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21 votes
Accepted

(Why) May a Beit Din refuse to bury a body in order to coerce a man into giving a divorce?

In this particular case R. Lau was upholding the UOR’s ruling. The latter’s ruling (viewable here) was based on Rema (EH 154:21), citing earlier authorities, who permits to withhold any aid to a “...
Oliver's user avatar
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13 votes

Why doesn’t mes mitzvah push aside shabbos?

This question is raised in the Talmud: Yevamot 7a הדר אמר קבורת מת מצוה תדחה שבת מק"ו ומה עבודה שהיא דוחה שבת קבורת מת מצוה דוחה אותה מולאחותו שבת שנדחה מפני עבודה אינו דין שתהא קבורת מת מצוה דוחה ...
Alex's user avatar
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10 votes
Accepted

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
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 ...
mbloch's user avatar
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9 votes
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Burial of a convert out of Judaism

According to this article describing the burial of a Jewish police informer in Luban, Russia (who had presumably caused much suffering on the part of his fellow Jews), Rav Moshe Feinstein was of the ...
יהושע ק's user avatar
9 votes

Miriam's Death in the Midbar

The Meshech Chochmo here answers your question. He writes: ויתכן שמה שהזכיר במרים ותמת שם מרים ותקבר שם, להורות כי השבטים היו נשואים לקוברן בארץ, ומרים לא נשאו לקוברה בארץ, אעפ"י שהיא מתה בחו&...
Dov'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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7 votes

Attending Non-Jewish funerals

Rav Elchanan Lewis answers your question saying, A Jew can enter a non Jewish cemetery and attend a non Jewish funeral. (see Bava Metziah 114a) The only prohibition is to enter a church if the ...
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
Accepted

Is it permitted to call the police on Shabbos if you come across a dead person?

The question is not about the body - the police do not resurrect (as of now), but about its condition and the consequences of the discovery: First, if the body looks fresh and recent - you must call ...
Al Berko'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
  • 12k
7 votes

Which names are given at burial?

R Jason Weiner (senior rabbi at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles), in his article Jewish Guidance on the Loss of a Baby or Fetus (Hakirah vol. 23) writes It is customary to give the baby or ...
mbloch's user avatar
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7 votes
Accepted

What became of Hevel's body?

There are a few Midrashic sources that tell us that the animal kingdom seemed to take care of things: In Pirkei D'Rebbi Eliezer 21 it notes that firstly his sheepdog did 'shmira' over the body, and ...
Dov's user avatar
  • 33.4k
6 votes

Egg shell and pottery for a dead person?

Eggs The Minhag to crack an egg on the head is a Kol Bo mentioned by the Beit Yosef and Rama (Yoreh Deah 352:4). Don't know about the pottery. מעצימין עיניו של מת; ואם נפתח פיו, קושרין לחייו. ...
MDjava's user avatar
  • 2,232
6 votes

Cutting up the concubine of Gibeah

I have no sources, but I will venture my own interpretation for the sake of discussion: the Levite was so outraged by the total desecration of human life in the Land that he wanted to confront his ...
Tom W's user avatar
  • 1,526
6 votes
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How do we reconcile the 2 burial places of Rachel?

In Tosefta Sotah 11:7 the verses from Genesis and Samuel are discussed. It is concluded that the prophet Samuel meant that the group of prophets that Saul will meet are right now near the tomb of ...
Harel13's user avatar
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6 votes
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The Maharsha's Funeral Procession

I saw the story in Otzros Maharsha, who quoted it from Kochvei Or. I haven't searched further, but I assume that if this is the first source the biographers of the Maharsha found, it won't be too easy ...
chortkov2's user avatar
  • 9,529
5 votes

Can one use a kittel that had previously been on a dead person?

It is forbidden to benefit from used burial shrouds (אסור בהנאה). Shulchan Arukh YD 349:1
Double AA's user avatar
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5 votes
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Is one allowed to attend a wake for a Jew?

dinonline was asked that question and answers Question: Can [a Jew] attend a wake where the body is laid out in an open casket? Answer: Certainly. In Jewish burials, the body is buried without ...
mbloch's user avatar
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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 ...
mbloch's user avatar
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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 ...
Gershon Gold's user avatar
4 votes

Is there a halachic objection to human composting?

Make fertilizer with a deceased body... A quick outline of answer, or rather a strong intuition. First: facultative references copied from massoret Hashass Chulin 122a (each page is for the Tosfot ...
kouty's user avatar
  • 22.8k
4 votes

Why didn't Yosef's brothers bury him where he asked?

As I explain in Vayigash - Why didn't the family go back?, Par'o only allowed Yosef to bury Yaakov in Eretz Yisrael because of the oath Yaakov had made him swear. Even then, he forced the brothers ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
  • 43.2k
4 votes
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Why didn't Yosef's brothers bury him where he asked?

The OP quotes a verse that has Yoseph saying: "When G-d comes to you..." Yosef planned on being buried in Egypt. He simply wanted to leave when everyone else did. By that time, his brothers had ...
David Kenner's user avatar
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4 votes
Accepted

Was Kever Rachel temporary?

This idea does indeed come from R. Shlomo Kluger. The explanation is that Rachel being buried separately was a punishment for disgracing her relationship with Yaakov by selling her marital rights to ...
Alex's user avatar
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4 votes
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Heter for Embalming Yaakov

Although yeshiva.co writes that it is a lack of Kavod Hameis to perform (nowadays), many Rishonim and Acharonim on Chumash say or imply that this was done because of Kavod Hameis back then... To ...
רבות מחשבות's user avatar
4 votes

R' Mordochai Benet's re-interment

R Ben Zion Sobel wrote about this, quoting from the sefer Chayim Sheyaish Bahem - it is a more incredible story I would have expected when reading your question ! In a nutshell the Chatam Sofer was ...
mbloch's user avatar
  • 52.7k
4 votes

Why did Yakov ask for a favor from Yosef instead of commanding him?

R' Samson Raphael Hirsch, in his commentary on this verse, reads the first נא as "after all." He suggests that Yosef had always wanted to use his power as viceroy to do favors for his father, but ...
Isaac Moses's user avatar
  • 48.1k
4 votes

Human Composting - Implications for Kohanim

Hilchot Tumat Met 3:6 explains that a body which is intentionally ground into dust does not transmit tumah.
Zarka's user avatar
  • 2,448

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