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May a non-Jew participate in any of these parts of a Jewish burial (assume there is no separate "funeral" in a home and everything is graveside?

  • Hesped - giving the main "speech"
  • carrying the coffin
  • assisting with lowering the coffin into the grave
  • shoveling dirt onto the grave
  • reciting Kaddish if he can read Hebrew but none of the mourners can. (Obviously, he is not part of the minyan.)
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    Why do you suppose a non-Jew may not do any of these things? – Daniel Aug 13 '15 at 17:22
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Nitei Gavriel Aveilus 51:13 mentions that it is forbidden to hear a Hesped from a priest or someone similar to a priest. In the notes he says it is forbidden as they speak about their religion and wear a cross. This would lead me to believe that a regular non Jew may deliver a eulogy.

5:15 he mentions in the name of the Avodas Hagershuni that a non Jew should not be involved with the burial and even the driver of the vehicle should be a Jew.

Divros Eliyahu 4:2 - page 7 concludes that one may answer Amein on a non Jews Bracha - so long you heard the entire Bracha. Thus I do not see an issue with the Kaddish.

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    @mevaqesh: "This would lead me to believe that a regular non Jew may deliver a eulogy." – Gershon Gold Aug 13 '15 at 17:51
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    Yeah but I was a bit bothered by quoting a low level recent writer as a halacha pesuka that it is forbidden to hear a Hesped from a priest or someone similar to a priest. Furthermore, I take issue with saying that a non-Jew should not be involved with the burial, which even the NG can find no major halachic sources for. I seems like an example of making up new halachos. – mevaqesh Aug 13 '15 at 18:07
  • @mevaqesh: He brings it from the Avodas Hagershuni published over 300 years ago. – Gershon Gold Aug 13 '15 at 18:11
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    Exactly. We have a small hitter who dug up a somehat obscure acharon to make a new chumra, not found in Mishna, Tosefta, Mechilta, Sifri Sifra, Bavli, Yerushalmi, Geonim, Rambam, Rishonim, Tur, Shulchan Aruch, Chaye Adam, Kitzur, MB, Aruch Hashulchan, or major responsa: Rabbi Akiva Eiger, Chassam Sofer, Yabia Omer, etc. – mevaqesh Aug 13 '15 at 18:16
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    RE: Divrei Eliyahu saying we can answer Amen to a non-Jew's Bracha - I'm not sure that means we also make him say the Kaddish, just that we can respond Amen to a blessing that was said. – Salmononius2 Aug 13 '15 at 20:56

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