Questions tagged [funeral-burial-levaya]

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16
votes
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?
16
votes
1answer
1k views

According to Halacha, does one have to bury teeth?

Is there a halachic obligation to bury teeth that have fallen out, just as one buries other body parts that become detached? If not, why? Does the same apply to detached skin? Or hair? Related: Do ...
15
votes
7answers
4k views

Do surgically removed body parts require Kevurah?

If one has surgery (may it never be necessary) that requires the removal of an organ of the body (e.g. a gallbladder or appendix), is burial required? Or can the body part simply be discarded?
14
votes
1answer
597 views

Can a Jew who dies on Mars be buried there?

Recently, the news has been talking about sending people on a 1-way trip to Mars. AFAIK, no Jews have applied or are scheduled to make the trip. B"H, because I see all sorts of interesting halachic ...
14
votes
3answers
488 views

May a Jewish cemetery refuse a body?

Based on a recent news item wherein cemeteries have been refusing to inter the body of one of the (alleged) Boston bombers, I am curious whether a Jewish cemetery's operators are allowed to refuse to ...
13
votes
5answers
514 views

Just how overpriced was Efron's burial cave anyway?

In B'reishit 23 Avraham pays 400 shekels to Efron for the cave of Machpelah. This seems to be an enormous amount of money and Rashi suggests it's even worse than it appears (referring to larger ...
13
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4answers
482 views

Cremations for Jews?

Why shouldn't Jews be cremated?
11
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7answers
665 views

Why was Moshe buried alone?

Why did Hashem bury Moshe in an unknown place, and did not do so with other great Tzadikim like Avraham, Yitchak and Yaakov?
10
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3answers
16k views

“How long is a Jewish funeral?”

A non-Jewish co-worker who was invited to a Jewish funeral asked me how long they typically are. I told her that, thank God, I hadn't been to many, but my understanding is that they probably vary a ...
10
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1answer
186 views

What does a tahara accomplish for a dead person?

What does a tahara, the process of washing and dressing a dead person, accomplish spiritually for the meis?
10
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2answers
283 views

Can one write one's own Hespid?

Tragically, I have an incurable disease and have little time left. I have told a number of friends about this and said good-bye to them in an email. In return, I have received a number of emails ...
10
votes
1answer
614 views

What happened to the Jewish practice of using burial caves?

A three-part question about funerary practices. In ancient times, Jews used to bury people for a year or two, then, after the body decomposed, collect their bones and put them in a family cave. In ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Ripping out a blade of grass by a funeral?

At my great-uncle's funeral today, all of the participants (except the mourners) were told to rip out a blade of grass and say a passuk (I don't remember which). Is this a Jewish minhag? If so, what ...
8
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2answers
394 views

Closed caskets for Jewish burials

In the United States (and possibly other countries), what are the reasons behind Jewish funerals always having closed caskets?
8
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3answers
506 views

Above ground burial

Is an above-ground burial halachically acceptable? For example, I've seen multi-story graves that look like a parking garage and tombs that are carved into the side of a mountain.
8
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2answers
2k views

What is appropriate covering for non-Jewish men at a Jewish funeral?

I am going to the funeral of a close friend's sister; the family is Jewish. In the funeral notice it states: "Gentlemen please wear head covering". My question is: what is an appropriate covering ...
8
votes
1answer
146 views

Why are women on right side of room by a funeral & left side by weddings?

I just came from an orthodox funeral & noticed that the women were on the right side of the room & the men on the left. By weddings however it's the opposite with men on the right & women ...
8
votes
4answers
114 views

Why are Bikkurim and burial different from each other?

In this week's parsha we read about the mitzvah of Bikkurim. The Torah tells us to bring our first fruits of the season to the Beit Hamikdash, and offer it to the Kohanim. We are also told that the ...
8
votes
1answer
188 views

Onen and Meis Mitzvah

If an onen comes across a meis mitzvah (let's assume there is either another person to be involved with the onen's personal meis or there is more time to be involved with his meis later), is the onen ...
8
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0answers
77 views

Can I bury my own sheimos? [duplicate]

If I don't want to pay to have someone bury sheimos for me, is it ok to bury them in my backyard? Is there any procedure that I would have to follow as far as how to deep to bury it or any certain ...
7
votes
1answer
245 views

Do cremated remains contaminate with tumas mes?

If a body is cremated, do the ashes transmit tumah as do other human remains, or does cremation render the body no longer tamei?
7
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2answers
3k views

Washing Hands post Funeral

What is the proper way to wash after a Funeral or a visit to the Cemetery?
7
votes
1answer
450 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
1answer
667 views

Burying on shelves, one on top of the other

Recently I read an article regarding burial in Israel. There seems to be a shortage of graves and therefore there are those that are using this method of burying 4 deep underground in order to ...
7
votes
1answer
249 views

What is the significance of the skull of Araunah the Yevusi?

