13

The Shulchan Aruch rules (YD 373:2) that the prohibition of contracting impurity from a corpse does not apply to female descendants of Kohanim. His source is the Mishna in Kiddushin 1:7 which lists 3 biblical prohibitions which do not apply to females: this one, destroying the 5 corners of one's beard, and rounding off the corners of one's hair ("peyos").


11

Anything which can contract impurity cannot block impurity from passing through it (Megillah 26b, Shulchan Aruch YD 371:1). A vessel can only contract impurity if it is made from cloth, sackcloth, leather, bone, wood, metal, or earthenware (Rambam Keilim 1:1, see Leviticus 11:32-33 and Numbers 31:22). Plastic therefore cannot contract impurity, so it can ...


11

See Yoreh Deah 362 Pischei Teshuva #1 were it seems amputated organs need not be buried, but consult your LOR (local orthodox Rabbi). Also see Kesuvos 20b where the custom is to bury amputated organs.


10

Chayim K'halacha question 223 - Rabbi Boruch Shlomo Blizinsky - says a Kohain may go on the paths that lead to Auschwitz however may not enter the area where the incinerators are.


10

Yes above-ground burial is halachically acceptable if done properly. For instance Israel suffers a lack of enough burial space and has developed a number of high-capacity above-ground "burial buildings". To respect the halachic requirement to be buried in earth (see this other answer), these buildings are built with vertical building columns filled with ...


8

The source of the name Maaras Hamachpeila could shed some light on this question. - According to one opinion in Eiruvin 53a, either Rav or Shmuel (the Gemara doesn't say which one said it) says the cave is named because it is "doubled with couples" i.e. there are many couples there. This would seem to imply that its main significance is who is buried there. ...


8

Deuteronomy 34 6: ולא ידע איש את קברתו עד היום הזה. In סוטה י׳ד ע׳א we find רבי חמא בר חנינא giving the reason it was hidden so that the Jews would not be able to go pray at his grave when going into galus. אמר רבי חמא בר חנינא מפני מה נסתר מקום קבורתו של משה מעיני בשר ודם, שגלוי וידוע לפני הקב׳ה שעתיד בית המקדש ליחרב וישראל יגלו מארצם, שמא יבאו לקברו של ...


8

There are a whole bunch of Poskim that answer this question online. Rav Eliezer Altshuler says that people go to Kivrei Tzadikim to pray, which is always allowed, and that there are different customs about visiting them on Chol Hamoed and during the month of Nissan in general. Rav Uziel Eliyahu says that adding a visit/prayer at Kivrei Tzadikim during a ...


7

First of all, I am not aware of any actual halachic source that states that a suicide is to be buried separately from the main Jewish cemetery. If anyone knows of a source for this, please let me know. In any event, while many of the halachos of mourning do not apply in the case of suicide (Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 345), this is only true if the person ...


7

The majority opinion follows Rabbi Yechezkel ben Yehuda Landau (1713 – 1793) opinion at Noda B’Yehuda I, Yoreh Deah (YD) 90, who holds that the mitzvah to bury separated body parts is required only of people who are dead, because it would be a disgrace not to. Rav Moshe Feinstein (1895-1986), however, held that even the body parts of living people must be ...


7

Orach Chaim 224:12 Beer Haitaiv 8 says the reason that either grass or stone is placed on the grave is as a honor for the person buried there, as it shows that people came to his grave. There is no mention as to placing more than or less than one.


7

The Pischei Tshuva in Yoreh Deah siman siff 195 #19 mentions a minhag not to go to the cemetery to pray during their Nida days. See here starting by footnote 12 for some more information. http://shulchanaruchharav.com/Home-Database/default.aspx?pageid=women31


7

There is no problem to go to non-Jewish cemeteries, and it is even encouraged on fast days (as a reminder of our mortality) if there is no nearby Jewish cemetery. Per this answer, prayers should not be said if there are prominent non-Jewish religious symbols around the grave.


6

The Chochmas Adam (Issur v'Heter, 89:7) decries the practice of going to a gravesite and unburdening oneself to the deceased by telling them about one's problems. However, he writes, this is not strictly a violation of consulting with the dead (see Deut. 18:11) since the communication is understood to go only one-way.


6

Nitei Gavriel Hilchos Aveilos 2 - 88:5 mentions that some people have a Minhag if they have not gone for 10 years to their parents grave not to go anymore. Then he goes on to say that there are those who after 7 years of not going to their parents grave do not go anymore. And he concludes that there are those who are not concerned about this at all. Sources ...


