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Chapter 14: Cemetery related Hazards
*For the full details of laws relating to a cemetery in general and the hazards related to it in particular, please refer to our corresponding Sefer “The laws of Mourning” Vol. 2 Chapters 31 available for purchase on Amazon.com and through our website.
1. Background of grave visitation:
A. The Biblical and Halachic source and custom for visiting graves:
It is a Jewish custom dating back to Biblical times, to visit the burial grounds of one’s relatives. We find that Kalev, in his touring trip of Eretz Yisrael, made a stop in Chevron, to pray by the Kever of our forefathers, the Avos. We likewise find, that Rachel was specifically buried on the road to Chevron so her descendants could visit her at a time of need and have her pray to Hashem on their behalf. This custom of visitations and prayer by the grave is not just limited to Kivrei Tzadikim, but was also practiced in regards to one’s relatives, even if they were not considered Tzadikim, as recorded in the Zohar and Poskim. Furthermore, the Talmud and Poskim direct that at certain times one is to visit a cemetery in order to arouse one to do Teshuvah, even if relatives or Tzadikim are not buried there. Furthermore, some Poskim rule that if the graves of Jews are unavailable, then one is to visit even the graves of gentiles, for this purpose of arousing one to do Teshuvah. Nonetheless, one is not to over increase on the visitation of graves and is not to go unnecessarily. See Halacha C for why visiting graves does not transgress the prohibition of Doreish El Hameisim.
B. The purpose and reason for visiting graves:
There are four reasons recorded behind the custom of visiting graves. As stated above, one is avoid visiting graves unnecessarily.
- Elevate the soul of the deceased: One of the purposes of visiting graves is to Daven on behalf of the deceased, in his merit, and help affect an elevation of his soul above in heaven.
- So the deceased intervenes on one’s behalf: Another reason for visiting graves is in order to inform the soul of any issues that one may be facing, and have them pray one one’s behalf. [The Zohar states as follows: When one visits a grave to beseech him about a certain problem, the Nefesh of the deceased goes and awakens the Ruach of the deceased, which then goes and awakens the Neshama of the deceased, and effects that Hashem have mercy on the world.] See Halacha 8J for the full details in how to pray!
- Teshuvah: Another reason for visiting graves is in order to arouse oneself in Teshuvah, as while one is by a grave he remembers the day of death, and how his evil ways will lead to the same outcome as those buried there.
- Request forgiveness from the deceased: One who sinned against the deceased is to visit his grave and request forgiveness from him, saying “I have sinned against the G-d of Israel, and this individual who I sinned against.” The following order is practiced: If the grave is within a three Parsa distance, one is required to go barefoot to the grave together with ten other people and ask forgiveness from the deceased. If the grave of the person is further than a three Parsa distance, one may send a messenger together with another ten people, to the grave to ask forgiveness from the deceased.
C. The prohibition of Doreish El Hameisim [i.e. Necromancy; Seance] and the allowance to visit graves:
The Torah prohibits a Jew from exhuming the spirit of the dead. This prohibition is listed as one of the 365 negative commands, and is active in all times and in all places. Some Poskim have understood that this prohibition includes a restriction against visiting graves and praying there, due to it being similar to the exhuming of the dead. Practically, however, the above prohibition was given an exact definition in the Talmud, Rishonim and Poskim, and does not apply to visiting a grave, if one does not perform the further actions included in the definition of “Doreish El Hameisim.” One only transgresses the prohibition of Doreish El Hameisim if he fasts and sleeps in the cemetery [or does other actions] for the sake of exhuming the soul of the dead and have the evil spirit dwell upon him [or appear to him in a dream and speak to him]. Likewise, one only transgresses the prohibition if he speaks to the body of the dead, and not the soul. Likewise, one only transgresses if he does one of the above listed impure actions for the sake of exhuming the soul and speaking to it, however, it is permitted to use the names of Hashem, and other pure means to get the soul to speak with him. Certainly if the soul comes and speaks to him without any action, no transgression has been done. Practically, due to all the above reasons, visiting the grave of a relative or Tzaddik does not touch upon this prohibition at all, as one has no intent to have the soul speak to him, and one is doing no action in preparation for this, and thus the Halachic ruling and widespread custom is to permit visiting gravesites. [However, to perform various ceremonies of seance and necromancy for the sake of talking to the soul of the dead is certainly forbidden.] Nonetheless, various customs have been adapted to be followed upon visiting a gravesite, in order to negate a liking to this prohibition as much as possible, as will be explained in this Chapter.
2. Which graves to visit:
A. The benefits of visiting the resting place of Tzaddikim:
One who prays by the gravesite of a person, arouses the soul of that person in heaven to ask for mercy on one’s behalf. The dead are made aware of what occurs below upon them being visited and are saddened to hear of the suffering of those alive. If not for the prayers of the dead on behalf of the living, the world would be unable to exist. The visiting of a gravesite of a Tzaddik assists one to merit to true repentance and saves him from both physical and spiritual suffering. Likewise, the main Tikkun for the sin of Pegam Habris is accomplished through visiting the gravesite of a Tzaddik.
B. Not to pray by Kivrei Tzadikim when a funeral is taking place: [Achronim]
Some are accustomed to not pray by Kivrei Tzadikim when a funeral is taking place in that cemetery.
C. Visiting the gravesite of Reshaim and Gentiles: [Shulchan Aruch/Achronim]
Reshaim: One is not to visit the grave of a Rasha, as doing so causes Mazikim [damaging spirits] to attach to him.
Gentile cemetery: [Based on the above statement, one is not to visit the graves of gentiles.] However, one may visit the graves of [righteous] gentiles [i.e. non-idol worshipers], for the purpose of arousing one to do Teshuvah, if the graves of Jews are not available in one’s vicinity. [However, graves, and cemeteries which contain statues of idols, are certainly not to be visited. Accordingly, one is to beware not to enter a Christian cemetery which contains crosses on the graves, even for the sake of Teshuvah. Furthermore, from the teachings of the Arizal it is implied that one is to completely avoid visiting the grave of a gentile.]
D. Visiting the graves in one’s city: [Tzavah of Rav Yehuda Hachassid/ Achronim]
One who has a Jewish cemetery in his city is to avoid visiting cemeteries of other cities for the sake of praying there, [unless there is a specific Tzaddik or relative who he plans to visit there].
3. When to visit:
A. May one visit a cemetery at night?
Some avoid visiting a cemetery at night. However the widespread custom is to visit graves even at night.
B. Visiting a Kever twice in one day: [Tzavah of Rav Yehuda Hachassid/Achronim]
One is not allowed to visit the same gravesite twice in one day. [Some write that so long as one is still within four Amos of the grave, then one may return to pray. Furthermore, some write that so long as one has not yet left the cemetery, he may return to the grave. However, when a person may return to the grave a second time on behalf of somebody else, as his emissary. Likewise, if one forgot an item there, he may return to the grave in order to retrieve the item.]