Araunah the Yevusi sells the land upon which the beis hamikdash will eventually be built to Dovid HaMelech (II Shemuel 24:18). Subsequently his skull is found underneath the mizbeach at least twice (...
7
votes
0answers
402 views

After-death care of a non-Jewish relative

If a Jew has been entrusted with the after-death care of a non-Jewish relative, what should be done? Specifically, if the non-Jewish relative requested to be cremated after death, can or should a Jew ...
6
votes
3answers
800 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 ...
6
votes
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?
6
votes
1answer
123 views

burying the dead in Jerusholaim - 1948

The Rambam (Beis Habechira 7 14) rules that one may not bury people in the old city of Yerushlaim. What did they do during the siege in 1948 when they couldn't leave the old city? Where did they bury ...
6
votes
2answers
168 views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Can non Jews be buried in a Jewish Cemetery?

Can a non Jew be buried in a Jewish Cemetery under any circumstances?
6
votes
2answers
302 views

When is a Yartziet Observed?

When is a Yartzeit observed, the day of death or the day of burial? I ask this question in response to the news of the terrible death of the three boys in Eretz Yisrael who died weeks before their ...
6
votes
1answer
86 views

How long must a grave remain a grave?

I was recently reading an article which suggested planting trees over graves which made me think of this question... How long does Jewish law require a grave to remain as a grave for the original ...
6
votes
1answer
47 views

Burial with Geniza

I once heard a Rav say that one way in which he disposes of his stash of Geniza is to bury it with the deceased if the family allows. He claimed that it was a segula (I can’t recall his source). I ...
6
votes
1answer
329 views

Is a cardboard coffin appropriate?

Inspired by the film Avatar (2009) In the opening scene of the film, set in the mid 22nd century, we see a non-Jewish funeral for the protagonist's brother, in which his body (in a cardboard aron) is ...
6
votes
0answers
235 views

Parent dying overseas - visit now or attend funeral?

A person lives far away from a dying parent and cannot afford more than one visit. What do the halachic sources say about when they should visit? Should they visit the parent immediately and miss the ...
5
votes
2answers
169 views

Childrens' Tombstones [closed]

Why are childrens' tombstones smaller than those of adults?
5
votes
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
4k views

How long does one say Kaddish for a parent?

For example, if one's parent died on 1 Nissan, and was buried on 2 Nissan, what is the last day on which kaddish would be said for them?
5
votes
1answer
378 views

Burial of a convert out of Judaism

A Jewish man converts to Christianity and becomes estranged from his family. When he dies, his next-of-kin is his brother. Is the brother obligated to bury the deceased as a Christian, or can he bury ...
5
votes
1answer
356 views

What is to be done with a Sefer Torah written by an apikoreis, or by a soffer of unknown apikoreis-status?

What is to be done with a Sefer Torah written by an apikoreis, or by a soffer of unknown apikoreis-status (whether it be a question of the status of the soffer who wrote it, or if it is unknown who ...
5
votes
1answer
166 views

Are we supposed to say “go…” when parting from the dead?

The g'mara on B'rachot 64a quotes R. Avin Halevi as saying that when we depart from a person we should say "go to peace" (like Yitro to Moshe), not "go in peace" (like David to Avshalom), but that ...
5
votes
1answer
239 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
92 views

Why did Esav care about burial in machpelah?

The midrash records that Esav tried to stop Yaakov from being buried in the cave of machpelah. I would like to know if any commentators explain why Esav would care about this? I recall hearing that he ...
5
votes
2answers
62 views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
226 views

Travel on same plane as body to Israel?

After a recent death here in South Africa it arose in conversation that there is a problem for mourners to fly on the same plane as the body to its burial in Israel. Aside from Kehuna issues (which ...
5
votes
1answer
459 views

Where are Bilhah and Zilpa buried?

Where are Bilhah and Zilpa buried?
5
votes
3answers
185 views

Could a Cohen burn a body to escape the impurity?

Excuse the extreme hypothetical, but: If a Cohen were locked in a room with no windows and a dead body, and just so happened to have lighter fluid and a pack of matches (and there were small holes in ...
5
votes
2answers
524 views

Why are Mordechai and Esther buried in Hamedan, considering it is distant from Shushan?

According to Google Maps, Hamedan is about 470 KM from Shush, the Biblical town of Shushan. If Mordechai and Esther lived in Shushan (where Esther served as Queen), why were they buried so far away ...
5
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2answers
952 views

Burying face down in Judaism

I understand in other cultures burying face down is a sign of disgrace and is generally frowned upon. How is it viewed in Judaism? Is the position of the body at burial of concern? If a body is buried ...