I can’t recall where I saw it, but I somewhat remember is that there is some merit if the husband buries the wife or vice versa.

Does anyone know the source for it?

  • [Genesis 23:19] - sefaria.org/… Commented Apr 9, 2021 at 19:00
  • What do you mean "doing the burying"? Putting the corpse into the earth?
    – mbloch
    Commented Apr 10, 2021 at 19:30
  • I thought about it and I think it’s who dies first. Commented Apr 10, 2021 at 20:53

1 Answer 1


I wouldn't say it is a merit to bury one's wife rather a monetary obligation in return for one's כתובה (rashi Kesubos there). As we see we can even go into his possessions if he is out of town.

See Kesubos

נשאת יתר עליו הבעל שאוכל פירות בחייה וחייב במזונותיה ובפרקונה וקבורתה רבי יהודה אומר אפי' עני שבישראל לא יפחות משני חלילין ומקוננת:

If the daughter married, the husband has more rights and obligations than her father had before the marriage,... her burial upon her death. Rabbi Yehuda says: Even the poorest man of the Jewish people may not provide fewer than two flutes and a lamenting woman, which it was customary to hire for a funeral, as these too are included in the duties of burial.4 If the daughter married, the husband has more rights and obligations than her father had before the marriage,

And so rules the Rambam

מֵתָה אִשְׁתּוֹ חַיָּב בִּקְבוּרָתָהּ וְלַעֲשׂוֹת לָהּ מִסְפֵּד וְקִינִים כְּדֶרֶךְ כָּל הַמְּדִינָה. וַאֲפִלּוּ עָנִי שֶׁבְּיִשְׂרָאֵל לֹא יִפְחֲתוּ לוֹ מִשְּׁנֵי חֲלִילִין וּמְקוֹנֶנֶת. אִם הָיָה עָשִׁיר הַכּל לְפִי כְּבוֹדוֹ. וְאִם הָיָה כְּבוֹדָהּ יוֹתֵר מִכְּבוֹדוֹ קוֹבְרִין אוֹתָהּ לְפִי כְּבוֹדָהּ שֶׁהָאִשָּׁה עוֹלָה עִם בַּעְלָהּ וְאֵינָהּ יוֹרֶדֶת אֲפִלּוּ לְאַחַר מִיתָה:

לֹא רָצָה לִקְבֹּר אֶת אִשְׁתּוֹ וְעָמַד אֶחָד מִדַּעַת עַצְמוֹ וּקְבָרָהּ מוֹצִיאִין מִבַּעְלָהּ עַל כָּרְחוֹ וְנוֹתְנִין לָזֶה כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא תִּהְיֶה זוֹ מֻשְׁלֶכֶת לַכְּלָבִים. הָיָה בִּמְדִינָה אַחֶרֶת כְּשֶׁמֵּתָה אִשְׁתּוֹ בֵּית דִּין יוֹרְדִין לִנְכָסָיו וּמוֹכְרִין בְּלֹא הַכְרָזָה וְקוֹבְרִין אוֹתָהּ לְפִי מָמוֹן הַבַּעַל וּלְפִי כְּבוֹדוֹ אוֹ לְפִי כְּבוֹדָהּ:

When a man's wife dies, he is obligated to bury her and to have eulogies and lamentations performed as is the local custom. Even a poor Jewish man should provide at least two flutes46 and one woman to lament. If [her husband] is rich, [the funeral should be carried out] in a manner appropriate to his wealth.

If the social standing of [a man's wife] exceeded his own, he must have her buried in a manner appropriate to her social standing. For [when she marries,] a woman ascends to her husband's social standing [if his is higher than hers], but does not descend [to his, if her social standing surpasses his].47 [This principle applies] even after death.

If a husband does not desire [to pay for] the burial of his wife, and another person voluntarily takes the initiative and has her buried, [the costs of the burial] should be expropriated from her husband against his will and given to the person [who arranged the burial].48 [The rationale is to prevent the body of a Jew] from being thrown to the dogs.

If a man is in another city when his wife dies, the court should expropriate his property and sell it without an announcement.49 The woman should be buried as appropriate to her husband's financial resources and his social standing or her social standing.

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