4. Who may visit:
A. Pregnant wife of Kohen and other pregnant women visiting cemeteries:
Not married to Kohen: From the letter of the law, it is permitted for a pregnant woman to enter a cemetery. However, many women are accustomed not to visit a cemetery when they are pregnant. Those who have received such a custom are to abide by it. However, it is permitted for them to visit the grave of a Tzaddik, or the grave of a loved one, on the day of the Yahrzeit and the like. Many women are lenient in all cases, as is the letter of the law.
Wife of a Kohen: It is permitted for the pregnant wife of a Kohen to enter a cemetery. Nonetheless, some Poskim rule it is proper to be stringent not to do so [even on a Yahrzeit or by Kivrei Tzaddikim]. This especially applies if she knows that the gender of the child is male or she is at the end of her term and is ready for birth. Nevertheless, even in such a case, most Poskim rule it is allowed from the letter of the law.
B. Niddah-May a woman visit a cemetery when she is menstruating? [Achronim]
It is customary for women to avoid visiting a cemetery during the days that they are a Niddah. Some Poskim rule this applies even during the seven clean days, until she immerses in a Mikveh. Other Poskim, however, rule it only applies during the actual flow and hence she may visit a gravesite during the seven clean days [as well as single girls may visit at all times that she is not actively menstruating]. Practically a woman may be lenient in a time of need to go during her clean days. Furthermore, if not going will cause her great distress then she may be lenient even when seeing the actual flow. Nevertheless, in such a case it is best for her to stand four Amos away from the Kever. Based on above, a woman may be lenient to visit the Kever in the following instances, even while menstruating: 1) Yahrzeit of her parents, or Hakamas Matzeiva. 2) She is leaving town and not returning for a while.
Does the above custom apply even to Kivrei Tzaddikim? Some Poskim write that the above custom to abstain from visiting a cemetery during Niddah times applies even to Kivrei Tzaddikim. Other Poskim, however, rule it does not apply to Kivrei Tzaddikim. Practically, many women are accustomed to only be stringent during the actual flow and not during the seven clean days [or by a single girl when she is not having her flow]. This is the widespread custom followed by women regarding going on Lag Baomer to Meron, that they are only stringent when seeing the actual flow.
C. Children-May one bring children to a cemetery?
There is no Halachic prohibition against bringing children to a grave or cemetery if the child is not a Kohen. This applies even if the child is of a very young age, such as a newborn. Nevertheless, some are careful to avoid doing so. Practically, one may do so if he so chooses, or in a time of need.
D. Visiting the grave of a parent after seven years of absence: [Achronim]
Some are accustomed to follow that if they did not visit the grave of a parent within seven years, then they may no longer visit it again. Others are only careful after ten years of absence. Some Poskim, however, argue that one may visit a parent’s grave even after absence of many years and there is no need to be particular in the above. This especially applies if one could not visit the grave due to reasons beyond his control. This especially applies by the Kever of a Tzadik. Some are lenient regarding women in all cases, that they may visit their parents grave even after the passing of many years. Practically, it is permitted to visit a grave of a parent even after the passing of seven years. Nevertheless, when seven years have passed, it is customary to send a messenger [such as the grave keeper] to the grave prior to the child’s visitation, to inform the parent that his child is coming to visit. Likewise, the child is to separate charity in honor of the parent prior to visiting.
Grandparents and other relatives: The above custom is only with regards to the grave of a parent, however the grave of a grandparent, or other relative, may be visited even initially after many years of absence.
One who has not visited the grave of a parent in seven years is to send a messenger to the grave to notify the parent of his arrival. Likewise, he is to give charity prior to the visitation.
E. Baal Keri: [Achronim]
One who is impure due to nocturnal emission [Keri], or any release of seed, may not visit a cemetery until he immerses in a Mikveh. [He may, however, stand from a distance of four Amos from the grave/cemetery and pray from there.]
|Going alone to a cemetery:
One is to avoid going by himself to a cemetery.
One who suffers from mental illness is to avoid visiting graves and cemeteries.
5. Laws relating to the grave visitation:
A. Eating and drinking prior to the visit: [Achronim]
Some Poskim rule one is not to eat or drink anything prior to visiting the gravesite of a Tzaddik, or of a relative. [Thus, starting from Alos of that day, until after the visitation, one is to fast.] Others, however, rule one is to have a small snack prior to visiting a gravesite, although he is not to eat a full meal. Practically, the Chabad custom is not to eat any food prior to visiting a grave site, although one is to be particular to drink before visiting. [The Rebbe was particular about this custom and that others should follow it. On the other hand, there were instances that Rebbe and Chassidim ate something small prior to visiting. The Rebbe was particular not to visit Kevarim on a public fast day, being one is unable to drink beforehand.]
B. Encircling the grave: [Achronim]
Many have the custom of encircling the grave. [The Rebbe would circle the grave one time prior to leaving. One is to encircle it from the right side.]
C. Placing a stone on the grave: [Achronim]
Many have a custom to place a stone on the grave prior to leaving. The reason behind this custom is to leave a sign that one had visited the grave, out of respect for the dead [or as a Segula to prevent one from forgetting his learning if he read the words on the Matzeiva]. [It was never witnessed that the Rebbe placed a stone on a grave.]
D. Kissing the Kever: [Achronim]
Some are accustomed to kiss the Matzeiva prior to leaving the cemetery. This is not the widespread custom.
E. Sleeping: [Talmud/Shulchan Aruch Harav/Achronim]
It is forbidden to sleep in a cemetery.
F. Reading and studying: [Shulchan Aruch/Achronim]
It is forbidden to read or study [Torah and perhaps even mundane literature] inside of a cemetery. [This applies throughout the entire cemetery, even if one is a distance of four Amos from the graves.]
G. Reading the words on the Matzeiva: [Talmud/Achronim]
One is not to read the words on the gravestone/Matzeiva [if it contains protruding words] as this causes one to forget his learning. [This applies even if one reads the words in one’s mind. However, words that are flat or engraved may be read. [A Segula to prevent one from forgetting his learning if he read the words on the Matzeiva is to place a stone on the grave. Alternatively, one is to recite the paragraph of Ahavah Raba until the words Leyachedecha Beahavah in the 2nd blessing of the morning Shema.]
H. Netilas Yadayim after leaving a cemetery:
One who walks amongst graves [i.e. cemetery] is required to wash his hands [immediately] afterwards [being that the evil spirits escort the person until he washes].
