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19 votes
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"Die, but don't transgress": what about torture?

The Talmud Ketubot (33a) shows that lashes are worse than death by stating that had Hananya Mishael and Azarya been tortured, they would have worshiped the statue. דאמר רב: אילמלי נגדוה לחנניה ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
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17 votes
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How does one receive forgiveness from someone they have wronged after their death?

Shulchan Aruch here אם מת אשר חטא לו מביא עשרה בני אדם ומעמידם על קברו ואומר חטאתי לאלהי ישראל ולפלוני זה שחטאתי לו (ונהגו לבקש מחילה בערב יו"כ If the person against whom he sinned has died,...
פרי זהב's user avatar
14 votes
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Abbreviation: בש"ט on a gravestone

It stands for נפטר בשם טוב - he died with a good name. The expression is based on Berachot 17a. רבי יוחנן כי הוה מסיים ספרא דאיוב אמר הכי סוף אדם למות וסוף בהמה לשחיטה והכל למיתה הם עומדים אשרי מי ...
Joel K's user avatar
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14 votes
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What are we celebrating on Lag B'Omer?

This exact question was asked by R. Hezekiah Silva in his commentary to the Shulchan Aruch where it says that the students stopped dying. Peri Chadash O.C. 493:2 ומיהו יש לדקדק בשמחה זו למה ואי משום ...
Alex's user avatar
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13 votes

Why were מִישָׁאֵל and אֶלְצָפָן chosen to remove Nadav and Avihu?

Netziv (Vayikra 10:4) says: אל מישאל ואל אלצפן בני עזיאל דד אהרן – כבר נדרש בת״כ למאי כתיב דד אהרן. ולפי הפשט משמעות דד כמו ידידות מלשון כי טובים דדיך. ובא לפרש למה קרא לבני עוזיאל יותר מבני יצהר ...
רבות מחשבות's user avatar
11 votes
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What causes a person to remain in this world as a ghost?

R. Ezekiel Landau discusses this aspect of the tale in his commentary there. He explains that the spirit cannot leave the body until the body decomposes, and that is why we conduct burials in a manner ...
Alex's user avatar
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10 votes
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Why don't they use a coffin for Israeli burials, but do elsewhere?

Shulchan Oruch Yorei Deyoh 362 (1) says הנותן מתו בארון ולא קברו בקרקע עובר משום מלין את המת. ואם נתנו בארון וקברו בקרקע אינו עובר עליו, ומכל מקום יפה לקברו בקרקע ממש אפילו בחוצה לארץ. ...
Avrohom Yitzchok's user avatar
9 votes

Does Judaism teach that the soul cannot rest until the body turns to dust?

The Zohar (2:151) states that the soul is subject to judgment until the body has decomposed.
Jay's user avatar
  • 6,507
9 votes

List of people who lose a child in תנ"ך

Adam and Eve (Genesis 4:25):* their son Cain killed their other son Abel Terah (Genesis 11:28): his son Haran died in his lifetime Judah (Genesis 38:7,10):* his sons Er and Onan died after marrying ...
9 votes
Accepted

Crying when reading about Aaron's sons' deaths

Mishnah Berurah 621:2 quotes this idea in the name of the Zohar. (I believe the relevant piece of Zohar is to be found in Vol. III 57b.)
Joel K's user avatar
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9 votes

Jerusalem Sand at a Burial

The Rema in Yoreh Deah 363:1 writes: יש נוהגין לתת מעפר א"י בקבר (א"ז) (ויש למנהג זה על מה שיסמוכו) (מדרש תנחומא פ' ויחי) Some have the custom to place some earth from the Land of Israel in ...
Dov's user avatar
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9 votes
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Source for the four questions you're asked at the gates

Shabbat 31a: אָמַר רָבָא: בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁמַּכְנִיסִין אָדָם לְדִין, אוֹמְרִים לוֹ: נָשָׂאתָ וְנָתַתָּ בָּאֱמוּנָה? קָבַעְתָּ עִתִּים לַתּוֹרָה? עָסַקְתָּ בִּפְרִיָּה וּרְבִיָּה? צָפִיתָ לִישׁוּעָה? ...
Joel K's user avatar
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8 votes
Accepted

Can you kill person A to protect yourself from B?

First, the concept of killing a non-guilty party in self defense is learned from the Gemara in Sanhedrin 82a. (See also the commentary of the Rosh to this Gemara; 9:4) When Pinchas was (doing the ...
David Kenner's user avatar
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8 votes

How can I pray for Jewish people as they approach death? I am a hospice chaplain

Thank you for asking the question and performing this great action. In his book Mourning in Halacha (pp. 29-46), Rabbi Chaim Binyamin Goldberg has a number of recommendations based on Jewish law which ...
mbloch's user avatar
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8 votes

Why did not Balaam's ass live to embarrass that evil man?

