeral

What is the proper way to wash after a Funeral or a visit to the Cemetery?
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
252 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
170 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 ...
7
votes
0answers
87 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
1answer
111 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
248 views

How to be prepared for participation in the Chevra Kaddisha

What are some things that I (or anyone) should take into consideration before participating in a tahara, the ritual preparation of a body for burial?
6
votes
1answer
97 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
431 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
1answer
774 views

Can non Jews be buried in a Jewish Cemetery?

Can a non Jew be buried in a Jewish Cemetery under any circumstances?
5
votes
2answers
145 views

Childrens' Tombstones

Why are childrens' tombstones smaller than those of adults?
5
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?
5
votes
1answer
60 views

Chevra Kadisha knots

I recently did a tahara and I was curious about where a lot of the practices came from and what the meaning behind them is. One thing we did was that when we tied any knots, we twist-wrapped the two ...
5
votes
1answer
186 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
206 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
2answers
102 views

Burying face down in Judaism

I understand in other cultures burying face down is a sign of disgrace and is generally frowned upon. How is it viewed in Judaism? Is the position of the body at burial of concern? If a body is buried ...
5
votes
0answers
73 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
207 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
141 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
100 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
54 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
473 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?
4
votes
1answer
67 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
1answer
69 views

Does a meis mitzvah acquire the land he's on even in the Temple?

I'd like to understand the concept of meis mitzvah a bit better. Specifically: there is a decree that a meis mitzvah acquires the place he or she is on to be buried there, even if it is private ...
4
votes
0answers
38 views

Burial Pod- Kosher?

So I just saw this on Facebook [warning: some links at the bottom of the page contain imagery which is not tzanua] In short, this mentions a concept in which the body of the deceased is put into a ...
4
votes
0answers
83 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
133 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
119 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
954 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
687 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
227 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
87 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
123 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
2answers
132 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
319 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 ...