Chapter 5: The Taharah

This article is an excerpt from our Sefer

Chapter 5: The Taharah[1]

 

The Mitzvah of Taharah and its order:[2]

It is a Jewish custom dating back many generations to wash, cleanse and prepare the body of the deceased prior to burial. This is formally known as “Taharah” or purification.[3] The Mishneh[4], Talmud and Poskim[5] record the practice of washing the deceased, as well as other customs performed in the Taharah process. [see Halacha 1] Nonetheless, the many details of the Taharah performed today, and its ensuing order, is not recorded in the Talmud, and is not of Biblical or even Rabbinical status.[6] The detailed order of the Taharah is first recorded in the Rishonim.[7] A number of Sefarim[8] record the tradition of Taharah in the name of Hillel Hazakein, who lived in the Mishnaic era, and it is thus known as “Seder Rechitza Hameis MiHillel Hazakein.” At first, this detailed order of the Taharah was only performed on the bodies of men of great caliber and Tzaddikim[9], thus explaining its omission from the Shulchan Aruch and its commentaries. Practically, throughout the generations, the detailed order of Taharah became accepted to be performed on the body of all those who have deceased, and is recorded in various Poskim.[10] Nonetheless, the exact order and details of the Seder Taharah differ from one book to another, and practically every community is to follow their tradition.[11] The widespread custom today is to follow the order written in the Sefer Mavor Yabok.[12]

 

Not to swerve from any of the traditions:[13]

Each and every tradition involved in the Taharah and burial of the deceased is to be strictly followed. Swerving from the community custom can lead to danger for the community.

 

The spiritual effect of the Taharah:[14]

The Jewish custom is to refer to the cleansing process of the deceased as “Taharah/Purity.” The reason for this because the Taharah effects a spiritual refinement of the soul of the deceased. It cleanses the soul form its attachment to this world, and thus the soul’s knowledge of this world is decreased after the Taharah.

 

Slow and methodically:[15]

The Taharah procedure is to be done slowly and methodically so that the body is pure and clean, similar to how he would prepare himself to go to Shul each Shabbos.

 

The Seder Taharah for women:[16]

The same order of the Taharah that is followed for the body of a man is likewise followed for the body of a woman [with exception to the order of dressing the corpse, as will be explained[17]].

 

The Chevra Kadisha:[18]

It is a Jewish tradition for each and every community to have a group of people which are designated to deal with all the matters relating to the Taharah and burial of the deceased. They are cordially known as the “Chevra Kadisha” or the Holy assembly.[19]

The members: Those chosen as part of the Chevra Kadisha are to be men [and women] of peace and good character. They are to be expert in the laws and customs of the Taharah and review them periodically. [Customarily, each of the Chabad Rabbeim were members of the Chevra Kadisha of their city.[20]] Prior to someone joining the Chevra Kadisha, his knowledge is to be tested.

Payment for work: It is permitted for the members of the Chevra Kadisha to be paid[21], although the widespread custom is to do so as voluntary work.

Precedence in Taharah:[22] The Chevra Kadisha of a city have precedence over anyone else in performing the Taharah.

The Chevra Kadisha fast:[23] It is customary for the members of the Chevra Kadisha in each city to choose a day throughout the year to fast and discuss matters relating to burial. The custom of many cities is to fast on the 15th of Kisleiv, and so is the Chabad custom.[24] The custom of Jerusalem, and other cities, is to fast on the 7th of Adar.[25] They recite Selichos, and Kerias Hatorah in the Davening during this day.[26] They are to use the day to discuss the Jewish burial laws that require fixing or enhancement, as well as monetary matters relating to their activities and burial plots. They visit Kivrei Tzadikim on this day and ask for forgiveness from the deceased if they did not act with them appropriately. After the fast, it is customary to make a large feast for the members of the Chevra Kadisha.

