Questions tagged [death]

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

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What constitutes communicating with the dead?

Let no one be found among you who consigns his son or daughter to the fire, or who is an augur, a soothsayer, a diviner, a sorcerer, one who casts spells, or one who consults ghosts or familiar ...
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Kiddush Levana as “Life Insurance?”

The Kaf HaChaim (426:12) writes – בס' אור חדש וגם שמעתי שמי שיקדש הלבנה מיום שיקדשה לא ידאג שימות באותו החדש מאותו היום ואילך עכ"ל. והביאו א"ר וש"ץ שם. והיינו שלא ימות מיתה משונה - I heard ...
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Why are we afraid of death and don't rush to the World to Come?

I agree the question seems stupid, but hear out my logic: We all are promised to get a share in the world to come (WTC), and acc. to Rabbinical interpretation, even Kareth can't take that away. In ...
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Crying when reading about Aaron's sons' deaths

The machzor (prayer book) that I used this Yom Kippur has this to say immediately before the morning Torah reading: עֶס שְׁטֵייט גֶעשְׁרִיבֶּן װֶער עֶס לָאזט טְרֶערִין מִיט דֶעם גַאנְצֶן הַארְץ ...
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Asking forgiveness from a deceased person who has no gravesite

The Rambam in Hilchos Teshuvah 2:9 writes: הַחוֹטֵא לַחֲבֵרוֹ וּמֵת חֲבֵרוֹ קֹדֶם שֶׁיְּבַקֵּשׁ מְחִילָה מֵבִיא עֲשָׂרָה בְּנֵי אָדָם וּמַעֲמִידָן עַל קִבְרוֹ וְיֹאמַר בִּפְנֵיהֶם חָטָאתִי לַה' ...
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Is weeping at death a bad omen (סימן רע) or not?

The Talmud (Kesubos 103a; see Avos Rebbi Nason 25:2) says: מת מתוך השחוק סימן יפה לו מתוך הבכי סימן רע לו If one dies from laughter it is a good omen for him, but it is a bad omen to die from ...
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Pictures of deceased

I read about not putting pictures of people on tombstones. Is there any problem in posting pictures of the deceased(The dead corpse) after his death on social media?
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What is the rule regarding a dead person's shomer during a flight?

A shomer from my local Chevra Kadisha explained to me that a dead body needs to be constantly watched and never left alone until burial. He also explained that about every 20 minutes, they say ...
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How does one receive forgiveness from someone they have wronged after their death?

Say you sinned against a fellow Jew. You decide you want to seek forgiveness from that person but then discover that person has passed away. G-d forgives sins against Him but man must seek forgiveness ...
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Deceased individuals appearing after death

Inspired by this answer: Are there any documented stories of deceased people appearing after death to live people? [I am not looking for stories where someone dead appeared in a dream] The Gemara in ...
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Source for stoning a grave

Although there are sources (Be'er Heitev OC 224:8) which discuss placing stones on a grave, that seems to be more of an honor for the deceased. Apparently Rebbi Akiva Eiger asked his family to stone ...
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What is the commentary on Leviticus 21:2-4 - why is wife not included on the list

Leviticus 21:1-4 The LORD said to Moses: Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them: None shall defile himself for any [dead] person among his kin, except for the relatives that ...
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Why must a convicted Jew be executed immediately?

Here are some speculations why I would think Judaism would never execute [rightfully] convicted Jews right away: We don't like killing people (even those who deserve it) and try everything within our ...
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What did the Nazir's death add to the story?

Nazir 1:7 states: הֲרֵינִי נָזִיר כְּמִנְיַן יְמוֹת הַחַמָּה, מוֹנֶה נְזִירוּת כְּמִנְיַן יְמוֹת הַחַמָּה. אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוּדָה, מַעֲשֶׂה הָיָה, כֵּיוָן שֶׁהִשְׁלִים מֵת: [If one says], “...
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Human Composting - Implications for Kohanim

In recent news, Washington State, has becomes the first state ever to allow human composting. The question has already been raised in this forum: "Is there a halachic objection to human composting?" ...
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Source for parable about two twins in the womb

I once heard/read a parable about two babies in their mother's womb. It goes something like this. Two twins in the womb are speaking of the world to come, one believes it exists, the other not. ...
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What are we celebrating on Lag B'Omer?

To the best of my knowledge we celebrate on Lag B'Omer as this is the day the students of Rabbi Akiva stopped dying. This reason seems incomprehensible. The reason they stopped dying was because there ...
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What causes a person to remain in this world as a ghost?

A baraita on Berakhot 18b relates a story where a pious man sleeps in a cemetery and hears two spirits talking. One of them suggests they wander the world, and the other says she can't because she ...
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Why Kaddish starts after burial and not death?

