Questions tagged [death]

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

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Is the Torah only for the living?

Why do we have to cut the tallith of a dead person? Where can we find that the mitsvoth are only for the living?
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Why is death like release ropes of a boat?

The gemarah in moed katan (28b-29a) records two statements regarding the experience of death either being as difficult as passing a (knotted?) rope through a hole [Rashi explains this refers to ropes ...
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Cryonics in Judaism

I was recently reading an article about cryogenics, there are around 200 bodies frozen in cryogenics labs around the world, and in the article they said that in the near future they may be able to ...
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3answers
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What is the importance of the human body after death?

On one hand, we are told that the body is a simply container holding our soul. We have to take care of it while alive because we are borrowing it for our time on Earth. It is widely believed that our ...
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Why do we wish someone “long life” on the occasion of the anniversary of the death of relative?

Why do english-speaking Orthodox Jews in the UK wish someone “long life” on the occasion of the anniversary of the death of relative? I can understand this wish directly after the death when I have ...
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1answer
326 views

Would it be wrong to pray for someone's death?

If I knew someone was languishing in the hospital, suffering constantly and intensely, and about to die, while I can't physically do anything to hasten the death, can I add in my davening a request ...
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The Impurity of Teeth

In Bemidbar 19:16, the Torah mentions impurity conveyed by a person's bone. From this, the gemara learns out that those parts of a corpse that convey impurity are those parts that are like a bone in ...
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177 views

Is it permitted to say Dayan Emet for deceased pet?

Judging from a few other posts on Mi Yodeya I am left with the impression we do not say anything for a deceased pet. But asking just to be sure.
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1answer
101 views

Empty seat at the head of the table after the parent is dead

My mother, grandmother and aunts had a rule that no one was allowed to sit in the seat at the head of the table that was previously occupied by their (now) deceased husbands. They said that this was ...
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Are there any early mentions of the concept of “l'iluy nishmas”?

On his Rationalist Judaism blog, R' Natan Slifkin posed this question: I am very interested to know if there are any early mentions of the phrase "l'iluy nishmas" or the concept thereof. (I am not ...
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Why is a bris performed after death?

Why does an infant baby boy who dies before he can be circumcised have a circumcision performed after death? If, as the article states it is to prepare the body for the next world why is this ritual ...
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dying person reciting shema

I have read a few times about people reciting the shema before dying. what is the reason for this and does it have any basis in halacha.
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Can an Onen receive an Aliyah?

By onen I mean someone who as lost their sibling, and they haven't been buried yet. Can an onen be called to the Torah as an Oleh? Can an onen read from the Torah?
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1answer
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Tzitzis showing in the presence of a dead woman?

One should not have tzitzis showing in the presence of a dead body. As Chabad.org says: It is forbidden to be in the presence of a dead Jewish body while one's tzitzit strings are out in the open....
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If someone is halachically dead and then resuscitated, does his wife need a get to be divorced (is she already a widow)? [duplicate]

If someone is considered halichically dead (apparently this is somewhat of a dispute), and then he is "brought back" through modern day medical techniques, does his wife need a get to be divorced, or ...
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Can one be liable for death by delivering upsetting news?

In Parshas Chayei Sarah (23:2), Rashi quotes Bereishis Rabbah (58:5) that the reason the Parsha of Sarah's death is juxtaposed to Akeidas Yitzchak is: לספוד לשרה ולבכתה: ונסמכה מיתת שרה לעקידת ...
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who makes brocha by bar mitzva if no dad?

If someone's father passed away, who makes the brocha of baruch shepotrani when he gets his aliya at the torah by his bar mitzva?
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When may a body be removed from its resting place and buried elsewhere?

In what instances may a body be removed from its resting place and be interred elsewhere?
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How to determine that someone is a גוסס?

Is there any article or guidebook that tells how to determine that a sick person has reached the stage of being a גוסס (gosess) to the extent that any kohen present should leave? A gosess  is a ...
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203 views

Speaking badly about a deceased person

It seems obvious that one shouldn't speak badly or in a negative way against anyone whether they are living or not. However does it say anywhere that particularly one should be careful about speaking ...
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1answer
97 views

An obligation to intervene?

I was posed a hypothetical question about medical ethics today. I am not looking for a psak as much as for sources on the discussion about halachic responsibility. Case 1: You are personally told by ...
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3answers
267 views

In Judaism is there a book of the dead?

I am Jewish and I know that in Tibet, in Buddhism, there is a Book of the Dead. It is a text that describes, and is intended to guide one through, the experiences that the consciousness experiences ...
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5answers
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Why believe angels' showing Aaron dead after being fooled about Moses?

When Moses didn't come down from Sinai, the Jews requested a replacement leader, explaining (Exodus 32:1) that this Moses man who lifted us out of the land of Egypt — we don't know what has ...
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Origin of Unveiling

Often, the family of the deceased will have an unveiling service for the presentation of the matzevah.* What is the origin of this custom? *Source: Goldin, Hyman. Hamadrikh. Hebrew Publishing Company:...
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Has cryonics been treated in Rabbinic literature? [duplicate]

Has it been treated by rabbinic literature? If yes, what does it say about cryonics?
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214 views

Near Death Experience and Judaism

How does Judaism view Near Death experiences? do we believe they are a figment of the imagination, or do we accept them? and if we do accept them, how do we believe stories of people who claim that ...
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Can one person say Kaddish for two different deceased people?

