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Questions tagged [death]

Questions relating to the nature, function, or process of Death in Jewish thought.

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Can a soul be redeemed, based on Psalm 49?

Psalm 49:8: "אָח לֹא־פָדֹה יִפְדֶּה אִישׁ לֹא־יִתֵּן לֵאלֹהִים כָּפְרוֹ׃ וְיֵקַר פִּדְיוֹן נַפְשָׁם וְחָדַל לְעוֹלָם׃ וִיחִי־עוֹד לָנֶצַח לֹא יִרְאֶה הַשָּׁחַת׃ " teaches that (all the) wealth ...
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How do Jews handle when a baby dies due to circumcision?

This is a real question. I personally know of two cases. One is a friend of mine in USA. The other is in UK via my wife on a professional basis, where I was able to read the coroner's report. This is ...
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Promise on a death bed

I once read that if a person makes a promise on their death bed to another person that they would come back to them in a dream and tell them whatever they wanted to know, then this is considered a ...
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Does Chinese ancestor worship have the full status of idolotry?

In the front of a Chinese restaurant they have a small shrine - a succah less than a foot tall. Placed before it is a bowl of rice with vertical chopsticks and a plate of oranges. There is no idol ...
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Is embalming/mummification kosher?

In Bereishit ch 50 v 2 we read of Joseph embalming Yaakov: "וַיְצַו יוֹסֵף אֶת־עֲבָדָיו אֶת־הָרֹפְאִים לַחֲנֹט אֶת־אָבִיו וַיַּחַנְטוּ הָרֹפְאִים אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל׃ Then Joseph ordered the ...
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How much is one obligated to hold a will?

This is a completely uncharted area for me. For example, a father requests his sons to continue a business, or to stay in the same town, or not to leave the country, or to wear white socks, or to ...
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Are there halachos on how to give a hesped (eulogy)?

Are there any halachos pertaining to how one should or should not give a hesped? If so, what are they? If not, are there general guidelines based on what the goal of a hesped is?
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Sephardi burial in a talit

In the Shulchan Aruch (YD 351), the Mechebar writes that a man is buried in a talit with tzitzit, and the Rema adds that the tzitzit are made posul. Some googling (as well as checking with my local ...
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Will there still be gehinom after Mashiach?

Apart for those who are destined to no share in the world to come, will tzadikim or even average people who go to olam habah after Mashaich comes have to go to gehinom to cleanse their sins? Or will ...
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Talking with/against the dead [duplicate]

If a beloved one has passed away, is it allowed or prohibited to talk against this soul? For example is it allowed to say goodbey, or to say you will mis him/her? I know there is a prohibition against ...
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Is one required to honor his deceased father's wishes if in conflict?

I had heard that when there is a conflict of requests between father and mother, a son should defer to his father first. Does this rule apply if the father is dead but the mother is still alive? I.e.,...
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Can you kill person A to protect yourself from B?

So it's really difficult to think of a practical example of this, but imagine there were some scenario in which, G-d forbid, you needed to kill a non-guilty party in self-defense. If one were in this ...
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Abbreviation: בש"ט on a gravestone

While researching this question I came across a picture of the gravestone of Reb Arye Kaplan זצ"ל. The post-final line reads: נפטר בש"ט בי"ד בשבט תשמ"ג‏ What does the abbreviation בש"ט stand ...
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How do I know my unanswered questions will be revealed [to me] when I die?

Many times as a Jew I think in the back of my head that certain question’s answers I greatly ponder will be revealed to me when I die. I’ll give an example. A few distant relatives of mine were ...
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Is there a prohibition to say Kaddish after a pet (an animal)?

Is there a prohibition to say kaddish for a just died pet (yes, an animal)? This is not similar to this, which asks if there is a prayer for a dying pet, my question is if there is a prohibition to ...
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What is the connection between “sword and … bow” (Genesis 48:22) with “prayer and … supplication” (as rendered by Onkelos)?

