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מִבְּשָׂרָם֙ לֹ֣א תֹאכֵ֔לוּ וּבְנִבְלָתָ֖ם לֹ֣א תִגָּ֑עוּ טְמֵאִ֥ים הֵ֖ם לָכֶֽם׃

Don't eat their [non-kosher animals'] meat and don't touch their corpses; they are impure for you

ובנבלתם לא תגעו. יכול יהו ישראל מזהרים על מגע נבלה, תלמוד לומר אמור אל הכהנים וגו' (ויקרא כא א), כהנים מזהרין ואין ישראל מזהרין קל וחמר מעתה ומה טמאת מת חמורה, לא הזהיר בה אלא כהנים, טמאת נבלה קלה לא כל שכן. ומה תלמוד לומר לא תגעו, ברגל. זהו שאמרו חיב אדם לטהר עצמו ברגל:

And don't touch their corpses. You might think that Yisraelim shouldn't be allowed to touch dead animals. This is impossible because [kal vachomer] So why does it say "don't touch"? During the regel. Therefore the Rabbis said "A person is required to make himself pure for the holiday."

Shemini 11:8 and Rashi, from Rosh Hashana 16b

Because we don't have the Parah Adumah at the moment, we can't do this today. However, that could change at any moment. Is there any source for avoiding unnecessary visits to cemeteries the week before each regel so that, if we suddenly found a Parah Adumah, we could become pure in time for Yom Tov?

(Obviously this would not apply to taking care of immediate funeral needs.)

I've never heard of such a practice. The Rama even quotes and approves of the reverse custom, to specifically visit a cemetery 6 days before Sukkos.

  • it would only be on days 5 and 6 before. day 7 before you can go and still get sprinkled in time. after day 5 before even if they get ashes you won't be ready in time. – Double AA Mar 24 at 17:12

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