Questions tagged [death]

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

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0answers
162 views

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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2answers
549 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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250 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 ...
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132 views

If you don't give up your life, are you liable?

The Gemarah in Sanhedrin says that there are three things a person should give up his life for rather than violate. They are idolatry, murder and sexual immorality. But suppose, if a guy has a gun to ...
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1answer
70 views

If I'll tell you I'll have to kill you, maybe even then not

Can one tell Lashon Hara to someone about to die? It won't spread any further. Do poskim discuss this?
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1answer
150 views

Questions surrounding Bilam's death

In Parshas Matos (Bamidbar 31:8) it says וְאֵת בִּלְעָם בֶּן-בְּעוֹר הָרְגוּ בֶּחָרֶב. Did Bilam do anything to avoid getting killed? What did he do? And who actually killed him?
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Chevra Kaddisha string locations

I recently did a tahara and I was curious about where a lot of the practices came from and what the meaning behind them is. One thing we did was we tied strings around various locations of the ...
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1answer
226 views

Chevra Kadisha knots

I recently did a tahara and I was curious about where a lot of the practices came from and what the meaning behind them is. One thing we did was that when we tied any knots, we twist-wrapped the two ...
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1answer
283 views

How to be prepared for participation in the Chevra Kaddisha

What are some things that I (or anyone) should take into consideration before participating in a tahara, the ritual preparation of a body for burial?
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Ramban's perception on death

I read Rav Gifter's biography, where he states the following: The Ramban, in his introduction to Iyov, asks a question: “Why do we cry at a moment of death? “Why do we shed tears? This is the natural ...
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461 views

How did the sons of Haman die? (Chronology of Esther chapter 9)

The 10 sons of Haman were hanged as we read in the Megillah. (Esther 9:14) But it appears they were killed by the sword. Is this a correct chronology of the story / facts? Haman was hanged on or ...
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1answer
147 views

Why isn't the deceased mentioned in the mourner's kaddish?

The kaddish mentions the Almighty but I would have thought it would have also mentioned the departed. What is the reason for this?
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1answer
75 views

According to Jewish law, if my only witness in a trial is deceased, what happens?

In the case that someone makes a certain claim before a court but requires a witness(es), however, the witnesses are deceased. Does that mean the person's claim has no bearing?
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Would they have died anyway?

I preface my question by noting that this question can be uncomfortable to some people, but hope that this great community can answer it Take any tragic event where people died, be it 9/11 or the ...
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How to handle cadavers which are highly likely to be Jewish

This question How to handle cadavers asked what should be done where a student had to handle cadavers in their medical (dentistry) classes. A comment took the view that outside of Israel, the ...
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1answer
618 views

How to handle cadavers

My fiancée is going to university, working towards a degree in dentistry. For about a year, she will be required to handle cadavers in the classes. First of all, is this forbidden in Torah? Secondly, ...
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82 views

How to express thanks for G-d's salvation when others weren't as fortunate

It is customary that one who was miraculously saved from death acknowledge G-d's kindness by making a celebratory meal (Seudat Hoda'ah). See here, here, and the Chayei Adam 154:41 Does anyone discuss ...
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1answer
88 views

What to do to fill the void when a Torah giant dies

I want to do something to fill the void left in the world from the passing of a Torah Giant. All the Torah that he learnt, all the Mitzvos that he did, all the merit that this world had because of him ...
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Does halakhah forbid Jews from eating pets that die naturally?

Suppose you keep a goldfish in your house. One day, it dies. Assuming that it has died a natural death (that is, you didn't intentionally kill it), is it kosher to eat this goldfish?
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2answers
145 views

Did Pharaoh himself drown at Yam Suf

It would appear from the text that he did. Firstly the fact he was there, and leading the army himself: (Exodus 14 verse 10) with Rashi Pharaoh drew near, and the children of Israel lifted up ...
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2answers
285 views

Questions on David's order to kill Yoav

When David was dying, he gave a final speech to Shlomo Melachim I 2 . There he tells Shlomo to kill Yoav and Shimi ben Gera. Why are these his final instructions in the first place? I expect a ...
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Is the mourning for a late relative dependent on the state of their relationship before death?

Are the halochos (laws) about observing mourning rituals for a relative (e.g., shiva, shloshim, etc.), affected in any way by the state of the relationship between the mourner and deceased before his ...
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1answer
175 views

Why is sleeping with shoes on a taste of death?

The gemarah in Yoma 78b teaches that sleeping with shoes is a taste of death. This is also codified in halacha. I would like to understand why this is the case. What is it about sleeping with shoes ...
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109 views

Kill a no-longer-profitable horse?

My understanding is that a horse is killed when its profit no longer matches its expense. Is this something Jews should/may do? I can think of some pros and cons, but wonder what authorities have said,...
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257 views

How many years before Yakov did Rochel die?

The torah teaches us that when Binyomin was born to Yakov, his wife Rochel died. How old was Yakov Avinu when Rochel died and how many years was that before his petira?
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103 views

Adam and the tree of life?

I have been considering Adam and what G-d said about Adam pertaining to the tree of life directly after the fall. After Adam had transgressed, G-d commanded that the tree of life be withheld from him ...
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1answer
291 views

How does the tree of life work?

