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19

A less poetic but more probable explanation than the one SimchasTorah linked to... Dates back to when grave markers were cairns, which is the biblical meaning of the word "matzeivah" (before we shifted it to mean tombstone). A cairn is a pile of stone. With rain and wind, the pile would shrink. So, out of respect for the deceased, so they not be forgotten, ...


15

R' Yehosef Schwartz, in his Tevuos HaAretz (composed in the 1840s), writes (translation from here): Twenty-five miles southeast of Baal-bek is the village Sachala, where the inhabitants point out a monument, which they allege to mark the grave of Noah. That, however, but little faith can be placed in such like popular legends, will appear ...


13

From the Be'er Heiteiv, Orach Chaim 224:8: מה שתולשין עשב או צרור ומשימין על םצבה אינו אלא משום כבוד המת להראות שהוא על קברו. Translated, That one takes up grass or a stone and places it on the grave marker is simply to accord honor to the deceased; to show that one has been present at the grave. Quoted in the "laws" section of the OU/Artscroll ...


11

The Shulchan Aruch rules (YD 373:2) that the prohibition of contracting impurity from a corpse does not apply to female descendants of Kohanim. His source is the Mishna in Kiddushin 1:7 which lists 3 biblical prohibitions which do not apply to females: this one, destroying the 5 corners of one's beard, and rounding off the corners of one's hair ("peyos").


9

See Yoreh Deah 362 Pischei Teshuva #1 were it seems amputated organs need not be buried, but consult your LOR (local orthodox Rabbi). Also see Kesuvos 20b where the custom is to bury amputated organs.


9

Anything which can contract impurity cannot block impurity from passing through it (Megillah 26b, Shulchan Aruch YD 371:1). A vessel can only contract impurity if it is made from cloth, sackcloth, leather, bone, wood, metal, or earthenware (Rambam Keilim 1:1, see Leviticus 11:32-33 and Numbers 31:22). Plastic therefore cannot contract impurity, so it can ...


7

Orach Chaim 224:12 Beer Haitaiv 8 says the reason that either grass or stone is placed on the grave is as a honor for the person buried there, as it shows that people came to his grave. There is no mention as to placing more than or less than one.


7

The source of the name Maaras Hamachpeila could shed some light on this question. - According to one opinion in Eiruvin 53a, either Rav or Shmuel (the Gemara doesn't say which one said it) says the cave is named because it is "doubled with couples" i.e. there are many couples there. This would seem to imply that its main significance is who is buried there. ...


6

Nitei Gavriel Hilchos Aveilos 2 - 88:5 mentions that some people have a Minhag if they have not gone for 10 years to their parents grave not to go anymore. Then he goes on to say that there are those who after 7 years of not going to their parents grave do not go anymore. And he concludes that there are those who are not concerned about this at all. Sources ...


6

First of all, I am not aware of any actual halachic source that states that a suicide is to be buried separately from the main Jewish cemetery. If anyone knows of a source for this, please let me know. In any event, while many of the halachos of mourning do not apply in the case of suicide (Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 345), this is only true if the person ...


6

Gittin 61 Says we bury the dead of non-Jews with dead of Jews. (קוברים מתי עכו"ם עם מתי ישראל). This is mipnei darkei shalom Rashi there comments that the gemarra shouldn't be understood as "with" literally, but "also" like we bury our own, when we find them together. Rambam brings gemarra down as is. Tur brings down gemarra and Rashi. Beis Yosef notes ...


6

The She'arim Metzuyanim BaHalachah (128:12) writes that the custom not to visit your father's grave after not seeing him for seven years has no basis in halachah, and we even have a proof to the opposite from the Zohar.


6

Chayim K'halacha question 223 - Rabbi Boruch Shlomo Blizinsky - says a Kohain may go on the paths that lead to Auschwitz however may not enter the area where the incinerators are.


5

There are many different customs with regards to visiting graves. The biography prefacing Igros Moshe volume 8 writes that Rabbi Moshe Feinstein didn't visit his father's grave -- "not the custom of Volozhin." Yet years later, when Rabbi Feinstein knew he would soon be leaving Eastern Europe for good, he traveled to his father's grave to say goodbye.


5

A family member was in an accident and there were unidentifiable pieces of flesh and skin preserved in formaldehyde which a rav told us must be buried. so the chevra kadisha did it for us. i dont know about internal organs but I've never heard of burying that.


