Maimonides' Book of Judges contains the following sections: laws of the Sanhedrin and the punishments they enforce, laws of witnesses, laws of rebels, laws of mourning, and laws of kings and their wars.

Why are the laws of mourning included here with various procedural-judicial laws? I'd have thought to see them in the Book of Knowledge near the laws of repentance and behavior, or perhaps in the Book of Love with the common ritual laws which aren't calendar related such as circumcision and prayer.

1 Answer 1


Rambam addresses this in his introduction to those laws where he lists the relevant Mitzvot which are to be discussed therein. The first one is:

א) להתאבל על הקרובים, ואפילו כוהן מיטמא ומתאבל על הקרובים, ואין אדם מתאבל על הרוגי בית דין, ולפי זה כללתי הלכות אלו בספר זה שהן מעין קבורה ביום מיתה שהיא מצות עשה;‏
1. To mourn for one's close relatives; even a priest must become impure and mourns for his close relatives. A person should not mourn for individuals executed by the court. For this reason, I have included these laws in this book, for they relate to the mitzvah of burying the dead on the day of their passing which is a positive commandment. (translation source)

In short, the connection is via the aftermath of capital punishment (cf. Deut 21:22-23).

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