6. Laws relating to a cemetery:
A. Water that passes through a cemetery: [Talmud/Achronim]
A person who drinks from water that passes through a cemetery causes him to forget his Torah learning. [It is questionable whether this applies even to a Gentile cemetery.]
B. Digging a grave prior to the death: [Shulchan Aruch/Achronim]
Some Poskim rule one may not dig a grave for the person until he dies. [However, from the letter of the law it is permitted to do so, so long as the Goses is unaware. Even according to this approach, one is not to dig it on Erev Shabbos, close to Shabbos, unless one expects the burial to take place before Shabbos. Likewise, one is not to dig it before Yom Tov, even if he expects the person to die on Yom Tov. Practically, we avoid digging a grave for a sick person even if he is unaware, in order not to diminish his Mazal. Alternatively, it is to be covered over with a board. It is however permitted to prepare burial shrouds for the person. Likewise, one may dig a grave for no specific person so it be ready when needed, and so is the custom of many cemeteries.]
C. Leaving a grave open: [Tzavah of Rav Yehuda Hachassid/Shulchan Aruch/Achronim]
It is forbidden to ever dig a grave and leave it open until the next day, for a corpse who will not be buried that day, and if one does so there is danger involved. [Thus, if the grave was already dug and the burial will not take place that day, the grave is to be refilled with earth. Alternatively, according to some Poskim, it can be covered over with a board. This adherence to cover the grave that day applies even if the grave was dug by the Chevra Kadisha for future use, and has not yet been purchased for burial. Nonetheless, some burial societies are accustomed to dig the grave only partially, and leave it open, as the adherence to cover it that day only applies if the grave has been dug to its required depth. One may, however, dig the grave the night before the burial which will take place the next day, prior to night. However, he may not dig the grave before nighttime for a night burial, and certainly not for the sake of buying the next day. It is proper to bury a rooster in the grave if it was left open.]
May a grave be dug during the day and left open for a burial that will take place that night?
Some Poskim rule this prohibition applies even from day to night, and hence one may not dig a grave before sunset if the burial will take place after sunset. However, other Poskim are lenient in such a case.
May a grave be dug during the night for the sake of burial the next day?
If a grave were dug before Shabbos and the burial could not take place that day, can a gentile be asked to refill the grave on Shabbos?
 Sotah 34b
 Source for Kivrei Tzadikim: Sotah 34b regarding Kalev; Michaber 344:20 based on Tur and Rav Haiy Gaon who mentions visitations of the grave of Chacham, Aluf, Vegaon at different periods within the first year; Rama 581:4 regarding visiting Kivrei Tzadikim on Erev Rosh Hashanah; M”A 581:16 “That one is to be Mishtateiach on Kivrei Tzaddikim”; Drashos Maharil; Elya Raba 581:39; Levush 579; Peri Megadim 581:16; Machatzis Hashekel 581:16; M”E 581:50; Kitzur SHU”A 128:13; M”B 581:27; Kaf Hachaim 581:95 and 98; Minchas Elazar 1:68 [brings many proofs from Midrashim; Talmud; Zohar]; Alef Hamagen 581:113; Minchas Yitzchak 8:53; Piskeiy Teshuvos 581:21; Maharam Shick 293 for a list of opinions on this matter;
 Zohar Terumah p. 141b; Acharei Mos p. 70
 Shach Y.D. 179:15 in name of Y.D. Bach 217 “The Jewish people have already held on to this custom, and there is no prohibition”; Bach ibid states [after bringing the Maharam Ben Baruch who prohibits grave visiting] “The Jewish people have already held on to this custom, and there is no one who protests , and it has a source in the Zohar, to Daven by the grave of one’s forefathers to be saved from punishment in their merit, and there is already a Seder Tefilla printed for those who visit the graves of their forefathers, and no Rav should make people abstain and nullify this custom”; Radbaz on Rambam Avel 4:4 “However, to visit graves from the outside [without opening it] there is no worry at all, and so is the custom of all Jewry to visit the graves of their relatives and do Hishtatchus there”; M”A 696:5 regarding Shiva that some are accustomed to do so for all deceased relatives at different periods of the year, such as the end of Shiva; Sefer Chassidim 450 “The deceased receive benefit when their loved ones visit their graves and request that their souls be given benefit, and indeed up on high they do give the soul benefit as a result.” Mavor Yabok Sifsei Rinanos 23; Gilyon Maharsha 179:15; See Maharil Hilchos Taanis; Poskim brought in Makor Chesed 3 on Sefer Chassidim 450; Peri Haretz 3:2; Mishmeres Shalom Hei 28; Toras Yekusiel Tinyana 92; See also Sefarim quoted in previous footnotes, Halacha B and in Halacha 3 regarding the Yahrzeit and other times of year that it is accustomed to visit the grave of the deceased; See Nimukei Orach Chaim 559:3; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 203:1
Other opinions: Some Poskim prohibit, or discourage, the visiting of graves and praying there, due to it being similar to the prohibition of Doreish El Hameisim. [Teshuvas Maharam Baruch [Rav Chaim Paltiel] 164, brought in Shach Y.D. 179:13 and Bach 217:51, that “Those who make a vow to visit the cemetery, it slightly seems like Doresh El Hameisim, as the allowance of Kaleiv was because it was a holy place of the Avos, and he wanted his prayers to be heard. Likewise, we find a source for visiting a grave to ask for forgiveness. However, those who women and people who do not know this. I do not know why they visit, and I am accustomed to refrain them from doing so”; See Rambam Avel 4:4 “One is not to turn to visit cemeteries” and this is due to Darkei Emori [Radbaz ibid; however, see Radbaz ibid that this only applies if one opens the Kever]; See M”A 559:11 in name of Arizal that one should only go for the Levaya, especially if one is a Baal Keri, implying that one should avoid visiting graves; Directive of Gr”a to his family, brought in Mishmeres Shalom Hei 31, that they should never visit cemeteries at all due to the abundance of Kelipos found there. This applies especially to women, and all the tragedies come due to this. Gesher Hachaim 29:8 that so is the custom of many not to visit graves; Custom of Brisk and Chazon Ish and Steipler; See Nitei Gavriel 82:7 footnote 15]
 Taanis 16a regarding fast for rain; Yuma 87a; Chagiga 16b; 22b; Makos 5b regarding asking forgiveness from deceased
 Michaber 579:3 regarding fast for rain; Admur 606:5 and Michaber 606:2 regarding asking forgiveness from deceased
 Rama 579:3 “According to this, if a Jewish cemetery is not available, then they are to visit the graves of gentiles.”; M”A 559:15; M”B 559:41; See Halacha D!
 M”A 559:11 in name of Arizal; See Nitei Gavriel 82:7
 Sefer Chassidim 450 “The deceased receive benefit when their loved ones visit their graves and request that their souls be given benefit, and indeed up on high they do give the soul benefit as a result.”
