Shulchan Aruch and R'Ma (YD 364:4):

אִם מָצְאוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל הָרוּג, יִקְבְּרוּהוּ כְּמוֹ שֶׁמְּצָאוּהוּ, בְּלֹא תַּכְרִיכִין, וְלֹא יַחְלְצוּ בּוֹ אֲפִלּוּ מִנְעָלָיו. הַגָּה: וְכֵן עוֹשִׂין לְיוֹלֶדֶת שֶׁמֵּתָה, ... וְנָהֲגוּ שֶׁאֵין עוֹשִׂין לָהֶם תַּכְרִיכִין כִּשְׁאָר מֵתִים, רַק קוֹבְרִין אוֹתָן בְּבִגְדֵיהֶם, וּלְמַעְלָה מֵהֶם סָדִין, כִּשְׁאָר מֵתִים.

If they found a slain Jew, they should bury him [in the same condition] as they found him, without shrouds, and they do not even remove his shoes.... The same is done to a woman who died in childbirth... The accepted practice is that one makes no shrouds for them as [for] other dead, but one buries them in their garments over which [they place] a sheet as [in the case] of other dead.

Question: At what point in the birth process is the woman's death called a death at childbirth, in regard to not burying her with tachricim (shrouds)? At what point does it begin? From the beginning of labor? If so what point is the beginning? Until when? Until the completion of the delivery of the child? What if complications began at childbirth and the actual death occurred later on?

2 Answers 2


The reason for this Halacha, is the same reason a murder victim is buried in his clothing. That way any blood considered דם הנפש - that the life left with this blood - would be buried. According to this, the B'ach writes, it all depends on blood loss at the time of death. If there is none, normal tachrichim would be used.

The Taz is of the opinion that within 30 days of the birth, tachrichim would not be used.

The Chochmas Adam 157/11 brings the Bach and a number of other minhagim, and conclueds נהרא נהרא ופשטא meaning there are various minhagim, and each one is fine.


Partial answer:

The Pischei Teshuvah (YD 364:5, printed under the Shulchan Aruch) quotes the Teshuvos Shemen Rokeiach 2:13 regarding whether a woman who died during childbirth and the midwives can’t get the baby out naturally, if they can perform a C-section on her. The Pischei Teshuvah disagrees with the Rokeiach’s answer and holds that one really shouldn’t, and it certainly shouldn’t hold up the burial, but that since the Minhag is to do it anyway, we give them three days to remove the child.

From the fact that he brings down this discussion here implies that he understood the Rema to be discussing a case where she died shortly before the birth itself.

This isn’t the strongest of proofs, which is why I labeled it as a partial answer.

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