12 votes

What's the reason for the gravesite of Moshe Rabbeinu not being Known?

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 ...
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  • 32.3k
10 votes
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Cohanim in Auschwitz

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.
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10 votes

Above ground burial

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 ...
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  • 43.7k
8 votes

Why does the cave of machpelah have special significance?

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 ...
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8 votes
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Visiting the graves of Tzadikim on chol hamoed

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 ...
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7 votes
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How Many Stones to Place on a Grave?

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 ...
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7 votes
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is there an issue in visiting a cemetery while menstruating?

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://...
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7 votes

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

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 ...
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  • 46.9k
7 votes

can a sibling go to a burial in a non jewish cemetery

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 ...
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  • 1,767
6 votes

Why do Jewish funeral homes tend to be the main supplier of Jewish calendars?

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.
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6 votes
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Source for stoning a grave

Eduyot 5:6: שֶׁכָּל הַמִּתְנַדֶּה וּמֵת בְּנִדּוּיוֹ סוֹקְלִין אֶת אֲרוֹנוֹ Anyone who dies in a state of excommunication, we stone his coffin
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  • 38.5k
6 votes
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Can you pray or study torah in a non-Jewish cemetery?

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 ...
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5 votes

Is there a minhag or halacha that states that men and women should be buried in separate cemetery plot areas?

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 ...
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5 votes

What does נלבעה mean?

It means נלקחה לבית עולמה which means “taken to her eternal home”. Most abbreviations have the quote marks before the last letter (e.g. שליט"א ביהמ"ק) so נלבע"ה seems better. נלבע"ה ביום שישי means ...
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5 votes
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Why is it customary not to say the Bracha for seeing "Kivrei Yisrael" (Jewish Graves) when visiting the Me'aras Hamachpela?

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 ...
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5 votes
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If a condition to bury someone's body wasn't upheld, is one allowed to exhume the body?

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 ...
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5 votes

Were there rabbinic objections when grave digging went from manually-powered to machine?

Nitei Gavriel Aveilus1 75:6 says that the grave should be dug by a Jew. In the footnote he says that a Jew should be the one who operates the tractor that digs up the ground. There is no mention of ...
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4 votes

Not allowing one's tzitzis to show in a cemetary according to the Rambam

Your suspicions are all on target. On page 114 of Studies in Maimonides and His Interpreters, Prof. Marc Shapiro notes that Rambam omits the statement in Berakhot 18a since in his view: Dead people ...
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  • 34.9k
4 votes

Kohen-accessible Cenotaph

In order to prevent Tuma from rising, you need a Tefach space covered by a roof. To achieve this for a bridge, you use the כיפין על גבי כיפין concept, as described by the Para Aduma ceremony, where ...
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4 votes

Why don't Jewish people put flowers on graves?

To summarize this book: Rabbi Moshe Sofer considers it an unacceptable attempt to emulate the gentiles. (Responsa Bet Shearim, YD No. 402). In a similar vein, R. David Tzvi Hoffman cites Rabbi ...
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4 votes
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Washing After Leaving Cemetary

A Geonic responsum (T'shuvos HaGeonim Shaarei Tzedek chelek 3 shaar 4 siman 20) cited by the Ritz Geius (Hil. Avel), the Ramban (Toras Haadam: Shaar Haavel; inyan hahaschala), the Ran (chiddushim to ...
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  • 34.9k
4 votes

Cohanim in Paris

The question is not for a problem of touching a dead but for a problem of Maahil (to be over the dead). Tum'a Bokaat Veola (uncleanness erupt upward). In some conditions, to walk over a buried dead ...
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  • 22.3k
4 votes
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Can a pregnant woman enter a cemetery?

This is one of, what I'd surmise, many sources: there is no written source in Jewish law that expressly forbids it. This is an interesting example of a tradition that When you are creating life,...
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  • 69k
4 votes

Learning Torah while sitting Shmirah for a Met

Rambam Hilchot Avel 13:9 וכן אין אומרין בפני המת אלא דברים של מת אבל לעסוק בדברי תורה בפניו או בבית הקברות אסור In the presence of the corpse, we speak only of matters related to the corpse. To be ...
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  • 48.1k
4 votes

What's the point of visiting one's parents gravesite

One reason is that it greatly benefits the souls of the deceased. In the sefer Pnei Baruch, siman 37, os alef it writes: ויש הנאה למתים שבניהם ואוהביהם ילכו על קבריהם להתפלל עליהם ולבקש טובה לנשמתם ...
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  • 20.6k
4 votes

When visiting the cemetery do we say משיב הרוח ומוריד הגשם in the blessing of אֲשֶׁר יָצַר אֶתְכֶם בַּדִּין?

Rabbi Yechiel Michel Tucazinsky (יחיאל מיכל טוקצינסקי) in גשר החיים part II, 27:6 (באמירת אתה גבור אחר ברכת ראיית קברים) says: מה ששמע שיש מנהג לומר באתה גבור אחר הברכה שבבית הקברות "מוריד הטל&...
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  • 2,365
3 votes

Is a Jew allowed to visit a Christian cemetery?

yeshiva.co answers the question whether a Jew can attend a non-Jew's funeral A Jew can enter a non Jewish cemetery and attend a non Jewish funeral. (see Bava Metziah 114a). The only prohibition ...
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  • 43.7k
3 votes

Can a non-Jew visit a Jewish cemetery to see how it looks?

Non-Jews can come to the service at the cemetery to honor the person. So I would presume they can come be in the cemetery as long as they ask at the front for any respectful instructions (such as ...
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