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Is it permissible when visiting the grave of a deceased family member to "speak" to them as if they are there. To tell them how much they miss them, they love them. In general to express feelings, emotions, stories, etc.

Not to speak to them in a way that one would expect and answer. Or to speak in a way as if to request that they do something for them.

I have in mind that perhaps non-Jews are accustomed to doing such things, that's why I'm asking if there is anything in halacha that would prohibit such a thing.

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The Chochmas Adam (Issur v'Heter, 89:7) decries the practice of going to a gravesite and unburdening oneself to the deceased by telling them about one's problems. However, he writes, this is not strictly a violation of consulting with the dead (see Deut. 18:11) since the communication is understood to go only one-way.

  • " However, he writes, this is not strictly a violation of consulting with the dead (see Deut. 18:11) since the communication is understood to go only one-way." he doesnt write this reason, and he is not even clear that it isnt a prohibition. He writes: קרוב הדבר שהם בכלל זה this seems to mean that it seems likely that it forbidden. – mevaqesh Mar 23 '17 at 5:46
  • Note that Maharam Shik over here writes that according to the Hokhmat Adam, it is doresh el hametim. – mevaqesh Mar 23 '17 at 18:21
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Before Rosh Hashanah, and especially on the day before the holiday begins, it is a long-standing custom to visit gravesites and to exhort the tzadikim there to intercede for us on the day of judgement. However, we do not direct our prayers toward the dead who rest there; rather, we implore G-d to have mercy on us for their sake. (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 128:13)

So it seems from this that as long as you are not pettitioning the dead its ok.

Sources:

http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=49628&st=&pgnum=106 http://www.chabad.org/kabbalah/article_cdo/aid/380618/jewish/Praying-At-Holy-Gravesites.htm

  • There are also longstanding customs otherwise... mechon-mamre.org/i/e404.htm#4 – Double AA Jan 6 '14 at 17:34
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    maybe this is only for tzadikim but other dead cannot "hear" you. we find Rebbi was even allowed to come back to say kidush friday night for example – ray Jan 6 '14 at 19:24
  • There is absolutely zero evidence that the dead hear what you say. – Turk Hill Jul 17 at 17:15

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