1. What is done during the Taharah:

The following matters are done to the body of the deceased during the Taharah process. Each matter listed here will be elaborated on in the coming Halachos.

  1. The entire body is washed.
  2. The orifices of the deceased are to be washed and stuffed with good smelling scents.
  3. One combs the hair of the deceased.
  4. One cuts or cleans the nails of the deceased.
  5. The body is immersed in a Mikveh or has nine Kavin poured over him.
  6. One closes the eyes of the deceased.
  7. One closes the mouth of the deceased.
  8. One smears raw eggs and wine on the head of the deceased.
  9. The body is dressed in Tachrichin.
  10. A Tallis is wrapped around the body of a male.

2. Who is the Taharah done to?[27]

The Taharah process is performed to all Jews who have deceased, whether male or female, observant or non-observant. This is with exception to a murder victim, woman who died in childbirth, or one who died an unnatural death, as will be explained in Halachos 10-13 the details of when the Taharah is not done in such cases.

A Nefel:[28] A Nefel [i.e. still born, or baby who died within thirty days[29]] receives a regular Taharah, including the placing of earth on the eyes.[30] However, some communities are accustomed not to perform Taharah on a Nefel. The burial garments, known as Tachrichin, are not garbed on a Nefel. He is simply wrapped in a white sheet.[31]

3. When is the Taharah to be done:[32]

The age-old custom is for the Taharah to take place as close as possible to the burial. [Lechatchila, it should be done within three hours from the burial, although in a time of need, it may be done earlier.[33]] In the event that the burial will be delayed for some time [i.e. a few days], then the Taharah is to be done right after the death, and it is then to be repeated prior to the burial in a lighter version.

4. Who is to do the Taharah?

Jew versus gentile: The Taharah may only be done by [religious[34]] Jews. It is forbidden to be done by a gentile.[35] In general, a gentile is not to touch the deceased at all, whether during the Taharah or afterwards.[36] One is to prevent a gentile from even seeing the body.[37]

Man versus woman:[38] A man is not to perform the Taharah on the body of a woman, although a woman may perform the Taharah on the body of a man.[39] [Practically, the custom is for men to do Taharah onto men and women onto women.[40] A single man who never got married is to abstain from doing the Taharah.[41] It is proper for the women to be ritually pure, and thus in most communities, the female members of the Chevra Kadisha are older women.[42] A pregnant woman should not perform the Taharah, even though there is no Halachic prohibition for her to do so.[43] The women are to be dressed modestly and are to cover their hair.[44] If the deceased asked for an individual to be excluded from his Taharah, then his wishes are to be respected.[45]] The water used for the Taharah is not to be drawn by a woman.[46]

Relatives:[47] A man is not to be involved in the Taharah of his father, step father, father in-law, or sisters’ husband.[48] Likewise, a woman is not to be involved in the Taharah of her mother, step mother, mother in-law, and brother’s wife.[49] Other relatives, however, may be involved in the Taharah. Some, however, are accustomed that no relatives partake in the Taharah.[50] If no one else is available who knows how to do the Taharah, then all relatives are valid.

Sons:[51] Based on Kabbalah, it is proper for the sons to be involved in certain aspects of the Taharah and burial of their father.[52] Practically, the Chabad custom is for the sons not to be involved in any of the aspects of the burial of their father, including the Taharah, carrying the body, or any other matter. [Thus, if non-relatives are not available, relatives other than the sons should be given precedence to perform the Taharah.]

How many people:[53] Some are accustomed to have ten people involved in the Taharah, and at the very least not less than 3-4 people.

Immersing in a Mikveh beforehand:[54] Those performing the Taharah are to immerse in a Mikveh beforehand.

5. The Taharah room:

The Taharah room is the room in which the body is washed, cleansed and immersed in a Mikveh or nine Kavin. Every established Chevra Kadisha contains a room designated for the Taharah, which is equipped with all that they will need for the process. This room is often positioned and built in the entrance to the cemetery. Many Taharah rooms contain a Mikveh for the purpose of immersing the body.[55]

Other deceased people in the room:[56] There should be no other bodies in the Taharah room while the Taharah is being performed on the given body.