 Taanis 16a “In order so they pray on our behalf”; M”A 579:11; 559:15 in name of Shelah; Zohar Acharei Mos 71a and Terumah p. 141b [brought next]; Sefer Chassidim 450 “In addition, when asked, the souls in heaven pray on behalf of those alive.”; Bach Y.D. 217 “One may Daven by the grave of one’s forefathers to be saved from punishment in their merit”; Drashos Maharil; Elya Raba 581:39; Levush 579; Peri Megadim 581:16; Machatzis Hashekel 581:16; M”E 581:50; Kitzur SHU”A 128:13; M”B 581:27; Kaf Hachaim 581:95 and 98; Minchas Elazar 1:68 [brings many proofs from Midrashim; Talmud; Zohar]; Alef Hamagen 581:113; Minchas Yitzchak 8:53; Piskeiy Teshuvos 581:21; Maharam Shick 293 for a list of opinions on this matter
 Zohar Acharei Mos 71a; Terumah p. 141b
 Michaber 579:1
 Admur 606:5; Michaber 606:2; Yuma 87a; Chagiga 16b; 22b; Makos 5b
 Approximately 5 hours of walking.
 Admur ibid; M”A 606:7; Rashal Yam Shel Shlomo 50
 See Devarim 18:11; Sanhedrin 65b; Rambam Sefer Hamitzvos Lav 38; Mishneh Torah Avodas Kochavim 11:13; Sefer Hachinuch Mitzvah 515; Michaber Y.D. 179:13
 Devarim 18:11
 Rambam Sefer Hamitzvos Lav 38; Sefer Hachinuch Mitzvah 515
 Teshuvas Maharam Baruch [Rav Chaim Paltiel] 164, brought in Shach Y.D. 179:13 and Bach 217:51, that “Those who make a vow to visit the cemetery, it slightly seems like Doresh El Hameisim, as the allowance of Kaleiv was because it was a holy place of the Avos, and he wanted his prayers to be heard. Likewise, we find a source for visiting a grave to ask for forgiveness. However, those women and people who do not know this. I do not know why they visit, and I am accustomed to refrain them from doing so”; See M”A 559:11 in name of Arizal that one should only go for the Levaya, especially if one is a Baal Keri, implying that one should avoid visiting graves; Directive of Gr”a to his family, brought in Mishmeres Shalom Hei 31, that they should never visit cemeteries at all due to the abundance of Kelipos found there. This applies especially to women, and all the tragedies come due to this. Gesher Hachaim 29:8 that so is the custom of many not to visit graves; Custom of Brisk and Chazon Ish and Steipler; See Nitei Gavriel 82:7 footnote 15]
 Sanhedrin 65b
 Rambam Avodas Kochavim 11:13
 Michaber Y.D. 179:13; See Beis Yosef 179:2 in greater length
 See Rambam Avodas Kochavim 11:13 [brought in Beis Yosef 179:14] “And other people wear special garments, and say special chants, and offer incense and sleep there alone, in order so the soul of the dead come and speak to him in a dream. The general rule is that whoever does any action for the sake of having the soul of the dead come inform him of things, receives lashes.”.
 Rambam Avodas Kochavim 11:13; See Gittin 56b that Onkelos the Ger, prior to his conversion, exhumed the souls of his uncle Titus, Balaam, and Oso Ish, and questioned them as to how the Jewish people are viewed up on high, and whether they suggest him to convert.
 Michaber Y.D. 179:13; Tur 179; Rambam Avodas Kochavim 11:13 [However, there he writes “In order so the spirit of the dead visit him in a dream and answer his questions, as stated above]; Sanhedrin 65b; See Gemara ibid and Poskim ibid there that other forms of necromancy which are defined as Ov or Yidoni and not Doresh El Hameisim. However, see Bach 179 in name of Semag Lavin 56 that he also transgresses Doreish El Hameisim by these other forms, in addition to the Ov and Yidoni transgression
 See Rama 179:14 “And some Poskim rule that it is permitted to make the soul of the deceased swear to appear to him to answer his questions and the prohibition is only on swearing the body.”; Darkei Moshe 179:5 in negation of Beis Yosef; Hagahos Maimanis on Rambam ibid letter 8 in name of Yireim 334-335 in explanation of Maaseh Deshmuel and Ruchos Misapros brought in Brachos 18b regarding how Shmuel [the Amora] talked to the soul of a deceased father; Shibulei Haleket 10, brought in Bircheiy Yosef 179; Shach 179:16 in name of Levush in defense of Rama and Yireim that according to Kabbalah there is a difference between the body and its soul, versus the actual soul; Birkeiy Yosef 179 seems to defend the opinion of the Yireim against the arguments of the Michaber; See Zohar Acharei Mos p. 71b that Doreish El Hameisim does not apply to the Jewish people and Tzadikim as they are still alive in Gan Eden
The reason: As the Torah only prohibits talking to the dead, and the soul is not dead. [See Beis Yosef ibid]
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule it is forbidden to talk even to the soul of the deceased, alone, without the body. [Michaber 179:14; See Beis Yosef 179 in length in negation of Yireim ibid and his proofs, however see Darkei Moshe ibid, Shach ibid and Birkeiy Yosef ibid for arguments against his negations]
 Explanation of Beis Yosef 179:14 to Maaseh Deshmuel and Ruchos Misapros “The case of Shmuel [the Amora] was done while he was awake and through Hashem’s names.. If one does no action and simply mentions names which causes the spirits to come and talk to him while awake its possible it is not forbidden due to Doresh El Hameisim”; See Perisha 179:23 that it is only forbidden when done with intent for the evil spirit to reside on him. However, if he does the actions with intent to simply hear the speech of the souls, then it is permitted; See Zohar Acharei Mos p. 71b that Doreish El Hameisim only applies when one does so with sorcery, as do the gentiles
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that it is forbidden due to Doresh El Hameisim to do anything to bring souls of the dead to speak to him, even if the above actions of fasting and sleeping in the cemetery were not done. [Implication of Rama in Darkei Moshe 179:4; Implication of Rabbeinu Yerucham Nesiv 17:5, as understood by Beis Yosef and Darkei Moshe ibid, regarding swearing a dead person to come appear. The Beis Yosef ibid learns from this ruling of Rabbeinu Yerucham, that it negates his previous suggestion brought above; Practically, the Rama ibid does not rule like Rabbeinu Yerucham, although this is because he holds it is permitted to speak to the soul of the dead, in contrast to the body, however to do any action to speak to the body, including using names, would be forbidden according to the Rama. So is understood from Darkei Moshe 179:4]
