Questions tagged [death]

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

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1answer
332 views

How can a person promise to be מליץ יושר for a person after their death?

I have seen several references where certain gedolei yisroel of yesteryear, promise that if a person learns their works, these Rabbonim will be מליץ יושר (advocate) for them in the olam haemes. ...
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73 views

What is the mechanism of death by poisoning?

The four deaths mentioned in the Jewish law have a very straightforward physical impact on the body. All of them cause inability to breathe which is linked to "maintenance" of the soul, and ...
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1answer
72 views

Good qualities of deceased now available for others to practise. Is there a source?

I have heard several times at Hespedim (funeral orations) that the good qualities of the person who passed away are now available to be picked up by those of us still alive. In the sense that the dead ...
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0answers
110 views

Do we circumcise a corpse?

We circumcise stillborn babies for many reasons (see e.g., here). Would the same apply for one who it was unhealthy for him to receive a brit milah? For example, let's say person A's two brothers both ...
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1answer
107 views

When one is diagnosed with a terminal disease, is refusing treatment a form of suicide or acceptable considering the circumstances?

People are diagnosed with terminal illnesses on a regular basis. Many times a person refuses to undergo treatment because they don't wish to experience the pain and exhaustion that would entail. While ...
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1answer
464 views

Jerusalem Sand at a Burial

I just observed an on-line remote funeral service for my cousin. As part of the service, the Rabbi took out a bag of sand which he said was specially flown in from Jerusalem. He spread the sand in the ...
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55 views

An uncertain end for an uncircumcised baby?

According to this article, a circumcised person cannot enter Gehinnom. It is for this reason that a stillborn baby is circumcised. So what happens to a stillborn baby that is buried without ...
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81 views

Were the Talmudic Sages fools according to R. Saadia Gaon?

In Emunot V’Deiot (7:5) R. Saadia Gaon writes the following, with regard to some verses in Chapter Nine of Ecclesiastes: [An example,] again, of the third type [of verses presenting difficulty so far ...
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Why did the 10 Brothers tell Yaakov that Yosef had died if doing so would cause him such intense pain & grief?

Is there any Torah commentary that addresses how Yaakov’s ten sons could have been so cold, heartless and cruel, to cause Yaakov’s intense, 22-year, unconsolable grief over Yosef’s death? What child ...
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1answer
114 views

When (day, month, year) did Avshalom son of king David die?

When (day, month, year) did Avshalom son of king David die? Please cite a source as to exactly when this happened. II Samuel 18:15 And there circled about ten young men who were Joab's armor bearers, ...
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What did Jews really believe about the soul and life after death?

As a Christian, I am very interested in learning what did Jews and Judaism teach about the soul, particularity, what happens to the soul when one dies? Biblical scholar Bart D. Ehrman, is of the ...
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Why do sefardim have the minchag of using the mothers name on the tombstone and when praying for the deceased?

I was told that the sefardi custom, based on the Chida, is to use the mother's name of the deceased when praying for the deceased and on the tombstone. For example: Moshe was born to Sarah and Yaakov; ...
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1answer
175 views

In a life or death situation is breaking the Torah permissible?

In a situation where you could die (or other Jews could), would you be allowed to break the rules in order to survive?
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1answer
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How long should my non-Jewish friends burn in hell for?

I've always been told that no matter how evil I was, at worst I would burn in hell for 11 months. Well, 12 months if I was really bad. Today I was looked this up on Wikipedia, and it confirmed the ...
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2answers
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Why were Chanaya, Mishael and Azarya consigned to a furnace specifically?

To the best of my knowledge burning as a punishment is not associated with a furnace anywhere in Tanach. I am not aware of any parallels in ancient near eastern religions either. I would like to know ...
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2answers
485 views

Is there any source that claims a person who dies on Rosh haShanah is a Tzaddik?

I've seen multiple people tonight share a post claiming in Jewish tradition, a person who dies on Rosh Hashanah, which began tonight, is a tzaddik, a person of great righteousness. I was surprised ...
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2answers
536 views

Are you allowed to pray for your own death?

No suicide or euthanasia is allowed in Judaism. But are you allowed to pray for your own death? You can pray for the death of someone who is incurably sick, in pain and dying. This is based on ...
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2answers
79 views

How Could David Kill the Ger Amaleki Based on Halacha?

In Shmuel Bet, David Hamelech kills the Ger Haamaleki for killing Shaul. However, the only reason he knew this was because of his own admission. How does this relate to אין אדם משים עצמו רשע, the fact ...
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When is the Yahrzeit for Leah Imeinu

I know the yahrzeits for Sara Imeinu, Rochel Imeinu, Miryam Hanevia. But what is the yahrzeit for Leah Imeinu?
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Eggplants at a Jewish Cemetery?