Can one person say Kaddish for someone at the same time he is saying Kaddish for his parent?
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1answer
100 views

Does one violate the Torah prohibition of tormenting a widow if she has remarried?

Does one violate the Torah prohibition (Ex. 22:21) of tormenting a widow if she has remarried? You may be inclined to say that the purpose of the Mitzvah is because she's defenseless and the Torah ...
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Location for medrash cited by the Chizkuni

The Chizkuni in Parshas Achrei Mos 16:22 writes that the ish iti (the person who would take the goat to har azazel) would not live through the year. He cites from a medrash that the person knew he was ...
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1answer
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Why did Yaakov only mention sheep dying?

In Bereshis 33:13 it says יג וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו, אֲדֹנִי יֹדֵעַ כִּי-הַיְלָדִים רַכִּים, וְהַצֹּאן וְהַבָּקָר, עָלוֹת עָלָי; וּדְפָקוּם יוֹם אֶחָד, וָמֵתוּ כָּל-הַצֹּאן. Yaakov initially lists ...
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Do “blind” and “housebound” define death?

In Rashi on Bereishit 28:13, there is an explanation as to why the text speaks of "the God of Isaac" even though Isaac is still alive. {text and translation from Chabad] } ואלהי יצחק: אף על פי שלא ...
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Who aside for Avraham and Adam in the torah died prematurely before their destined years?

I know Abraham died early because of Aisuv, Adam because of David. Who aside from them died prematurely, i.e. before their destined years?
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Did Abraham know that Lot Survived the Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah?

In last week's Parasha, we all know the story of Abraham arguing with God to have God spare the cities on account of the righteous. However, I haven't heard much about the end of the story. Genesis ...
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1answer
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Would a tattoo of burial wishes ever be permitted?

If a Jewish person, for whatever reason lived alone/in isolation from other Jews/or was not known to many other Jews on his area, would it be permissible for such a person to have their burial wishes (...
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What would a Jew be willing to die for? [duplicate]

What things would a Jew be willing to die for? Answers with a textual basis would be preferred.
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Proof that calling upon deceased righteous people is polythiesm

My assumption is that in the Jewish faith, if someone were to call upon a righteous person who is not alive for help, that would be considered polytheism. Are there any explicit verses in the Torah ...
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1answer
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Why was King David so sad over Avners death?

At the end of Shmuel 2 chapter 3, Joab kills Avner. Why was King David so upset and sad over his death? From reading the Tanach, it seems as if he barely knew Avner and Avner was not fond of the house ...
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When saying Shema Yisroel as your last words, should you say “בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד”?

Ad 120 Since the "Baruch shem..." that follows the statement of "Shema yisroel" was collocated to "Shema yisroel" by rabbis, and is subordinate to the extent that we say it in an undertone, must it ...
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Does Judaism require burial of the dead?

Does Judaism require burial of the dead? What Biblical passages mandate that? Can grave sites be reused after some time (e.g. 200 years) ? I am asking this because the practice of burying the dead in ...
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1answer
67 views

Sitting shiva upon the death of excommunicated individuals?

If a Minudeh (excommunicated individual) dies, does his or her family sit shiva for them? Does it matter whether they previously mourned this individual as part of the excommunication process?
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1answer
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When a tzaddik dies, does he leave his positive traits in this world?

I heard it said once that, when a righteous person (tzaddik) passes away, they somehow leave their positive character traits in this world to be used by others. Does anyone know the source for this ...
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How did Saul Die- The Amalekite claims to have killed him [duplicate]

In Book 2 of Shmuel chapter 1 The Amalekite that tells David of Sauls death. Did the Amalekite that claimed to have killed Saul tell that to David for his prestige? Why did he claim to have killed him?...
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1answer
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Do lost items belong to someone's heirs?

Let's say you found a dog on the street. You house and feed it, and place posters on the street. Two weeks later, the owner calls and identifies the dog, and plans to come to get it. On the way to ...
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1answer
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Can Mamzeirim live?

The gemarah in Yevamos (78b) says "mamzer eino chai" (A mamzer [who is not known, look later in the daf] doesn't live [for more than 12 months] so not to proliferate mamzeirim). On the other hand: ...
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Can one say Kaddish for a deceased family member even if their parents are still alive? [duplicate]

If a family member dies without leaving any children to say Kaddish for them, can another family member take on the job of saying Kaddish? Is it permissible even if the parents of the one saying it ...
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What do Jews believe happens to Christians when they die? [duplicate]

I've been reading a lot about Judaism and Christianity lately, and how people say they're completely incompatible, so my question is, given the differences between them, what do Jews think happen to ...
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548 views

What's the leading medical explanation for the “woman whose husbands keep dying” (“katlanit”) phenomenon?

The Gemara says that if a woman gets married, then her husband dies; then marries another guy and is widowed from him; then once more; we then assume something about her is causing her husbands to die ...
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2answers
249 views

Could the destroyer in Egypt discriminate?

In Rashi's comment to Shemos 12:22 we read ואתם לא תצאו וגו': מגיד שמאחר שנתנה רשות למשחית לחבל אינו מבחין בין צדיק לרשע …once permission has been given to the משחית (destroyer) to damage, ...
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Book of Joshua verse 1 & 2

The Book of Joshua begins: 1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ...