Can a non Jew be buried in a Jewish Cemetery under any circumstances?

  • 2
    Why would you think not? Adding your motivation for your question into the question improves the latter.
    – msh210
    Oct 16, 2012 at 15:44

1 Answer 1


Gittin 61 Says we bury the dead of non-Jews with dead of Jews. (קוברים מתי עכו"ם עם מתי ישראל). This is mipnei darkei shalom

Rashi there comments that the gemarra shouldn't be understood as "with" literally, but "also" like we bury our own, when we find them together.

Rambam brings gemarra down as is.

Tur brings down gemarra and Rashi. Beis Yosef notes the Ra"n that "finding together" in Rashi is lav davka and we bury them even if we find only a non-Jew. The Ra"n however adds, that we do not bury two people on different levels next to eachother (such as a tzaddik by a rasha, even a tzaddik by a chassid) (SA & Tur YD 382) so this should hold the same reasoning (He uses the phrase כל שכן, usually meaning it's a kal v'chomer).

Rambam evel 14:12 and SA YD 382 bring the din we bury, not entering our current discussion.

Bach YD 151 is medayek from the Rambam that it would be permissable (possibly only referring to the case where they were found together - this point comes and goes and I couldn't understand were it was standing when he reached this part).

According to this source (son of Rabbi Y.M. Lau) different chief rabbis discussed the matter, ruling to forbid it. I've heard Rav Ovadia gave a similar psak.

Here it says Rav Goren allowed it.

Finally Rav Dov Lior answered that if a non-Jew was found buried in a Jewish cemetery - he should be moved. (non-Jewish grave found in Jewish cemetery)

  • 1
    Why do you assume a gentile is a rasha?
    – Double AA
    Oct 16, 2012 at 19:52
  • @DoubleAA, nothing to do with it. He's on a different spiritual level and that's that. Compare above source: "אין קוברין צדיק אצל חסיד מופלג".
    – JNF
    Oct 16, 2012 at 20:01
  • I see. Perhaps you should clarify that in the post, although it's not clear to me that it means spiritual level in an inherent sense or level in terms of his accomplishments. In other words, perhaps a very righteous gentile could be higher than a evil Jew or even a so-so Jew.
    – Double AA
    Oct 16, 2012 at 20:04
  • @DoubleAA in some of the sources there is a debate if a chassid umot ha'olam is different from a regular goy. At any rate, I wouldn't assume a goy tzaddik would be better than a jew, though corrupt (Note the kal v'chomer in the Bach). But I think this is a whole different discussion :)
    – JNF
    Oct 16, 2012 at 20:20
  • Still not totally clear. I understand that if found together they can be buried together but Rabbi Gorens case seems to be about someone who thought they were Jewish and maybe this is his reason. My situation deals with a righteous gentile who has been very involved in his local community who wants to be buried in a Jewish Cemetery Oct 17, 2012 at 9:55

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