6

Gittin 61 Says we bury the dead of non-Jews with dead of Jews. (קוברים מתי עכו"ם עם מתי ישראל). This is mipnei darkei shalom Rashi there comments that the gemarra shouldn't be understood as "with" literally, but "also" like we bury our own, when we find them together. Rambam brings gemarra down as is. Tur brings down gemarra and Rashi. Beis Yosef notes ...


6

The She'arim Metzuyanim BaHalachah (128:12) writes that the custom not to visit your father's grave after not seeing him for seven years has no basis in halachah, and we even have a proof to the opposite from the Zohar.


6

A calendar is important for the dead - this way the living can figure out when their Yarzheit is, and say Kaddish and learn as a Zechus for the Neshama.


6

Encyclopedia Judaica's entry for "Hamadan, Iran" says: The Persian Jews identify Hamadan with "Shushan ha-Bira," which obviously is a mistake. An essay entitled "Esther’s Tomb Iran's Jewish queen defies decay and dissolution." by the Diarna Project offers an alternative explanation for the tradition that the tomb is in Hamadan: Mount Alvand, which ...


6

Deuteronomy 34:5-6: וַיָּ֨מָת שָׁ֜ם מֹשֶׁ֧ה עֶֽבֶד־יְהוָ֛ה בְּאֶ֥רֶץ מוֹאָ֖ב עַל־פִּ֥י יְהוָֽה׃ וַיִּקְבֹּ֨ר אֹת֤וֹ בַגַּיְ֙ בְּאֶ֣רֶץ מוֹאָ֔ב מ֖וּל בֵּ֣ית פְּע֑וֹר וְלֹֽא־יָדַ֥ע אִישׁ֙ אֶת־קְבֻ֣רָת֔וֹ עַ֖ד הַיּ֥וֹם הַזֶּֽה׃ So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD. And he was buried in the ...


6

Eduyot 5:6: שֶׁכָּל הַמִּתְנַדֶּה וּמֵת בְּנִדּוּיוֹ סוֹקְלִין אֶת אֲרוֹנוֹ Anyone who dies in a state of excommunication, we stone his coffin


6

It has been said that a Jew may visit the graves of righteous gentiles to arouse one to do Teshuvah when the graves of Jews are not available in one’s vicinity, but if the cemetery you wish to enter contains statues of idols (such as Christian crosses, etc.) then you should not enter such a cemetery let alone pray or learn there. M”B 579:14; Kaf Hachaim ...


5

There are many different customs with regards to visiting graves. The biography prefacing Igros Moshe volume 8 writes that Rabbi Moshe Feinstein didn't visit his father's grave -- "not the custom of Volozhin." Yet years later, when Rabbi Feinstein knew he would soon be leaving Eastern Europe for good, he traveled to his father's grave to say goodbye.


5

The Chevra Kadisha in Yerushalayim strictly does not allow a person's children or grandchildren to be present at his burial. This is based on non-halachic, Kabbalistic considerations. This is not because of anything the son may have done, but because the person who passed away may be guilty of certain sins. In any case, I have never heard of this minhag ...


5

At Westpark Jewish Cemetery in Johannesburg there is a section at the back for Jews who married non-Jews, separated from the adjacent graves by a chain-link fence.


5

From Chabad.org The basic grave formation in most cemeteries is arranged according to families. There has been a custom in later centuries, observed by many memorial societies, of burying men and women in separate sections. Neither custom is obligatory. One should make inquiry regarding this procedure before one joins the society, in order to avoid ...


5

Apparently, Rav Chaim Kanievsky (Quoted in Ginei Halacha 5770 #38 page 46) is left unsure. הרואה קברי קדמונים כמו מערת המכפלה אם נחשבים כראיית קבר שאלה: נסתפקתי האם הרואה "קברי קדמונים" כמערת המכפלה וקבר רשב"י וכדו' מברך ברכת הקברות, דאולי אין זה נחשב כרואה קברי ישראל, כיון דאין רואה את מקום המת עצמו, אלא רק ציון לפתח המערה שבו נטמן, וצ"ע. תשובה: ...


5

The rules of disinterment are quite strict (see SA YD 363:1), dinonline has a good summary. The case you ask about is not part of the list, nor are there any cases of pressuring a family member. A beit din would have to be asked but the "burden of proof" appears much higher than a delayed burial. Several exceptions to the prohibition are mentioned by the ...


4

Practices vary. Suicide is a very complex subject; traditionally we'd apply every benefit of the doubt ("we assume he fell, not jumped"), and today when we add in mental-health issues it's even more complicated. On this one all I can say is consult a rabbi on a case-by-case basis, and we pray not to have such cases. My impression is that most synagogues ...


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