If we know a Tzaddiks body after death does not decompose, why does the Torah record that Moshe took Yosef's bones to Eretz Yisrael? Shouldn't it have said Moshe took Yosef's entire body to Eretz Yisrael for burial?

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    Not all righteous people remain whole. How do you know that Yosef's body remained whole? Actually the fact that they only took his bones proves the exact opposite. Feb 1, 2021 at 21:18
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    If we know that, the question stands. But do we know that? How?
    – Double AA
    Feb 1, 2021 at 21:18
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    "we know a Tzaddiks body after death does not decompose". Welcome pine5900 to Mi Yodeya! Could you please clarify how "we" know this? Maybe there are those who don't, making it harder to answer.
    – robev
    Feb 1, 2021 at 21:19
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    @GershonGold Because he was mummified, apparently (admittedly not the reason the OP gave)
    – b a
    Feb 1, 2021 at 21:24
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    Maybe when the Torah says atzmos Yosef it means his embalmed body?
    – The GRAPKE
    Feb 2, 2021 at 1:01

1 Answer 1


תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן שִׁבְעָה לֹא שָׁלַט בָּהֶן רִמָּה וְתוֹלֵעָה וְאֵלּוּ הֵן אַבְרָהָם יִצְחָק וְיַעֲקֹב מֹשֶׁה אַהֲרֹן וּמִרְיָם וּבִנְיָמִין בֶּן יַעֲקֹב אַבְרָהָם יִצְחָק וְיַעֲקֹב The Sages taught: There were seven people over whom the worm and the maggot had no sway, and they are: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Moses, Aaron and Miriam, and Benjamin, son of Jacob. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.


The gemara lists 7 people the worms didn't eat their flesh. ( Other midrashim have little diffrences, but Yosef isn't on any list. ) You can ask how come we find other tzadikim that their flesh was intact, while the sons of yakovs weren't. But the main point is, not all tzadikim have their flesh intact.


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