What is the connection between "sword and ... bow" (Genesis 48:22) with "prayer and ... supplication" (as rendered by Onkelos)? Verse: וַאֲנִי נָתַתִּי לְךָ שְׁכֶם אַחַד עַל אַחֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר ...
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R' Mordochai Benet's re-interment

Wikipedia notes that R' Mordochai Benet, the Mähren Landesrabbiner (Chief Rabbi of Moravia) notes that was temporarily interred in Lichtenberg prior to being re-interred in Nikolsburg, according to ...
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The phase between death and resurrection comparable to sleeping?

Tehillim 13:4 talks about the the sleep of death (אִישַׁן הַמָּוֶת), Yeshayahu 26:19 reads something like my dead bodies shall arise--awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust (הָקִיצוּ), Daniel 12:2 ...
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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)?

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 ...
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The kittel as tachrich

I recently heard and was extremely moved by the idea that the kitlen worn on Pesach, Yom Kippur, and under the chuppah are intended to resemble tachrichim -- and are, in some cases, the actual ...
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Why would it be disrespectful to G-d to say Miryam died “al pi Hashem”?

The Torah states that both Moshe (Devarim 34:5) and Aharon (Bamidbar 33:38) died al pi Hashem, by G-d's mouth. Rashi quotes the Talmud (Bava Basra 17a) that this means they died by a neshikah meitah, ...
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1answer
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learning torah for deceased person - is all reward to the deceased?

There is a custom to learn torah (especially mishnayos) for a deceased person. Does all the torah study reward go to the deceased person or does some torah study reward also go to the person learning? ...
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Halakha for mourning a stillborn child

I have a short amount of time to find recent Halakha on Orthodox and Conservative guidance on mourning a stillbirth. Any pointers greatly appreciated. Thank you!
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Do you have to follow all of your parents' wishes after their death?

I am not sure what the extent is of honoring your parents after their death. Do you have to honor all their wishes (except for those that violate Torah law, which you would need to disobey even while ...
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Is alav ha-shalom (A“H) used often, or do most use zikhrono livrakha (Z”L) when referring to the deceased?

I understand that A"H is translates to "may he/she rest in peace," which is indeed closer to what non-Jews say in gentile societies. However, I also understand Z"L is also an honorific for the dead, ...
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what is the nature of future visions which never come to be?

In a number of places chazal describe someone, for our purposes we will dub the 'seer' as seeing the future descendants of certain people, such as Moshe before he killed the Egyptian or Elisha before ...
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I just heard that Kaddish is said for only 100 years after someone dies

I just heard that Kaddish is said for only 100 years after someone dies. Has anyone else heard this opinion and does anyone know why? This situation occurred as my grandmothers 100 yaherzeit is coming ...
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pray for recently passed away parent [closed]

I am not an observant Jew but I was confirmed and bar mitzvahed in a reform synagogue. I want to pray for my father who passed away 10 days ago. I would like to pray several times a day or more if ...
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Incident where moshe witnesses someone being killed and asked hashem why bad things happen to good people

i dont remember the storyline exactly but there were three people, one lent money to another and one of them got killed and then the other one came and took the second one's money. Moshe rabbeinu ...
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Can a grandson visit his grandfather grave during the Shiva?

And put a tombal decoration (like flowers, candles) on the grave? Or should he wait after the Shiva?
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Which Rabbi asked for his funerals to be joyful?

I think all is in the question. I think it's Rabbi Akiva but not sure... I am also looking for sources saying funerals should be joyful.
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Are there any merits which delay the adulterer's explosion?

In mSotah 5:1 it states that the Sotah waters check the woman and her presumed consort. I assume this 'checking' leads to the consort suffering the same death as the woman. The talmud further states ...
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Can a village / shtetl rabbi require the merchants to close their shops for a funeral?