 Beis Yosef 179:14 “He did not starve himself or do any other action to hear their voices”; Perisha 179:23
 Shach Y.D. 179:15 in name of Y.D. Bach 217 “The Jewish people have already held on to this custom, and there is no prohibition”; Bach ibid states [after bringing the Maharam Ben Baruch who prohibits grave visiting] “The Jewish people have already held on to this custom, and there is no one who protests , and it has a source in the Zohar, to Daven by the grave of one’s forefathers to be saved from punishment in their merit, and there is already a Seder Tefilla printed for those who visit the graves of their forefathers, and no Rav should make people abstain and nullify this custom”; Sotah 34b regarding Kalev; Taanis 16a; Zohar Terumah p. 141b; Acharei Mos p. 70; Michaber 344:20 based on Tur and Rav Haiy Gaon who mentions visitations of the grave of Chacham, Aluf, Vegaon at different periods within the first year; Rama 581:4 regarding visiting Kivrei Tzadikim on Erev Rosh Hashanah; M”A 581:16 “That one is to be Mishtateiach on Kivrei Tzaddikim”; Drashos Maharil; M”A 696:5 regarding Shiva that some are accustomed to do so for all deceased relatives at different periods of the year, such as the end of Shiva; Sefer Chassidim 450 “The deceased receive benefit when their loved ones visit their graves and request that their souls be given benefit, and indeed up on high they do give the soul benefit as a result.” Mavor Yabok Sifsei Rinanos 23; Gilyon Maharsha 179:15; Elya Raba 581:39; Levush 579; Peri Megadim 581:16; Machatzis Hashekel 581:16; M”E 581:50; Kitzur SHU”A 128:13; M”B 581:27; Kaf Hachaim 581:95 and 98; Minchas Elazar 1:68 [brings many proofs from Midrashim; Talmud; Zohar]; Alef Hamagen 581:113; Minchas Yitzchak 8:53; Piskeiy Teshuvos 581:21; Maharam Shick 293 for a list of opinions on this matter;
 Certainly, this applies according to the Michaber ibid and other Poskim who negate the difference between talking to the soul versus the body, and possibly this applies even according to the Rama who accepts this difference, as one is nevertheless doing impure actions that are meant to arouse the soul, and the various ceremonies do not differentiate between talking to its soul versus body.
 See Halacha 6A regarding fasting
 Shlah brought in Alef Hamagen 581:113
 Maharam Shick 293; Alef Hamagen ibid
 Midrash Raba Vayikra 36:3; See Minchas Elazar 1:68
 Alef Lamateh 581:110
 Divrei Torah Mahadurah 6:8; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 204:5
 Chayeh Adam 135:5; Kaf Hachaim 581:90; Nitei Gavriel Volume 2 80:9; Vetzaruch Iyun from Rama 579:3 who states one is to visit the Kevarim of gentiles if the Kevarim of Jews are not available. Perhaps, however, the Rama refers to the Kevarim of righteous gentiles. Alternatively, for purposes of arousing one in Teshuvah, one may visit even the Kevarim of Reshaim. Vetzaruch Iyun; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 203:5
 Rama 579:3 regarding fast days for rain “According to this, if a Jewish cemetery is not available, then they are to visit the graves of gentiles.”; M”A 559:15 regarding Tisha Beav; Chayeh Adam 135:22; M”B 559:41; Kaf Hachaim 559:81; Nitei Gavriel 81:13; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 203:4
 In addition to the above sources, See M”A 579:11 “Due to the above reason of Teshuvah [explained next], it is permitted to visit the graves of gentiles”, thus implying that it is forbidden to do so under other circumstances
 See Poskim in next footnote!
 M”B 579:14; Kaf Hachaim 579:20
 See Kaf Hachaim 559:81 based on Shaar Gilgulim p. 63 that Rav Chaim Vital once went to the Kever of a gentile, and the gentile wanted to injure him; Likewise, Tosefes Chaim on Chayeh Adam 135:51 states based on Shaar Hamitzvos that “Under no circumstances may one visit the grave of a gentile, as its considered like Doreish El Hameisim”; See Zohar Acharei Mos p. 71b that Doreish El Hameisim applies specifically when visiting the gentile idol worshipers and not when visiting a Jewish grave; Nitei Gavriel 81:13
 Rav Yehuda Hachassid Azharos Nosafos 5; See Betzel Hachochmah 4:30; Nitei Gavriel 89
 Makor Chesed ibid; Nitei Gavriel ibid
 Nitei Gavriel Aveilus 2:82-10
 Divrei Torah 3:44
The reason: Perhaps this is due to that the side of Gevura, and evil is stronger at night and hence we avoid entering the area. Alternatively the reason is because one does not recite Tehillim at night until midnight. [Nitei Gavriel ibid]
 Tzavaas Rav Yehuda Hachassid 12; M”A 581:16; Elya Raba 224:7; Kitzur Shlah Rosh Hashanah in name of Mahraiy; Reb Chaim Vital in Taamei Hamitzvos Vayechi; Alef Hamagen 581:109; M”B 581:27; Kaf Hachaim 224:44; 581:96; See Nitei Gavriel Aveilus 2 88:4; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 204:1
 Shivim Temarim on Tzavaas Rav Yehuda Hachassid ibid
 Likkutei Halachos on Tzavaas Rav Yehuda Hachassid
 Ginzei Yosef 26:4; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 204:3
 Yad Efraim 12; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 204:4
 Minchas Yitzchak 10:42; Nitei Gavriel Aveilus 2:84-4
 Pashut as there is no source for forbidding it, and so is proved from the fact the Poskim [below] bring that even the wife of a Kohen that is pregnant may enter a cemetery, and as writes the Kneses Hagedola [brought in Birkeiy Yosef 343:4] that even by the pregnant wife of a Kohen those who are stringent are doing Minhag Borus [custom of ignorance], hence certainly the wife of a Yisrael is allowed.
