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Questions tagged [death]

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

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8
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1answer
264 views

Kohen Gadol Yibum

Is it ever possible for a Kohen Gadol to perform the Mitzvah of Yibum. After all, every case of Yibum involves a widow which the Kohen Gadol is not allowed to marry?
6
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2answers
237 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 ...
6
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3answers
807 views

Do modern Jewish cemeteries separate the “righteous” from the “wicked”?

Do modern Jewish cemeteries separate the "righteous" from the "wicked"? I have read in various sources that "we don't bury rashim near tzadikim"--that people must be buried near others of similar ...
5
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1answer
81 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 ...
5
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3answers
173 views

Who killed Shaul?

Ⅰ Sh'muel 31:3–5: וַתִּכְבַּד הַמִּלְחָמָה אֶל שָׁאוּל…. וַיֹּאמֶר שָׁאוּל לְנֹשֵׂא כֵלָיו שְׁלֹף חַרְבְּךָ וְדָקְרֵנִי בָהּ… וְלֹא אָבָה נֹשֵׂא כֵלָיו כִּי יָרֵא מְאֹד וַיִּקַּח שָׁאוּל אֶת ...
4
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1answer
551 views

Is a convert allowed to say Yizkor for their non-Jewish parents? [duplicate]

Is a convert allowed to say Yizkor for their deceased parents if they are non-Jewish?
4
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2answers
464 views

Why do we cut the tzitzit out of a tallit for a dead person?

I have seen that when one of our community elder died and when they put on tallit they cut out the tzitzit part and let him put only the garment. Why is this done to a dead person? Is there a source ...
4
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2answers
509 views

Is a Cohen Allowed to Perform CPR?

CPR is performed when the heart has stopped but the brain is still alive. We have a general rule that a Cohen is not allowed to come in contact with a dead body. If so, does this mean that a Kohen ...
3
votes
1answer
359 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 ...
2
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6answers
649 views

Can God destroy Himself?

I was thinking about it lately. If God can do everything, can He destroy Himself? Is there something about this possibility in any of the holy books?
2
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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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0answers
50 views

Davening for the demise of the wicked

Is it a mitzvah,permissible, forbidden to daven for a Jewish wicked person to die? If the wicked person is someone who is trying convert Jews to Christianity would that make a difference? I am looking ...
1
vote
1answer
249 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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4answers
401 views

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?
24
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3answers
394 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 ...
8
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3answers
209 views

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 ...
7
votes
2answers
421 views

Is there a source that the Messiah can die and return?

Is there a source in Judaism that indicates that Moshiach (Ben David, not Ben Yosef) will die before having fulfilled his role and then return to posthumously achieve it?
7
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4answers
1k views

Why do many non-Orthodox Jews come to shul regularly only after a parent's death? [closed]

I attend a Conservative / traditional shul. Primarily because of neighborhood demographics (the neighborhood is now largely Orthodox), we have tremendous problems forming a daily minyan. It seems that ...
2
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3answers
259 views

How many people died before Pinchas killed Zimri?

In the mass death at the end of Parashas Balak, how many people died before Pinchas killed Zimri?
26
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2answers
250 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 ...
16
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2answers
566 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 ...
14
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2answers
363 views

Why does the Torah not record the passing of Leah?

The Torah records the passing of all the patriarchs and matriarchs: Sarah - Bereishis 23:1-2 Avraham - Bereishis 25:8-9 Rochel - Bereishis 35:19 Yitzchak - Bereishis 35:29 Then Rivkah is not ...
13
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2answers
2k views

Is it inappropriate to say Baruch Dayan Haemes on a Ben Noach? Why or why not?

Is it inappropriate to say Baruch Dayan Haemes on a Ben Noach? What about someone who may have been an oved avoda zarah? Someone who is definitely such? I'm asking because I've seen such discussion ...
11
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1answer
199 views

Should you save yourself and let one person die, or the other way round

If a car is going down the road and there is no way to stop it and someone walks out in front of the car, should the driver swerve and kill themselves, or should they continue and let the other person ...
9
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4answers
446 views

Can the living negatively affect the dead?