I'm trying to help a co-worker decipher some history about his great grandfather. He showed me a picture of a poster - notice written in Hebrew that announced the funeral of his great grandfather. In ...
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is it possible to do the Kri'ah at the moment of the death, and not at the funeral? [duplicate]

is it possible to do the Kri'ah at the exact moment of the death, and not only at the funeral?
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May one perform an autopsy on his father?

I understand that an autopsy may sometimes be performed if doing so is useful to gain knowledge that may be used to prevent deadly diseases or sicknesses in other people. Refer to this M.Y. answer. ...
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Execution by Bet Din [duplicate]

Learning gemara I did not see any death sentences that were carried out by the Bet Din. Did the Bet Din ever carry out a death penalty case?
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Is Harav Shteinman's tzava'ah (last will) halachically binding?

The Rav Hakadosh Harav Shteinman zatzal wrote in his tzava'ah (last instructions) to the public, not to call him a Tzaddik or Yereh Shamayim, and not to write articles about him in the newspaper. Is ...
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Is “Zatzal” applied to women? If not, why not? [duplicate]

I have never seen the term Zatzal, which stands for zecher tzadik l'bracha, and is often applied as a sign of respect to deceased righteous men, applied to a deceased righteous woman. I would like to ...
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Memorial Candle: Any Conflicts With Jewish Practices? [closed]

I have been making a special candle, meant to be burned partially each birthday, for someone who is Jewish (reform/non-practicing). It is likely that they are going to pass away before receiving this ...
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Spiritual Causes For The Black Death?

From Wiki “The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 75 to 200 million people in Eurasia and peaking in Europe in the years ...
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What is the decree of Toledo (תקנות הנישואין של קהל טוליטולה)?

What is the decree of Toledo? I am not understanding it (I am not good with reading Hebrew). Something to do with the wife inheriting (half of) her husband's property? (I always thought she does not ...
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Rashi and the death of Tzadikim

In Parshat Chaye Sarah, Rashi states in Bereshit 25:17 (from Chabad.org) ויגוע: לא נאמרה גויעה אלא בצדיקים Translated as : and he expired: Heb. וַיִגְוַע. [The term] גְוִיעָה is mentioned only ...
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Significance to an unveiling [duplicate]

What is the religious significance to an unveiling of the deceased's stone? (Assuming there is)
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“Die, but don't transgress”: what about torture?

There is a principle in Jewish law that there are three transgressions that should not be committed, even on pain of death: murder, "sexual immorality" (a reference, presumably, to the sorts of ...
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Why do we cry at shivah houses?

The Midrash in Koheles Rabbah (7:4 in the Warsaw numbering) writes (translation follows Artscroll, chapter 7, page 31): נולד אדם הכל שמחין מת הכל בוכין. ואינו כן אלא נולד אדם ואין שמחין לו שאין ...
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Did Ishmael receive “שְׁנַיִם, בְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר-יִמָּצֵא, לוֹ” like a firstborn does?

Did Ishmael ben Avraham receive a double-portion in accordance to the rights of the firstborn? Or did he forfeit them because he was estranged from the family? I know that the law of the double ...
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154 views

Possibility of Positive Payoff to the Passed

Is it possible to perform a prayer or act such as a mitsvah which will lead to any effect, particularly a reward, to the deceased? Many popular practices, such as the recitation of kaddish (Rema YD ...
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1answer
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The Amalekite youth's capital punishment

In Samuel 2 chapter 1, the Amalekite lad tells David the news that King Saul is dead and that Saul had asked him to take his life. David sentences the youth to death. The pesukim suggest that the ...
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1answer
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Who takes care of a widow who has no brothers and no sons?

According to Halacha or Talmud, who takes care of a widow, whose husband had no brothers, and who herself has no brothers and no sons and no daughters?
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1answer
135 views

When is revenge permitted

I understand that it is forbidden for a Jew to take revenge. Rambam Deyot 7.7 A person who takes revenge against a colleague transgresses a Torah prohibition, as Leviticus 19:18 states: "Do not ...