Larger question: Is one allowed to derive benefit from a dead body?

A couple of qualifiers:

  • obviously if there would be zilzul to the dead body in any form of course the answer would be no
  • medical students operating on a cadaver doesn't seem to really be "hana'ah" so doesn't seem like a strong proof

The example that came to mind would be a sheitel.
Would one be allowed to wear a sheitel that was taken from the hair of a human corpse?

  • 1
    For all I know, hair may be more lenient than, say, flesh.
    – msh210
    Commented Mar 19, 2019 at 20:34
  • 1
    Better yet what about a Shetel that was worn by a corpse?
    – Double AA
    Commented Mar 19, 2019 at 20:34
  • Hair is also interesting because it doesn't seem to be alive, but not sure if that metzius would have an impact l'halacha tho (based off a google search: "is hair dead")
    – alicht
    Commented Mar 19, 2019 at 20:38
  • Look back at the siman n sif u quoted. The rama clearly states that a wig would be fine to use. @DoubleAA
    – Moshe
    Commented Jun 2, 2019 at 3:26

2 Answers 2


It is forbidden to derive benefit from a corpse, including its hair, even if the deceased commanded before dying that certain parts be given away for use. (Shulchan Aruch YD 349:2)

  • 3
    it should be noted that the Rambam disagrees regarding hair ,Avel 14:21
    – sam
    Commented Mar 19, 2019 at 23:44

Yes. (ודוקא כשהם קשורים בשערות גופן אבל אינן קשורים מותר (כך משמע מפרש"י פ"ק דערכין) .Only when not fastened at all, i.e., it (the wig) hangs on a peg or hook, is it permitted. See Rama - S"A 349:2

  • האשה שנהרגה נהנין בשערה, ואמאי, איסורי הנאה נינהו... אמר רב בפאה נכרית... (ערכין ז ב)
    – Moshe
    Commented Jun 21, 2021 at 20:50

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