As far as I know, all Avelus starts with the burial, not with the actual death. Particularly, why saying Kaddish does not start with the moment of death? And is it just a general Minhag or there are ...
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What happens the second you die?

What do our sources say about what happens the second you die. I’m pretty sure I heard somewhere that one’s soul comes out of their body and they float around the room. Are there any fascinating ...
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Can non jews give death penalty for something other then the 7 laws of noah

Can non jews give death penalty for something other then the 7 laws of noah? Source and clarification (in what cases) please
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If a husband or wife medically die but are resuscitated, is a new kiddushin required? [duplicate]

If a husband or wife is on an operating table and is pronounced clinically dead, but then a couple minutes later is miraculously resuscitated (example): Would this couple require a new kiddushin? ...
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List of people who lose a child in תנ"ך

Any other cases of people who lose a child in תנ"ך? I have a few ideas but am looking for a fuller list, though let's keep it to Pshat reading of the text, not Midrashim.
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Source for Higher Infant Mortality Rates in the Winter of a Leap Year?

At the shiva for my infant son, someone said that the reason we say kaparat pesha in mussaf rosh chodesh, is that to atone for the sins that cause higher rates of stillbirth, miscarriages, and infant ...
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Meaning of Zekher Livracha (ז"ל - Of blessed memory)

The literal translation of ז"ל is "of blessed memory" What does it mean to bless memory? How does it help the soul?
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Is everyone who dies in his 50s Chayav Kares?

I've come across a bunch of great Rabbanim: Poskim, Mekubalim and Tzadikim who passed away within their 50s. The Gemara in Moed Katan 28a says: אמר רבה: [מיתה] מחמשים ועד ששים שנה זו היא מיתת כרת....
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Can a gentile pronounce a blessing for a Jew? Are there songs I can sing that will bring peace?

As a chaplain I sing Christian hymns for those who are dying and for the family after death, while still present with the one who died. There is also a final blessing. It brings a deep peace for the ...
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Source for Cremation Specifically Not Jewish

A respected Rabbinic figure recently mentioned that one of the Rishonim - maybe Tosfos - writes that אין דרך בני ישראל לשרוף מתיהם: burning a Jew's lifeless body is not the Jewish way. Where is this ...
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How can I pray for Jewish people as they approach death? I am a hospice chaplain

I am a chaplain in a hospice, serving those who are terminally ill. As a chaplain, I do not promote my faith, rather, I help those walk in their faith as death approaches. One of the sad issues I ...
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In what aspects is sleep considered 1/60th of death?

אש אחד מששים לגיהנם... דבש אחד מששים למן שבת אחד מששים לעולם הבא שינה אחד מששים למיתה חלום אחד מששים לנבואה ...sleep is one-sixtieth of death (Brochos 57b) In what aspects is sleep ...
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Is it a good sign or a bad sign to face downwards upon one’s death?

Kesuvos 103b says: תניא מת מתוך השחוק סימן יפה לו מתוך הבכי סימן רע לו פניו למעלה סימן יפה לו פניו למטה סימן רע לו פניו [...] It was taught in a Braisa: One who dies amidst laughter, it’s a ...
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Is hastening death of a Jew allowed for a non-Jew?

A Jew may not do anything which will hasten the death of another Jew. This is a selection from here, by Rabbi J. David Bleich (I added the bolding) The practice of euthanasia-whether active or ...
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Do cremated animal remains contaminate with Tumas Mes, Nevela or Sherets?

If I keep an urn at home containing the ashes of my deceased and cremated favourite pet, if I touch/carry the ashes does this make me tamei ?
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Is it acceptable to disturb a body so it may be reburied in Israel?

This question slightly merges into politics as there has been a push by some to reclaim Jewish remains and bring them back to Israel. This has actually already been done a few times, a famous example ...
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Does Judaism teach that the soul cannot rest until the body turns to dust?

In the movie "To Dust" they claim that "Judaism teaches that the soul cannot rest until the body turns to dust." Is there any basis for this claim?
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Do the stringencies for someone who is cremated apply if they didn’t specify/want to be cremated?

There are many halachos regarding one who is deceased that do not apply if the deceased was cremated, rather than buried (some examples here at Halachipedia). Do these halachos apply if the person ...
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Is there a need to to know the deceased's name when studying in his merit?

I have been asked many times by friends to study (usually Mishanyos) as a merit for their recently deceased relative. In most such occasions, I was given the deceased's name, in order to have them in ...
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Can a donation request be added to a death notice?

When a member or loved one dies, a congregation sends its members a death notice. Without asking the survivors, they add at the end: "Click here to make a donation to the congregation in memory of the ...
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Death of all Jews at Har Sinai

According to the Midrash (quoted in Rashi on the Parsha), when Hashem spoke at Sinai, the effect was so powerful that פרחו נשמתם - the souls of the Jewish nation left their bodies. Hashem resurrected ...
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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.,...