Lighting candles:[57] The widespread custom is to light candles in the room while the Taharah is being performed. After the Taharah, a candle is to remain lit near the deceased until the Levayah.

No spectators:[58] Only those involved in the Taharah may remain in the Taharah room. Spectators are not to be allowed to see the Taharah.[59]

6. Preparing for the Taharah and the adherences:

Prior to beginning the Taharah, all items that will be needed throughout the Taharah are to be prepared and ready for use.[60] The people doing the Taharah are to verify the name, and name of the mother, of the deceased in order to say it within the customary prayers recited.[61] Whenever the name is mentioned, it is mentioned plainly without mentioning any titles, such as Gaon and Rav.[62]

Immersing in a Mikveh beforehand: Those performing the Taharah are to immerse in a Mikveh beforehand, as stated above.

Hat and Gartel:[63] Some are accustomed to wear a hat and Gartel while performing the Taharah.

Washing hands:[64] Prior to the Taharah, each member is to wash their hands three times, as is done upon awakening in the morning. [They are not to dry their hands from this washing.[65]] After the washing the prayer recorded in Mavor Yabok is recited. [After the Chevra Kadisha completes the Taharah process, they are to wash their hands three times inconsecutively, as explained in Halacha 10.]

Asking forgiveness:[66] It is proper to ask for forgiveness from the deceased prior to beginning the Taharah.

Speaking:[67] One is to beware not to speak of unrelated matters upon doing the Taharah. 

Looking at face:[68] One is not to look/stare at the face of the deceased.[69] [It is thus customary for the face to remain covered throughout the Taharah, unless it is needed to be revealed for a certain purpose.[70]]

Handing an item to each other:[71] Some are accustomed not to hand each other any of the Taharah items during the Taharah process, and rather put it down first.

Prayers: After the washing, the prayer recorded in Mavor Yabok is recited. In this prayer, the word Rachamim is repeated seven times, and mentions the name of the deceased and his mother.[72] The prayers recorded in Mavor Yabok which are said during the Taharah process may not be said near feces, and thus if there is excrement on the body, it is to be covered or washed off while reciting the prayers.[73] Likewise, the private area must be covered while the prayers are recited.[74] A list of prayers is recorded at the end of this chapter.

Learning Mishnayos:[75] Some are accustomed to learning Mishnayos in a nearby room while the Taharah is being performed.

7. The Taharah board and position of the deceased:

On a designated board:[76] The body of the deceased is to rest flat on a board that has been designated for Taharah by the Chevra Kadisha. [If a board is not available, the body is to rest on a table.[77]] This board is to have water poured over it before purifying the body. Some are accustomed to immersing the board in a Mikveh.[78] One must be very careful not to turn over the Taharah board from the side that the body rested during the Taharah, as there is a danger in this matter.[79] After the burial, the board may be overturned.[80]

Resting on back:[81] The body is to rest on its back, facing up towards the ceiling, [with his feet towards the door of the room[82]]. The body is not to rest on its stomach, face down, anytime during the Taharah process [unless absolutely necessary[83]]. [The body is to be covered by a white sheet until the start of the Taharah.[84]]

No part of body sticking out of board:[85] Throughout the Taharah process, one is to be very careful that no part of the body sticks out of the Taharah board.

Elevated head:[86] Throughout the Taharah, the head of the deceased is to be slightly elevated. This is accomplished through placing a stone and the like under his head. 

Moving the deceased:[87] Whenever one moves the body, it is to be done with 2-3 people as opposed to being dragged on the ground.