There were two special trees in Gan Eden. In the case of the tree of knowledge of good and bad, we know that eating from it once produced a permanent effect. Was this true for the tree of life too, ...
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1answer
48 views

Age range of meisei midbar

The dor hamidbar was cursed to die before entering the land. Children under 20 were not included in the curse. Was there an upper limit to the age of those who died in the desert?
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What does Mot Yumat mean?

In the chumash, any sources. What is the literal translation and does it mean, mot = this world, yumat = the next world?
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1answer
338 views

Source for eulogy of lost bookcases

I recall learning a gemarah (Bavli) where a certain scholar passed away and when another scholar was asked to eulogize him he responded with something akin to, "What should I say? We lost our ...
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273 views

Does killing a pest make a person unclean?

I know there were previous questions asking whether it is OK to kill a pest, say a fly, but the consequences are unclear. So I'm asking if killing a pest makes a person unclean.
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3answers
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Why is it called parshas Chayei Sarah

2 Weeks ago was Parshas Chayei Sarah, and in the beginning for the first Alia (portion) it spoke about how Abraham buried Sarah.And then for the next 6 Alia's it speaks about Yitzchok and the whole ...
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1answer
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Where can I find Rabbi Yehuda HaChassid's will online?

Rabbi Yehuda HaChassid wrote a famous will. The only place I was able to find it was on Hebrewbooks.org. However, it's an old print and an incomplete one at that. Is there somewhere the complete ...
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1answer
192 views

Tahara procedure for a body with an infectious disease

I've heard that one vector for the spread of Ebola is ceremonial contact that family members have with the body of their deceased relative. That led me to think about how Judaism deals with this issue....
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1answer
176 views

Is a ban on government workers wearing religious symbols a gezeirat hamalchut for which one would be obligated to give up his life?

So, i haven't heard that anyone today is making this punishable by death, but still... France has a law that prohibits government workers from wearing religious symbols on their job. This naturally ...
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2answers
129 views

Do you have to judge dead people favorably?

In Avot we learn that one should judge all people favorably ("והוי דן את כל האדם לכף זכות"). I would like to know if that includes the deceased. Meaning, can I look back on the life of a person who is ...
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1answer
147 views

Life after death? [duplicate]

Can anyone direct me to a book or commentary on Jewish thoughts on what happens after death, and the evolution of those ideas. I understand that Judaism is centered on how to live life, but from I can ...
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1answer
248 views

Proliferation of species after the flood

I am curious as to how many species didn't go extinct immediately after the flood. There were 2 of each non-kosher animal that came off of the ark. I assume that the foxes and lions got hungry ...
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A theological problem with the Miriam “Magdalene” story in Chagiga 4b

There is an interesting story at the bottom of Chagiga 4b, top of 5a. The Angel of Death is telling a Rabbi of an incident that happened. The AoD has an assistant. The AoD tells him to reap Miriam ...
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1answer
188 views

Innocent babies killed in flood

In Parasha Noach, why were presumably innocent babies killed in the Flood? I would appreciate if someone could provide some elucidation.
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1answer
101 views

The reason Aaron's two sons died

Why did Aaron's two elder sons die? I've heard that there are many reasons offered, and would appreciate knowing as many as possible.
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Can one accomplish Tzedaka through a will?

If one gives Tzedaka through a will -- so it is meant to be given after death -- does that person get the Mitzvah of Tzedaka? The reason I would think "no" is because it is difficult to understand ...
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1answer
154 views

May one publish or read the private diary of a deceased person?

Recently the private diary of Rav Kook was published; diaries of other Rabbis have also been published posthumously. Is there any halachic problem with publishing these documents, and, if there is, is ...
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2answers
259 views

Leather and vegetarianism according to Rav Kook?

According to Rav Kook, it is ideal to be a vegetarian. This is because he assumes G-d would not create a world in which creatures could not exist in harmony (see linked article) and therefore this ...
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1answer
83 views

Can Moshe die at will?

Devarim 32:49-50 עֲלֵה אֶל-הַר הָעֲבָרִים הַזֶּה הַר-נְבוֹ, אֲשֶׁר בְּאֶרֶץ מוֹאָב, אֲשֶׁר, עַל-פְּנֵי יְרֵחוֹ; וּרְאֵה אֶת-אֶרֶץ כְּנַעַן, אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי נֹתֵן לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לַאֲחֻזָּה. נ ...
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3answers
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Why did the Jews complain that the mon would kill them after they spent 39 years eating it?

In Bamidbar 21:5, the Jews complained about the mon. Rashi explains that this was because it was entirely absorbed into their bodies, and they had no need to relieve themselves after eating it, so ...
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Did the ancient Rabbanim believe that the spirits of the dead walked the Earth?

In the Midrashim I noticed that Rabbanim keep mentioning events in which the Rabbi would be walking along and come across a man doing some task and it would turn out to be the spirit of a dead man who ...
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1answer
476 views

Issues of Tumah vis a vis non-Jewish human remains

I was once told that there's a crypt in the Old City of Jerusalem near one of the gates (I forget which one), which houses the remains of a well-regarded non-Jew (once again, I forget the exact ...
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1answer
79 views

Is עליו השלום inappropriate to say about a living person?

The phrase "olov hashalom" is often appended to names of the deceased. I don't know very much about it's history or any deeper implications, but at face value it just means "peace be upon him." I ...