There are lots of responsa when matza-baking machines were introduced instead of everyone doing it by hand. When power machinery came up to make grave-digging faster/easier, did any rabbis object that it was a bigger/better mitzvah or the like to do it manually?

  • 2
    I thought the matza issue was if it counts as lishmah
    – Heshy
    Commented Jul 8, 2021 at 10:29
  • Even though there is machinery that can refill the grave, there is still a practice for people to shovel the dirt. Maybe this is a backwards proof that digging initially can be done by machine.
    – rosends
    Commented Jul 8, 2021 at 13:25
  • @Heshy that was a later concern. (And if you viewed them as kosher-but-not-lishmah, some were afraid they'd get used at the seder too.) Some declared them chametz entirely. Some worried about putting the humans out of business, or taking away the religious opportunity.
    – Shalom
    Commented Jul 8, 2021 at 23:39

1 Answer 1


Nitei Gavriel Aveilus1 75:6 says that the grave should be dug by a Jew. In the footnote he says that a Jew should be the one who operates the tractor that digs up the ground.

There is no mention of any disagreement on that.

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