8. Seder Taharah-The matters performed during Taharah:

A. Washing the body:[88]

The deceased is to be washed well in all areas of the body, in order so it is cleaned of any dirt and impurities. The orifices of the deceased are especially to be washed.[89] [A large quantity of water is to be prepared in the room for the sake of this washing. The deceased is placed on a board throughout the Taharah process, as stated above in Halacha 6.[90]]

Who prepares the water:[91] The water is not to be drawn by a woman, or gentile, or man who did not immerse in a Mikveh.

Hot versus cold:[92] The water used to wash the body is to be hot or warm.

Covering the body:[93] The body is to be covered by a sheet prior to the washing, and is to remain covered throughout the washing process, lifting it only when a specific area needs to be washed. This especially applies to the Erva area, that it should always remain covered. Some[94] communities are accustomed to performing the entire washing through the sheet.

How to wash:[95] One first washes the head, including the right ear and nostril, and then the left ear and nostril. One then washes the rest of the body, first washing the right side and then the left side.[96] One cleans between the fingers of the hands and toes on the right side and then the left side.[97] The entire washing is done twice; the first time with plain water, and the second time with soap and a scrub. The soap is then washed off using clean water.[98] After the front part of the body is washed, the body is turned on its side and the back is washed in the same way stated above.[99] Some communities are accustomed to make sure that water does not enter the mouth throughout the washing process.[100] By a woman, her hair is to remain covered until its turn comes to be washed.[101] Areas of the body that are dirty with blood, are not to be washed.[102]

Prayers:[103] Some are accustomed to reciting verses and prayers during the washing. These verses are found in Gesher Hachaim 9:1-2. A list of prayers is recorded at the end of this chapter.

Smearing the body with oil:[104] In previous times, it was customary to smear oil on the body in order to remove the sweat from his body. [This is no longer practiced today.[105]]

B. Bedika Penimis-Cleaning and stuffing the orifices:[106]

The orifices of the deceased are to be washed and stuffed with good smelling scents.[107] [Some are accustomed to performing a “Bedikas Penim/inner check” to the rectum area to clean it from excrement.[108] This consists of pouring water inside the rectum and cleaning out the large intestine with one’s hand and a bag of soap, and repeating the process until the water comes out clean.[109] Others[110], however, oppose doing an inner check in the rectum and suffice with a mere external cleaning, and so is the Chabad custom.[111] If any blood is seen during the Bedika Penim, it is to immediately be ceased.[112] After the washing, the rectum is stuffed with unwoven flax.[113]]

C. Cutting/cleaning the hair and nails:

Cutting the hair:[114] One cuts the hair of the deceased. [However, the widespread custom today is to no longer cut the hair but to simply clean it and brush it.[115] The hair of the head and beard is to be thoroughly combed. Any hairs that come off the body are to be buried together with him.[116]]

Cutting the nails:[117] One cuts the nails of the deceased. [However, the widespread custom today is to no longer cut the nails but to simply clean them.[118]]

D. Immersing and dressing the body:

See Halacha’s 9-12. The following steps [E-G] take place after the immersion and dressing of the body, but prior to wrapping the body in the Tallis.[119]

E. Closing the eyes and mouth and straightening hands:

Closing the eyes and smearing earth:[120] One closes the eyes of the deceased. [The custom is to place earth and shards of earthenware on the eyes, as explained in F.]

Sons closing eyes: See Chapter 2 Halacha 4B and in next Halacha F!

Closing the mouth and smearing earth:[121] If the mouth of the deceased has opened, one is to close it through tying a string around his chin. [The custom is to place earth and shards of earthenware on the mouth, as explained in F.]

Leaving the hands open:[122] One is to beware that the hands of the deceased remain open and not clutched in a fist.

