I've seen various methods occurring during a burial.
After the casket (or body) is laid in the grave, people shovel dirt to cover the grave up to a certain point (usually). After that, I've seen:
- Some rabbis say that only Jews should cover the grave all the way to the top (meaning until the dirt is level with the land surrounding the grave.)
- Other rabbis have said that people should shovel until you can't see the casket any longer. Then a machine can cover the rest.
- Other rabbis say the same as 2, but the rest must be manually shoveled but can be done by non-Jews. However, a machine should never be used.
The common denominator in all 3 methods is that it seems that Jews have to do some minimal amount of shoveling. Is this true? Can a non-Jew do all or part of the shoveling? If not, how much is the minimum that Jews must do?
Can a machine be used for any of the remainder of the shoveling?
Can any of the shoveling be done by a non-Jew
In any of the above 3 methods, which are halacha vs. minhag?