This was taken outside the gates of the Mikveh Israel Cemetery. There are bunch of Eggplants tied tighter with red yarn . A bevy of American coins were under each one. Typically eggplants at a ...
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Grace after meals - mentioning one parents/spouse if no longer alive

In the bensching (grace after meals/birkat hamazon) we have the following verse among the הרחמן's: הרחמן הוא יברך את אבי מורי בעל הבית הזה ואת אמי מורתי בעלת הבית הזה אותם ואת ביתם ואת זרעם ואת כל ...
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Did the Talmidim of Rebbi Akiva die by joining the rebellion with Bar Kochva? [duplicate]

I have heard from an Israeli friend of mine that some maintain that the Talmidim of Rebbi Akiva zs'l didn't all die in a plague, but rather they were killed by Roman soldiers because they had ...
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1answer
58 views

Is self-sacrifice acceptable to save one's child? [duplicate]

Generally speaking, Judaism doesn't take the same mindset for self-sacrifice as modern society. While we can have great respect for individuals who have given up their lives to save others, Jewish ...
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122 views

Mashiach in physical form? [duplicate]

I have just watched a "Stump the Rabbi" video about whether mashiach is actually a physical person. Rabbi Shloma Majeski states that mashiach can even be someone that has passed away, and especially ...
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Maamarei Chazal on matzeivos?

It is common practise to include relevant pesukim from throughout tanach on a matzeivo that successfully summarises the niftar. Additionally, we know that one should be careful not to embellish the ...
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44 views

Hesped after the burial?

Is there anything wrong with giving a public hesped for an "average" person on their sheloshim. I saw in halachapedia that " Generally the eulogy is always before the burial. However, for a ...
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How do you halachically preserve a body if the ground is frozen?

Typically, traditional Jewish burial law calls for a speedy burial in the ground, with no embalming or other unnatural preservation of the body. But what about if the ground is too frozen? Nowadays, ...
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2answers
62 views

How does one Choose Life when Death has been decreed?

I’ve been thinking about Moshe up on Mt. Nebo and a question came to mind. If Death has been decreed, how does one continue to choose Life? Surely if one wishes to be obedient to G-d then one must in ...
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1answer
58 views

How did King David think he could thwart God's plan?

The Talmud (Shabbat 30a) relates the following interesting tale about King David's death: And as to what Solomon said, 'for a living dog is better than a dead lion', — that is as Rab Judah said in ...
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1answer
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Is cremation halachically lawful for the Gentiles?

I am an Italian noahide. I wonder if Halakhah allows Gentiles to cremate bodies. My personal opinion is that this practice does not violate Noahide Laws, as it is not included in one of the relevant ...
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3answers
207 views

Is it permitted to pray for the death of an evil king or other evil national leader?

This is a subset of the question of "is it permissible to pray for anyone's death?" and "is it permissible to pray for an evil-doer's death?" and goes to the question of whether one may pray for the ...
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1answer
77 views

Is there a Modern day example of someone Sacrificing their Life to Sanctify HaShem's name?

Are there any recent (post holocaust) stories of a Jew who chose to sacrifice his life in order to be meKadesh HaShem? Are there any modern day Jewish martyrs (not including the many Jews who were ...
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3answers
150 views

Why is the fear of natural death not addressed by the Nevi’im?

Shalom. I’ve become somewhat perplexed by the lack of words of comfort and reassurance regarding death (in general) in the Nevi’im. I am a Gentile so am wondering if Israel has a different conception ...
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81 views

Can I have flowers planted on my grave?

Why don't Jewish people put flowers on graves? Asks about a visitor leaving flowers on a grave. The reason we don’t is that it’s “chukas hagoyim” Does the same logic apply for a the dead person ...
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2answers
271 views

Why would the Jewish sages, in Talmud Sanhedrin 98b, link the name of the Messiah to Isaiah 53:4?

Why would the Jewish sages (who don't believe that the messiah will suffer and die), in Talmud Sanhedrin 98b, link the name of the Messiah to Isaiah 53:4, where the context talked about someone that ...
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2answers
150 views

How was Moshe Rabbeinu buried?

This website (thetorah.com) raises some points about Moshe Rabbeinu's death. https://www.thetorah.com/article/moshe-rabbeinu-never-died-the-hidden-ending A few points that they make is: If Moses ...
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1answer
241 views

What do we make of the witch of Endor?

The Torah forbids necromancy [Lev. 19:31 and 20:6,27; Deut. 18:11]. Yet King Saul goes to the witch of Endor, who brings up the dead prophet Samuel for him. Samuel responds: Why have you ...
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1answer
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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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1answer
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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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1answer
597 views

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 weeping....
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88 views

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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1answer
1k views

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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1answer
163 views

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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1answer
62 views

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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1answer
198 views

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? [closed]

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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