Does one need to wash hands after touching a gentile corpse just as after a Jewish one?

  • 1
    Can you provide any indication why you think one might have to do so? Or why you ask about only a gentile corpse?
    – Double AA
    Commented Jan 2, 2014 at 21:03
  • @DoubleAA The quoted texts there do not specify a Jewish corpse.
    – Adám
    Commented Jan 2, 2014 at 21:10
  • I attended a shiur that talked about this last year (it talked about Jewish, gentile, and animal corpses) and I remember there's a machlokhet, but alas I don't remember any details (and it was on Shabbat, so no notes). Commented Jan 2, 2014 at 21:25
  • @MonicaCellio I have been wondering for years why Chaza"l didn't prohibit torah study on shabbos to prevent inadvertent writing... :-)
    – Adám
    Commented Jan 2, 2014 at 21:33
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    Let's be glad they didn't! (I'm going to hazard a guess that there was less note-taking during their time and more focus on memory.) Besides, forbidding torah study in any but the very limited cases it's forbidden now would seem to, well, run counter to the torah. :-) Commented Jan 2, 2014 at 21:53

1 Answer 1


Rambam Hilchos Tumas Mais 1:15 says that one becomes Tamei when handling a non Jewish corpse. The only difference is that a non Jewish corpse does not make one Tamei in the same building.

Nitei Gavriel in the name of the Elya Raba says this is done to remove Tumah.


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