5

The Chevra Kadisha in Yerushalayim strictly does not allow a person's children or grandchildren to be present at his burial. This is based on non-halachic, Kabbalistic considerations. This is not because of anything the son may have done, but because the person who passed away may be guilty of certain sins. In any case, I have never heard of this minhag ...


4

The Chochmas Adam (Issur v'Heter, 89:7) decries the practice of going to a gravesite and unburdening oneself to the deceased by telling them about one's problems. However, he writes, this is not strictly a violation of consulting with the dead (see Deut. 18:11) since the communication is understood to go only one-way.


4

In order to prevent Tuma from rising, you need a Tefach space covered by a roof. To achieve this for a bridge, you use the כיפין על גבי כיפין concept, as described by the Para Aduma ceremony, where they had a bridge from the Temple Mount to Har Hazeitim: מסכת פרה - פרק ג - משנה ו וְכֶבֶשׁ הָיוּ עוֹשִׂים מֵהַר הַבַּיִת לְהַר הַמִּשְׁחָה, כִּפִּין ...


3

The majority opinion follows Rabbi Yechezkel ben Yehuda Landau (1713 – 1793) opinion at Noda B’Yehuda I, Yoreh Deah (YD) 90, who holds that the mitzvah to bury separated body parts is required only of people who are dead, because it would be a disgrace not to. Rav Moshe Feinstein (1895-1986), however, held that even the body parts of living people must be ...


3

YU Torah online has an extensive document on death and mourning. In Section 12, 36 קבורת משומד it quotes a. Iggros Moshe – he deals with a woman who converted to Christian Science. The question is if she can be buried in a Jewish cemetery. i. We can’t say that she was “crazy” because even though all forms of Avodah Zarah are crazy they are ...


3

Jews often pray at the graves of righteous people. One popular site, for example, is Me'aras HaMachpelah, the biblical grave of many of the forefathers. It seems that Muslims also pray there, though perhaps don't use the place as a mosque. However, praying to a person is absolutely forbidden as much as idolatry. If there are any historical accounts of a Jew ...


3

I don't see why there would be a problem with non-Jews tending to Jewish graves if, as it says in Shulchan Aruch Orach Chayim Siman 526 (especially Se'if 4), non-Jews do the burying of Jews on Yom Tov.


3

Practices vary. Suicide is a very complex subject; traditionally we'd apply every benefit of the doubt ("we assume he fell, not jumped"), and today when we add in mental-health issues it's even more complicated. On this one all I can say is consult a rabbi on a case-by-case basis, and we pray not to have such cases. My impression is that most synagogues ...


3

I found this: http://books.google.com/books?id=f83YJDHRZycC&pg=PA70 And this: http://www.judaicseminar.org/halakhot/father_burial.htm May a son attend the burial of his father? I have been told there is a problem of shedim. Is this possible? Rabbi Shamah's response: Although some discourage a son from attending his father's burial, this is a ...


3

I don't definitively know the answer to this, but it sounds quite a bit like the procedure of the person who has to escort the goat 'L'Azazel' to the cliff and throw it off during Yom Kippur. In that instance, the person selected has to walk miles in the desert to get to said cliff. The person passes a series of booths (stationed a mil apart - about half a ...


3

It's actually not a universal custom (even among Ashkenazim) to use a kittel in burial. R' Yechiel Michel Tykoczinski, in his Gesher Hachaim (27:4), writes that the custom in the Land of Israel is specifically not to do so, as there is a specific number and list of pieces of clothing used for burial shrouds that should not be changed.


3

They're similar, but not necessarily identical. I've heard in some German communities, the groom is presented with his burial shrouds as a wedding present by his in-laws elect! But usually today, what I heard from someone in a Chevra Kadisha (Jewish burial society) has a bunch of standard garments. They recite the verse about the Cohen wearing his ...


3

See שו"ת שואל ומשיב מהדו"ג ח"ב סי' מג, who addresses this issue--seemingly there is a problem of אהל זרוק לא שמיה אהל, which would mean that the train would not "interrupt" the טומאה. However, the שואל ומשיב says that something which is made to move would be considered an אהל, in which case the train would be block the טומאה. The חזון איש יו"ד סי' ריא ...


3

Before Rosh Hashanah, and especially on the day before the holiday begins, it is a long-standing custom to visit gravesites and to exhort the tzadikim there to intercede for us on the day of judgement. However, we do not direct our prayers toward the dead who rest there; rather, we implore G-d to have mercy on us for their sake. (Kitzur Shulchan ...



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