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Questions tagged [death]

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

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467 views

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 ...
2
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3answers
132 views

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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2answers
74 views

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 ...
21
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5answers
732 views

Did courts ever execute?

The laws of capital crimes elucidated in Sanhedrin and elsewhere make conviction very unlikely. Makkot 1:10 famously tells us that a court that executes once in seven years is considered "destructive",...
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1answer
232 views

Should Kaddish for a parent be said for eleven or twelve months?

Should Kaddish for a parent be said for eleven or twelve months? When I said Kaddish for my father fifty years ago I read in the prayer book at the Chevra Kaddisha Bnai Jacob in Montreal that it ...
2
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2answers
136 views

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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0answers
45 views

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
7
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2answers
1k views

May a non-Jew have an abortion?

Are non-Jews permitted to have abortions? (Consider the gemara in Sanhedrin 57b where "a baraita brings in the name of Rabbi Yishmael that a Ben Noach gets capital punishment if he intentionally ...
10
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1answer
152 views

Why were מִישָׁאֵל and אֶלְצָפָן chosen to remove Nadav and Avihu?

There were many other people who could have been chosen to remove the dead bodies of Nadav and Avihu from the Mishkan (Vayikra 10:4). Why were מִישָׁאֵל and אֶלְצָפָן chosen for this task as opposed ...
1
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1answer
286 views

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.
3
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2answers
102 views

How can Nefesh mean a dead person?

In Vayikra 21:1 it's stated that one should not defile himself for any (dead) nefesh (person). How can a word like nefesh which seems to be the force that animated the body and gave it it's life, ...
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3answers
111 views

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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0answers
29 views

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? ...
13
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1answer
142 views

Why didn't Joshua appoint a leader after him?

When Joshua dies, he doesn't (at least not explicitly in Joshua 24 or Judges 1) appoint a spiritual or military leader after him. Joshua was appointed by Moses (Numbers 27:15-23) and that appears to ...
3
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0answers
56 views

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 ...
2
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2answers
92 views

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?
14
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3answers
2k views

Do Jews pray to deceased forefathers?

Shalom, I would like to know if Jews consider it acceptable to pray to deceased ancestors, forefathers, or "saints" like some Christians in the Catholic tradition do. Deuteronomy 18:11 would seem to ...
1
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1answer
56 views

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....
7
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1answer
383 views

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 ...
26
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2answers
234 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
145 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
45 views

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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0answers
34 views

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 ...
4
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2answers
71 views

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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0answers
22 views

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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1answer
190 views

Adom eating from tree of knowledge

Why didn't Adom eat from the tree of life first and then eat from the tree of knowledge so he can live forever? Do any Medroshim discuss this?
2
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2answers
82 views

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 ...
8
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2answers
268 views

What is the Orthodox Jewish position regarding a criminal ban on abortion?

I know that many Orthodox Jews oppose abortion - presumably because they see this as a religious requirement - but does Orthodox Judaism see it as required or preferable to support a secular law ...
1
vote
1answer
188 views

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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1answer
30 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
44 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
58 views

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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3answers
1k views

(Why) do we close the eyes of the deceased?

I heard someone say that when one passes away we have to close their eyes. Where in halacha does it say this? Why do we do this?
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1answer
68 views

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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2answers
40 views

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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0answers
157 views

Should I rend k'riyah if I witness the death of a non-relative? If so, what's the procedure?

In another question, Chalutznahal cites Yoreh De'ah 340:5, which says that when I witness a fellow Jew die, I must rend my shirt out of sadness. And British Rabbi Dr. Moshe Freedman brings this down ...
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3answers
390 views

Must EMTs and others rend Kriyah each time they see a patient die?

I was looking at Yoreh De'ah 340:5 (יו"ד סימן ש"מ ס"ק ה) and Moed Katan 25b (כה עמוד ב), which require Kriyah (garment-rending) for all who are there at the time of death. It would seem to me that an ...
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3answers
280 views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
93 views

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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2answers
102 views

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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0answers
43 views

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 ...
2
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2answers
47 views

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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4answers
2k views

Is it better to kill 1 person or let 5 die?

I was recently reading about the Trolley Problem A trolley is running out of control down a track. In its path are five people who have been tied to the track by a mad philosopher. Fortunately, you ...
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0answers
45 views

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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0answers
37 views

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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6answers
5k views

Non-Jews (Gentiles) in Olam Haba (Jewish Afterlife)?

Are there non-Jews in Olam Haba (the world to come), either in Gehenom (Hell) or Gan Eden (Heaven)?
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votes
2answers
139 views

Why did the Dor Hamabul earn a painless death?

There are, apparently, 903 levels of death, and the term vayigva is one of them. According to some, it refers to the simple act of expiration -- the creation of a corpse. Others, like the Rashi ...
19
votes
5answers
393 views

Why do fish die?

There's an interesting Rashi in Parshas Bereishis (3:6): וַתֵּ֣רֶא הָֽאִשָּׁ֡ה כִּ֣י טוֹב֩ הָעֵ֨ץ לְמַאֲכָ֜ל וְכִ֧י תַֽאֲוָה־ה֣וּא לָעֵינַ֗יִם וְנֶחְמָ֤ד הָעֵץ֙ לְהַשְׂכִּ֔יל וַתִּקַּ֥ח ...
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0answers
42 views

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 ...
2
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0answers
19 views

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.,...