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16
votes
1answer
764 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 ...
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
366 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 ...
12
votes
7answers
2k 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?
12
votes
1answer
396 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 ...
11
votes
7answers
429 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?
11
votes
5answers
389 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
8k 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
4answers
340 views

Cremations for Jews?

Why shouldn't Jews be cremated?
10
votes
1answer
157 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
231 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
496 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
301 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
2answers
671 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
92 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
110 views

Onen and Meis Mitzvah

If an onen comes across a meis mitzvah (let's assume there is either another person to be involved with the onen's personal meis or there is more time to be involved with his meis later), is the onen ...
7
votes
2answers
2k 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
2k views

Washing Hands post Funeral

What is the proper way to wash after a Funeral or a visit to the Cemetery?
7
votes
1answer
277 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
382 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
184 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
135 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
261 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
102 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
1answer
1k 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
161 views

Childrens' Tombstones [closed]

Why are childrens' tombstones smaller than those of adults?
5
votes
1answer
3k 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
90 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
2answers
123 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
64 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
202 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
3answers
137 views

Could a Cohen burn a body to escape the impurity?

Excuse the extreme hypothetical, but: If a Cohen were locked in a room with no windows and a dead body, and just so happened to have lighter fluid and a pack of matches (and there were small holes in ...
5
votes
2answers
215 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
285 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
1answer
78 views

If shaimos are buried in the same grave as a person, where should they be placed?

I have heard that it has become customary for some people to bury shaimos (holy items such as unusable mezuzah parchments) in a grave together with the coffin as a person is being buried. I am ...
5
votes
0answers
181 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
188 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
101 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 birth,...
4
votes
2answers
266 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
152 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
114 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
231 views

Where are Bilhah and Zilpa buried?

Where are Bilhah and Zilpa buried?
4
votes
1answer
559 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
71 views

Why are Mordechai and Esther buried in Hamedan, considering it is distant from Shushan?

According to Google Maps, Hamedan is about 470 KM from Shush, the Biblical town of Shushan. If Mordechai and Esther lived in Shushan (where Esther served as Queen), why were they buried so far away ...
4
votes
2answers
100 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
74 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
101 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
1answer
70 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?
4
votes
0answers
66 views

Should we ask a non-Jew to wear a kippa for a burial?

Should we ask a non-Jew to wear a kippa for a burial? He likely doesn't have an obligation to do so. We often ask them in a synagogue (and this answer discusses the reasons) but what about a cemetery?
4
votes
0answers
51 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 ...