 This custom has no known source. A number of possible reasons are suggested: 1) Perhaps this is due to the fact that it is proper for the pregnant wife of a Kohen to avoid a cemetery, and hence we see that the fetus can receive impurity. Now since we await the rebuilding of the Temple every day the women avoid going to a cemetery, as if the Temple is rebuilt while they are still pregnant, they will be able to give over their pure sons to perform the necessary actions required for the Para Aduma. [Minchas Yitzchak ibid; See Parah Mishneh 3:2] 2) Alternatively, it is because they desire to avoid any impurity during the pregnancy. [Nitei Gavriel ibid; See Sheivet Hamussar 24]
 Poskim ibid based on Rashba that we do not differ a tradition received from righteous women even if we have 600,000 proofs against it. [brought in Heishiv Moshe 13]
 Nitei Gavriel ibid
 Heard from Rav Asher Lemel Hakohen
 Shach Y.D. 371:1; Rokeiach 366; M”A 343:2; Radbaz 200; Kneses Hagedola [brought in Birkeiy Yosef 343:4-there he writes it is a Minhag Borus to be stringent] Derech Hachaim; Chochmas Adam 160:1; Kitzur SHU”A 202:15; M”B 343:3; See Pischeiy Teshuvah 371:1; Gilyon Maharsha 371; Darkei Chesed p. 208
The reason: As there is a Safek Sfeika; perhaps the fetus is a female and perhaps it will be a stillborn. [Shach ibid; Rokeiach ibid] Alternatively a fetus cannot receive impurity as it is considered within a Beis Hablia. [M”A ibid; Radbaz 200, brought in Shaareiy Teshuvah 371:1; See there that even the Rokeiach agrees to this.] Others however argue that a fetus is considered part of the mother [Yerech Imo] and hence can contract impurity even during pregnancy. [Birkeiy Yosef 343:1]
 Birkeiy Yosef 343:4; Kaf Hachaim 343:4; Minchas Yitzchak 1042
The reason: As if in truth the child is a boy, he contracts impurity. [This is proven from fact the Rokeiach only allows it due to Safek Sfeika. See previous footnote for the dispute regarding Beis Hablia] Hence, it is proper to initially avoid doing so. [ibid]
 As then there is no longer a Safek Sfeika according to the Rokeiach [as learns Birkeiy Yosef ibid], although according to many Poskim this would still remain permitted being that the fetus is considered within a Beis Hablia, as brought from M”A ibid and Radbaz ibid and so is evident from other Poskim mentioned in next footnote] See Even Yisrael 8:77 that deals with this question in regards to giving birth in a hospital that is not careful about Tumas Meis. He concludes there that ultrasounds are not 100% accurate, and that it is for the needs of a Yoledes who is in Sakana and hence she may choose to go to whatever hospital she wishes. Nevertheless, she is not initially to take an ultrasound and hence remove the Safek Sfeika. This is all with regards to which hospital to give birth and does not relate to a pregnant woman entering a Beis Hakevaros if she knows the child is male. It is understood that in such a case there are more Poskim who rule stringently.
 Sheilas Yaavetz 2:174 forbids in such a case [as the child may be born]; opinion in Darkei Chesed p. 208; Most Poskim however permit even in such a case, as the Safek Sfeika still remains. [M”B 343:3; Radbaz ibid brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah ibid, that this was the original case of allowance written by the Rokeiach; Betzeil Hachochmah 3:105]
 See previous footnotes; and so ruled to me Harav Asher Lemel Cohen that practically it is not accustomed to be stringent.
 See Taharah Kehalacha 14:129; Nitei Gavriel Aveilus Vol. 2 84; Piskeiy Teshuvos 88:9
 Pischeiy Teshuvah Y.D. 195:19 in name of Chamudei Daniel; Chayeh Adam 3:38; Aruch Hashulchan 195:28; Kaf Hachaim 88:12; Kitzur Dinei Taharah 3:25
The reason: This is due to the impurity found in a cemetery which can attach itself to the woman during Niddah. [Peri Hasadeh 4:94] See Hakdama of Shut Mahram Shick for a frightening episode that occurred with the daughter of the Mahram Shick when she visited her mother’s grave despite being a Niddah, and against the wishes of her father. The Mahram Shick testifies that he had to use G-d’s holy names in order to save her from damage.
Dam Besulin: A Kallah may visit a cemetery when she is seeing blood of Dam Besulin. [See Divrei Moshe 1:54]
Dam Tohar: A woman after birth may go to a cemetery when seeing Dam Tohar [after her first Mikveh, before 40:80 days pass from birth of boy:girl]. [See Daas Torah 88]
 Chayeh Adam 3:38; M”B 88:7; Kaf Hachaim 88:12; Shiureiy Shevet Halevy p. 274; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid; See Nitei Gavriel ibid who also brings from: Tirosh Veyitzhar 146; Taharas Yisrael 195:51; Kneses Yechezkal Sephardi “Nun” 89; Maharam Shick in Hakdama.
 Shulchan Melachim Dinei Niddah Veyoledes 5 [p. 35]; Peri Hasadeh 4:93 [questions Chayeh Adam]; Taharah Kehalacha ibid footnote 279; See Nitei Gavriel ibid that also brings from: Chemdas Moshe 62; Leket Hakemach 88; Beir Mordechai 195; Divrei Shalom 4:154; Poskim brought in Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid footnote 73 and that so is Minhag Yerushalayim
 See Shulchan Melachim ibid “As otherwise any single girl or woman, whether she is still a Besula or is widowed or divorced will never be able to go to a cemetery”
 Shiureiy Shevet Halevi p. 274; Taharah Kehalacha ibid; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid
 Daas Torah 88 in name of Chemdas Moshe 62; Shulchan Melachim Dinei Niddah Veyoledes 5 [p. 35]; Nitei Gavriel ibid; Taharah Kehalacha ibid
 Shiureiy Shevet Halevi ibid; Nitei Gavriel ibid; Taharah Kehalacha ibid; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid
 Shulchan Melachim ibid; Nitei Gavriel ibid; Taharah Kehalacha
 Shulchan Melachim ibid; See Orchos Chaim 88 in name of Maharsham, brought in Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid footnote 76
 Taharah Kehalacha 14:130
 Chibas Yerushalayim Mamar “Ranenu Tzaddikim” 3, brought in Taharah Kehalacha ibid footnote 283; See Nitei Gavriel ibid that also brings from: Kneses Yechezkal Sephardi “Nun” 89 that in Bagdad the custom was to avoid visiting Kivrei Tzaddikim until they went to Mikveh; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid that so was directive of Chida regarding Kever Rashbi
 Beir Mordechai in name of Asher Ledavid p. 35, brought in Taharah Kehalacha ibid footnote 283
 Taharah Kehalacha ibid; I was told by Rav Moshe Y. L. Landau, chief Rabbi of Bnei Brak, that practically this is the custom a woman is to follow and hence they are not to go to the Ohel when seeing an actual flow, but they may go during the other days.
 Taharah Kehalacha ibid in name of “Elderly women of prestige families” in Yerushalayim.
 No such prohibition or warning is mentioned in any of the Poskim
 So is accustomed by some families. There is no known source for this adherence, and it is seemingly similar to the adherence of some to not enter a cemetery while pregnant, due to the impurity.