Rashi is quoting from the midrash in Tanchuma which clarifies why it was necessary to kill the jenny (thanks @robev). The midrash gives two reasons: a. So that people would not turn her into an object ...
Harel13's user avatar
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7 votes
Accepted

Do Jews pray to deceased forefathers?

For a long time there have been Jews who have indeed beseeched the dead. However, numerous sources state that this is prohibited. Some state that it is permitted if the request is not directly from ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
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7 votes

Tahara procedure for a body with an infectious disease

Regarding the spread of COVID-19, the National Association of Chevra Kadisha headed by Rav Elchonon Zohn stated the following guidelines: The following are suggested guidelines and precautions ...
NJM's user avatar
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7 votes

R' Mordochai Benet's re-interment

R. Benet's son, R. Naftali, wrote in a letter (Misped Gadol Ve'kaved Meod, here) to the Nikolsburg community that his father died in Carlsbad while there for therapeutic reasons (ibid, note). He then ...
Oliver's user avatar
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7 votes
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Source for Cremation Specifically Not Jewish

I’d suggest the quote, albeit not exact, is from Tosafot (Chulin 125b s.v. Yachol): בהא דאמרינן בביצה (י.)... דהתם במת שלם דאין דרך לשורפו ולנתחו פחות מכזית
Oliver's user avatar
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6 votes
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Why do we cut the tzitzit out of a tallit for a dead person?

The source is from Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 351:2 אֵין קוֹבְרִין אֶת הַמֵּת אֶלָּא בְּטַלִּית שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ צִיצִית. הַגָּה: וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים דְּאֵין צָרִיךְ צִיצִית (טוּר בְּשֵׁם י''א). ...
mbloch's user avatar
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6 votes
Accepted

Empty seat at the head of the table after the parent is dead

In general, no it does not apply after death (Az Nidbru vol. 8, 60). See Chaim Byad Y.D. 125:48 who deduces as much from the wording of the Shulchan Aruch. He adds, however, that if one's father was ...
Jay's user avatar
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6 votes

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

The Gemara (Bava Metzia 62a) talks about a case where two people are traveling in the desert. One man ran out of water and the other man has just enough water for himself to make it back to town. ...
David Kenner's user avatar
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6 votes

Sending letters to the deceased

The Minchas Yitzchak 8:53) was asked if one is allowed to write one's name and leave the paper on the grave of a Tzaddik (The Chasam Sofer, in that case). He wrote that Bach and the Maharil forbid ...
ertert3terte's user avatar
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6 votes

Death of all Jews at Har Sinai

Rabbi Yosef Hayyim of Baghdad in his book Ben Yehoyada (Meg. 7b s.v. Rabba) asserts that there was no need to redo kiddushin (their marriages were not terminated) and goes on to answer the (related) ...
Oliver's user avatar
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6 votes

Does Judaism teach that the soul cannot rest until the body turns to dust?

Shabbat 152b א"ר אבהו כל שאומרים בפני המת יודע עד שיסתם הגולל פליגי בה רבי חייא ור"ש ברבי חד אמר עד שיסתם הגולל וחד אמר עד שיתעכל הבשר מאן דאמר עד שיתעכל הבשר דכתיב אך בשרו עליו יכאב ונפשו ...
Alex's user avatar
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6 votes

Can a gentile pronounce a blessing for a Jew? Are there songs I can sing that will bring peace?

You asked elsewhere regarding the moments before death so I understand this question to apply right after death. The traditional Jewish practices right after death have been described here by Rabbi ...
mbloch's user avatar
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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
Joel K's user avatar
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6 votes

Why are we afraid of death and don't rush to the World to Come?

Avot 4:17 הוא היה אומר יפה שעה אחת בתשובה ומעשים טובים בעולם הזה מכל חיי העולם הבא He used to say: "One moment of repentance and good deeds in this world is better than all of the life in the ...
Alex's user avatar
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6 votes
Accepted

Is it appropriate to say Baruch Dayan Ha'emes for someone who commits suicide?

From dinonline: https://dinonline.org/2012/11/02/dayan-ha-emes-over-suicide/ One does not recite the “Baruch Dayan Ha-Emet” over a suicide. The reason for this is that the blessing refers to Divine ...
Chatzkel's user avatar
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6 votes
Accepted

Story of a child who fell in honey and died?

The Beth Hillel (YD 103:2) of R. Hillel Herz brings it down from the work Torath ha-Asham of R. Gershon Shaul Lipmann Heller (aka the Tosafoth Y"T) who wrote about the incident occurring in ...
Deuteronomy's user avatar
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