Jewish Cemeteries

 

Burying in a Jewish cemetery

Burying near a Tzaddik, and near a Rasha and near a non-Frum Jew:[1] One may not bury a Rasha near a Tzaddik [and certainly may not bury a Tzaddik near a Rasha]. Furthermore, one may not even bury a small Rasha near a great Rasha. Likewise, one may not bury a Tzaddik and Kosher Jew, and certainly not a Beinoni,[2] near an exceptional Chassid. [The soul of Tzaddik is pained if it is buried near a Rasha.[3] Following this law, one is not to bury an observant Jew near a non-observant Jew, and based on this many cemeteries today contain a Shomer Shabbos section.[4]]
Baal Teshuvah:[5] It is permitted to bury a Baal Teshuvah [who is now a Tzaddik] even near a Tzaddik Gamur. [However a Baal Teshuvah may not be buried near a Chassid.[6]]

Q&A

Burying a Jew in a gentile cemetery/Burying a gentile in a Jewish cemetery:[7]
Although the Poskim[8] make no specific mention against burying a Jew in a gentile cemetery, or against burying a gentile in a Jewish cemetery, nevertheless, it is included in the above law that one may not bury a Rasha near a Tzaddik.[9] The old age customs dating back to the beginning of our history testify to the establishment of Jewish cemeteries and the particularness of not burying a gentile in a Jewish cemetery, or vice versa. We are thus very particular not to bury a Jew in a gentile cemetery, or vice versa, not to bury a gentile in a Jewish cemetery.

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[1] Michaber 362/5; Mishneh Sanhedrin 46a and Gemara 47a

Is this Biblical, Rabbinical, or a custom? Some Poskim rule that this law is a Biblical obligation, and a tradition of Moshe from Sinai [Chasam Sofer 341; Minchas Elazar 2/41; Igros Moshe 2/152; Teshuvos Vehanhagos as so is learned from the above Mishneh regarding Harugei Beis Din] Others rule that this law is a Rabbinical obligation. [Dvar Mishpat] Others rule that this law is a mere custom. [Maharil Semachos 10]

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that it is permitted to bury a Tzaddik near a Rasha and the ruling in the above Mishneh is limited to only Harugei Beis Din. [Chasam Sofer ibid in opinion of Rambam who omitted this Halacha]

[2] Shach 362/5; Taz 362/1

[3] Story brought in Sefer Chassidim 705 that it is like being buried near a bathroom that has a foul smell; Maharil ibid that the soul of the Tzadik is not revealed the secrets of hevean if he has a Rasha neighbor.

[4] Igros Moshe Y.D. 2/152; 3/157; Teshuvos Vehanhagos 1/716; 2/598; See Q&A

[5] Rama ibid

[6] Shach 362/6 in name of Bach

[7] See Sefer Umikarev Beyemin 22 for a general overview of this subject; Igros Moshe Y.D. 2/152; 3/157; Milamed Lehoil 2/127; Tuv Taam Vadaas 2/253

[8] Shulchan Aruch and Nosei Keilim, however see Ritva Gittin 61a that it is forbidden to bury a gentile near a Jew

[9] Ritva ibid

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