 See Nitei Gavriel Aveilus 2 85:5-12; Shulchan Menachem 5:328; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 205:1-7
 Custom recorded in Tirosh Veyitzhar 146; Dudaei Sadeh 38; Mishmeres Shalom Hei 132 [however states that if never went before then permitted]; Maharam Brisk 44; Poskim in Nitei Gavriel ibid footnote
The reason: The reason for this is due to worry that the parent will be particular over the fact the child has not visited in so long and may even cause a persecution against the child above. [See Dudaei Sadeh ibid; Pnei Baruch 37 footnote 47]
Women: See Nitei Gavriel 84:9 for a dispute regarding if this applies also to married women who did not visit. See Igros Kodesh 24:338 which involved a question from a woman. It is however unclear if she was single or married.
 Afrasakta Deanya 168 in name of Divrei Chaim, however only regarding if all sons did not visit; Poskim in Nitei Gavriel ibid 84:5 footnote 6
 Darkei Chaim Veshalom 1012; Shem Mishimon 14 based on story in Zohar; Yosef Daas 355 based on fact Kaleiv visited Kivrei Avos after ten years; Yalkut Daas Vadin p. 159; Hisorerus Teshuvah Y.D. 187; Gesher Hachaim 29:16; Divrei Yoel 104; Poskim in Nitei Gavriel ibid 84:5 footnote 8
 Dudaei Sadeh 38; Tirosh Veyitzhar 146; Maharam Brisk 44; Mishneh Halachos 6:28; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 205:4
 Dudaei Sadeh 38; Tirosh Veyitzhar 146; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 205:7
 Dudaei Sadeh 38; See Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 205:5
 Likkutei Sichos 20:647; Toras Menachem 3:267 “The custom used to be not to visit and now the custom is to visit after sending a messenger” [printed in Shulchan Menachem 5:328]
 Tirosh Veyitzhar 146; Hisorerus Teshuvah Y.D. 187; Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 85:11 footnote 15; Likkutei Sichos 20:647 “Some are accustomed to send a messenger and give charity even though this is not necessary”; Toras Menachem 3:267 “The custom used to be not to visit and now the custom is to visit after sending a messenger”; [printed in Shulchan Menachem 5:328] This advice was not mentioned in Igros Kodesh 24:338
 Likkutei Sichos 20:647 “Some are accustomed to send a messenger and give charity even though this is not necessary”; Igros Kodesh 24:338 “Give charity before and after. [printed in Shulchan Menachem 5:328] In the above letter [Igros Kodesh 24:338] the Rebbe advised a woman who had not visited the grave in seven years to a) immerse in a Mikveh that day, before going. b) Fix the Matzeiva or a matter of the like; c) Give charity before and afterwards.
 Tirosh Veyitzhar 146; Dudaei Sadeh 38; Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 85:12 footnote 17
 M”A 559:15 in name of Arizal; Chayeh Adam 138:8; Misgeres Hashulchan 344:16; Alef Hamagen 581:109; Kaf Hachaim 581:90; See Chikrei Minhagim p. 273; Nitei Gavriel 86:3-4; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 203:1-3
 One who visits the cemetery prior to immersion causes the Kelipos to cleave to him. [ibid]
 See Chayeh Adam 135:22; M”B ibid
 Mishmeres Shalom Hei 29 in name of Yifei Laleiv; Nitei Gavriel 80:7
 Mishmeres Shalom Hei 29 in name of Maharsham; Nitei Gavriel 80:8
 See Gesher Hachaim 1:29; Nitei Gavriel Aveilus Vol. 2 86:2; See Chikrei Minhagim 4:121 for a lengthy discussion on this subject; Hiskashrus 703 footnote 25 and 885
 Alef Hamagen 581:109; Gesher Hachaim 1 29:4 in name of Maaneh Lashon; Yalkut Avraham 581; Luach Dvar Yom Beyomo; Likkutei Tzevi Kol Bo p. 244
 Custom in Alef Hamagen ibid; Yalkut Avraham 581
 The reason: Fasting is problematic, as it appears similar to the forbidden procedure of arousing the dead [Doreish El Hameisim] which consists of fasting and then sleeping overnight near the grave. [Sanhedrin 65b] Thus, to avoid this issue, the above Poskim write that some are accustomed to taste something before they enter but not to actually eat a meal. [ibid]
 Sefer Haminhagim p. 168 [English]; Igros Kodesh 3:279; 9:301 [regarding Kivrei Avos- See Hiskashrus 885]; 24:263 [brought in Shulchan Menachem 5:327]; Igros Kodesh Rayatz 6:282; See Hiskashrus 703 footnote 25 regarding the
Custom of Rebbe Rashab: The Rebbe Rayatz records that when the Rebbe Rashab visited the Ohel of the Baal Shem Tov in Mezibuz he was fasting. [Igros Kodesh Rayatz ibid; See also Likkutei Dibburim 4:37 p. 1354 that the Rebbe Rayatz was fasting when he visited the Ohel] The Rebbe commented on this that it requires further analysis if this is a directive for the public being that he was told by the Rebbe Rayatz to drink.
 The Rebbe once told a Bochur who ate prior to visiting the Ohel that he needs mercy:Rachmanus. [Hosafos to Sichas Kodesh 5710 p. 226] In Igros Kodesh 24:263 the Rebbe implies that if one does eat beforehand, it is better that he does not visit the Ohel.
 Rav Binyamin Klein said that there were times that the Rebbe ate chocolate prior to visiting. [Hiskashrus ibid footnote 25]; Rabbi Leibel Groner related that Rabbi Yehuda Kalman Marlow A”H ruled that one may eat foods with a blessing of Shehakol prior to visiting. [Rabbi Yossi Marlow Sheyich’ was unable to confirm this statement]; The Rebbe Rayatz ate Mezonos prior to visiting the Kever of the Arizal and Kever Rachel. [Hiskashrus ibid] See Hiskashrus 412
 Nitei Gavriel 86 footnote 7
 M”A 581:16; Aguda; Shlah 213; Kneses Hagedola 581:10; Mateh Moshe 789; M”B 581:27; Kaf Hachaim 581:92; Nitei Gavriel 86:18
 This is based on a story of a woman who once had a sick child, and she encircled the Azara and he recovered. [Aguda ibid]
 Drashos Maharash [teacher of Maharil]; Elya Raba 224:7; Kitzur Shlah Miseches Rosh Hashanah; Beir Heiytiv 224:8; Kaf Hachaim 224:41; 581:92; See Yosef Ometz p. 273; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 206:4
 Yosef Ometz ibid
 Hiskashrus 884; Rav Eli Landau relates that he never saw this custom amongst Anash; However, Rav Levi Gorelik writes that some do place it
 See Beis Yosef 376 in name of Kol Bo 114; Orchos Chaim Avel; Mishmeres Shalom Zayin 51; Darkei Chaim Veshalom 783; Yabia Omer 4:35; Nitei Gavriel 80:16; 67:21
 Darkei Moshe 376
 Admur Hilchos Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh Halacha 6; Niddah 17a; Chupas Eliyahu Raba 3; Peri Chadash 116:9; Chasam Sofer 335, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 368:1; Kaf Hachaim 16:92; Darkei Teshuvah 116:62; Likkutei Halachos Niddah 17; See Iyun Mishpat 7; Chagiga 3a; Michaber Y.D. 1:5; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 121
 Rama Y.D. 368:1; Semag; Rambam, brought in Aruch Hashulchan 368:2.