As far as I know, living people can positively affect the dead. This is the reason we say Kaddish and learn Mishnayos for the souls of the deceased. (Feel free to comment with more examples of this.) ...
8
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2answers
3k views

Naming your child using a dead relative's initial

Is there a Jewish tradition of naming your child using the first letter of the name of a recently deceased relative?
8
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1answer
251 views

Saying Baruch Dayan HaEmeth when you don't know the person

Is it appropriate to say "Baruch Dayan HaEmeth" when you hear of sad news about a person you don't know, or a person you have corresponded with but haven't met? Does it make a difference if you've ...
7
votes
1answer
312 views

Answering Amen to kaddish for a dog

I once attended a synagogue regularly where a particular congregant was infatuated with his dog. Upon the passing of the dog the congregant began to say kaddish. He was unclear of his reasons for ...
7
votes
1answer
205 views

Halakhic problem with indirectly effecting posthumous Mormon baptism?

Would there be any halakhic problem with using LDS resources to do family history research, if you knew it would result in deceased Jews being named in posthumous baptism rituals? Or is this ...
7
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2answers
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, ...
7
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2answers
575 views

Does Kiddushin 81b imply that one opinion allows for suicide if that is the only way to keep from sinning?

The Gemoro in Kiddushin 81b brings down the following (shortened version of the) story: Rabbi Chiya Bar Ashi used to say 'May God save me from the Yetzer Hora'! When his wife overheard him she ...
7
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0answers
172 views

How do you avoid 'al tiftah peh l'satan'?

There is a principle of al tiftach peh l'satan (Ketubot 8b) - literally "don't open your mouth to the Satan". How can concern for this principle be avoided when discussing possible bad future ...
6
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1answer
706 views

Can an autopsy be performed on a Jewish body?

Halachically can one perform an autopsy on a Jewish body? One one hand, the Talmud Sanhedrin 47a explains that the verses in Deuteronomy 21:22-23 we can learn that one must not delay a burial and ...
6
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2answers
545 views

Does “die” in Bereishit 2:17 imply the *beginning* of a process death, or simply *death*?

It is true that Adam and Eve didn’t die the exact day they ate, as some seem to think Genesis 2:17 implies. The Hebrew is die-die (muwth-muwth), which is often translated as “surely die” or literally ...
5
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2answers
2k views

Are there burial requirements for pets?

Halacha requires certain burial practices for people, because people are special. Are there any requirements or, especially, prohibitions regarding pets who have died? Is it acceptable to cremate ...
4
votes
1answer
123 views

Kriyah at time of death when it occurs on Shabbos

When somone is there at Yitzias Neshomah (time of death) there is a requirement to rip Kriyah what happens if this situation occurs on Shabbos? Do you rip Kriyah or do the laws of Shabbos prevent you ...
4
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1answer
147 views

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?
3
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2answers
342 views

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.
3
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1answer
166 views

When is revenge permitted

I understand that it is forbidden for a Jew to take revenge. Rambam Deyot 7.7 A person who takes revenge against a colleague transgresses a Torah prohibition, as Leviticus 19:18 states: "Do not ...
2
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3answers
414 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
198 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
15k views

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 ...
1
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1answer
135 views

Can you kill person A to protect yourself from B?

So it's really difficult to think of a practical example of this, but imagine there were some scenario in which, G-d forbid, you needed to kill a non-guilty party in self-defense. If one were in this ...
16
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5answers
3k views

Can you be buried in a Jewish Cemetery if you have a tattoo?

Can you be buried in a Jewish Cemetery if you have a tattoo? I.e., is it just urban legend that you can't?
11
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1answer
195 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....
10
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2answers
299 views

Davening for someone to end a painful life

Are you allowed to daven for a person to die because he is in a lot of pain?
7
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3answers
2k views

Wearing a deceased's shoes

A friend of mine asked me if a deceased's shoes should be disposed of, and if so - why.
7
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4answers
214 views

Commemorating Death

What are some sources about when it is appropriate - if ever - to celebrate the death of an enemy? My question is inspired by last night's news of the death of Osama Bin Laden, naturally, as well as ...
7
votes
1answer
453 views

How was Rabbi Yochanan allowed to walk with his son's bone?

It says in Brachos 5B that R' Yochanan used to show people his tenth son's bone (all of his children passed away, and he used to carry a bone of his tenth child). How was he allowed to not bury this ...
7
votes
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 ...