 So is implied from Setimas Harama and Rambam ibid who lists the prohibition together with other matters that are forbidden due to Kalus Rosh and benefit, thus implying all subjects of reading are forbidden and not just subjects of Torah which contain the prohibition of Loeg Larash. So is also implied from the fact the Rama needed to repeat this prohibition even though the Michaber 367:3 already stated that learning is forbidden. However, some Poskim learn that this prohibition is simply due to Loeg Larash [See Biur Hagr”a 368; Aruch Hashulchan ibid] thus implying that it only refers to Torah learning; Vetzaruch Iyun
 Chasam Sofer 335, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 368:1
 Horiyos 13b; Peri Chadash O.C. 2; P”M 2 A”A 1; M”B 2:2; Kitzur SHU”A 128:13; Kaf Hachaim 2:3; Likkutei Maharich; Mishmeres Shalom Mareches Chaf 20; Igros Kodesh 13:94; Nitei Gavriel 86:20; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 206
 Sefer Zikaron 2:26; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 206:2
 Arizal in Taamei Hamitzvos Vayechi [in end]; Shaar Hamitzvos Parshas Vaeschanon; Nagid Mitzvah; Mishnas Chassidim Yom Gimel; Kitzur SHU”A 128:13; Kaf Hachaim 2:3; Likkutei Maharich; Mishmeres Shalom Mareches Chaf 20; Igros Kodesh 13:94; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 206:3
 Yosef Ometz p. 273; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 206:4
 Elya Raba 224:7; Ashel Avraham 224; Chidushei Rebbe Akiva 224; Kitzur SHU”A ibid; Mishmeres Shalom ibid; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 206:5
 Admur Kama 4:18; See Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 54:23 footnote 34-35
 Between the graves is explained to refer to a cemetery. [M”A 4:20 in name of Teshuvos Maharil 23; Kol Bo; Chayeh Adam 2:5; Kitzur SH”A 2:9; M”B 4:42; Gesher Hachaim 16:8; Kaf Hachaim 4:76; Piskeiy Teshuvos 4:25]
Opinion of Admur: The Rama 4:18 writes “one who walks between the dead.” The M”A records that this means a cemetery. Admur does not record either the wording of the M”A or the Rama rather he writes “between the graves”. Vetzaruch Iyun if there is any practical ramification between the graves or a cemetery.
 Rav Asher Lemel Hakohen, Rav of Anash Beitar, related to me that one time his father, the renowned Posek Rav Avraham Hirsh Hakohen approached the sink to wash his hands on the upper floor of 770. He then noticed the Rebbe behind him and quickly let him through to wash hands first. After washing hands the Rebbe told him that he needed to “cut the line” as he was by the cemetery [of his father in-law] and did not want to delay the removal of impurity. Seemingly, at that time, there was no place to wash hands at the actual cemetery.
 M”A 4:20 in name of Teshuvos Maharil; This applies according to all. See Halacha 2 in footnotes.
 Horiyos 13b; Aruch Hashulchan 2:6; Taharas Hakodesh 2:9; Sefer Zikaron 2:24; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 50
 Sefer Zikaron ibid; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 50:2
 Rama 339:1; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 185:1-
 Rivash 114
 The reason: In order so the Mazal of the sick person does not worsen. [Birkeiy Yosef 547:3; Yosef Ometz 92, brought in Shaar Hatziyon 547:15]
 Bach 339, bought in Shach 339:6; Mishneh Limelech Avel 4:5; Beir Heiytiv 339:3; Pischeiy Teshuvah 339:2; Aruch Hashulchan 339:2; See also Minchas Elazar 3:13; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 185:12
 Bach and Shach ibid
 Dudaeiy Sadeh 18; Nitei Gavriel 75:11
 Birkeiy Yosef 547:3; Yosef Ometz 92, brought in Shaar Hatziyon 547:15; Maharsham 4:150; Dudaeiy Sadeh 18
 See Gesher Hachaim 27:7 “The custom is for those who purchase a grave in their lifetime, to dig it and then cover it with a board, thus already forming the Ohel”
 Beir Hagoleh 339; Ramban in Toras Hadam
 Birkeiy Yosef 547:3; Yosef Ometz 92; Yad Shaul Y.D. 339.
 Rama Y.D. 339:1; Rabbeinu Yerucham in name of Rebbe Yehuda Hachassid; Tzavah of Rebbe Yehuda Hachassid 2, that if one does so, in a short while, one of the city residents will die; Kitzur SHU”A 199:13; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 185:1.
 Shach 339:6; Aruch Hashulchan Y.D. 339:5; Kitzur SHU”A 199:13; Ikarei Hadaat 11:13; Shivim Temarim on Rav Yehuda Hachassid ibid
 Pachad Yitzchak Kuf; See Gesher Hachaim 27:7 “The custom is for those who purchase a grave in their lifetime, to dig it and then cover it, thus already forming the Ohel” He then states that some are accustomed to leave a candle in the hollow space, which is later removed to be lit during the Shiva. Cleary, he held that the covering does not have to be done with earth, but with any cover.; See Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 185:9
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that it does not help to cover the grave with a board, and must be filled with earth. [Yosef Ometz 92; Ikarei Hadat]
 Gesher Hachaim 27:7 that so is the custom of the Chevra Kadisha; Although it is possible that the warning of Rav Yehuda Hachassid only applies with regards to a grave dug for a specific individual, practically the custom is to fill up even these graves. However, See Minchas Elazar 3:13; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 185:12
 Gesher Hachaim 27:7; Sdei Chemed Aveilus 168; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 185:11
 Shivim Temarim on Tzavah ibid; Ikarei Hadaat; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 185:6
 Maavor Yabok Sefas Emes 11; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 185:10
 Yosef Ometz 92; Dudaei Sadeh 30; Nitei Gavriel 75:14
 Minchas Elazar 3:13; Sdei Chemed Aveilus 168
 Ikarei Hadaat 11:13; Shivim Temarim on Rav Yehuda Hachassid ibid; Nitei Gavriel 75:16
 Leaning opinion of Aruch Hashulchan Y.D. 339:5; Nitei Gavriel 75:15
 The reason: As this is considered a matter of danger, and it is permitted to ask a gentile to perform Melacha to save one from danger. [See Aruch Hashulchan ibid; O.C. 328] Vetzaruch Iyun, as according to this, even a Jew should be allowed to perform it.
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