F. Smearing earth and placing earthenware shards on the eyes and mouth:[123]

The custom is to place earth and shards of earthenware on the eyes [and mouth[124]] of the deceased. [The earth is not to be smeared on other areas of the face.[125] This is done at the end of the Taharah.[126] It is best to do so only after the body is placed in the casket.[127] Only a small amount of earth should be placed, so it does not dirty the Tachrichin.[128] This done for both a man and woman.[129] The custom is to use earth from Eretz Yisrael for this purpose, as explained in H.[130]]

The sons:[131] Based on Kabbalah, it is proper for the sons to smear the earth on the body of his father.[132] Practically, the custom is for the sons not to do so.

G. Placing earth of Eretz Yisrael:[133]

Some are accustomed to place the earth of Eretz Yisrael in the grave. This custom has upon what to rely. [Preferably, earth from Har Hazeisim is to be used.[134] Practically, this is done at the conclusion of the Taharah[135], although some do it only after lowering the body into the grave.[136] It is customary to smear earth of Eretz Yisrael on the face [i.e. eyes/mouth], body, heart, palms of hand, and Bris of the deceased.[137] It is best to do so only after the body is placed in the casket.[138] One also places earth of Eretz Yisrael in a small bag, and places it under the head of the deceased, inside the casket.[139] One also scatters earth of Eretz Yisrael within the casket, prior to placing the body and Tallis/Soveiv inside.[140]]

H. Smearing eggs on the head:[141]

One mixes raw eggs together with their shell [and wine or vinegar or water[142]] and smears it on the head of the deceased.[143] [Some are accustomed to smear it throughout the body, while others are accustomed to not smear it at all, not even on the head.[144] The Chabad custom is to smear it only on the head, and only after the Tachrichin are placed on the body.[145] It is best to do so only after the body is placed in the casket.[146]]

I. Placing wood pieces in the hand of the deceased:[147]

Some are accustomed to place pieces of wood [called Geflich] into the hands of the deceased and to close the hands.[148] Some Poskim[149], however, negate this custom as it has no source, and goes against the age-old tradition that the hands of the deceased remain open. If they nevertheless desire to do so, the wood should be placed without closing the hands. Practically, the Chabad custom is not to do so at all[150], and even those who do so, many do it after the Taharah, although some delay doing it until the body is lowered into the grave.[151]

J. Additional Taharah customs for a Chasan or Kallah who passed away:[152]

If a Kallah passed away, some are accustomed to undo her hair [if it is braided]. If a Chasan passed away, they reveal his face and place ink and a quill near their body [to show that they would have had a Kesuba written for them if they were alive[153]]. They also place the key of the deceased, and a journal of his, near the body. All this is done out of Agmas Nefesh [expression of distress]. A Chuppah is done for the Chasan and Kallah and non-food materials are hung on the canopy, however not foods due to them becoming forbidden in benefit [and one thus transgresses Bal Tashchis]. [The above actions do not contain the prohibition of Darkei Emori.[154] Practically, we are no longer accustomed today to do any of the above matters, and we prevent those who desire to swerve from the custom.[155]]

The vessels used for the Taharah:[156]

Some are accustomed to use only silver vessels for the Taharah.

 

Gloves:[157]

It is permitted for the Chevra Kadisha to wear gloves upon performing the Taharah in order not to contract any diseases.

 

Removing tubes:[158]

Tubes that are attached to the body are not to be removed if doing so will cause blood to ooze out. Alternatively, as soon as they are removed, one is to place a gauze on the area to stop the blood.

 

Clothing that contain blood:[159]

Any clothing that contains blood is to be placed in the Aron near the feet of the deceased and buried with it.

 

Blood that is expelled during the Taharah:[160]

Any blood that is expelled from the body during the Taharah is to be gathered and placed near the feet of the body and buried with it.

9. The Tevila:[161]

A. General laws:

The original custom of Taharah was to pour nine Kavin of water [see below for amount] onto the body of the deceased.[162] [The immersion of the body in a Mikveh was only done to those of extreme piety and prestige.[163] However, in today’s times, the custom is to immerse everyone in a Mikveh instead of performing nine Kavim.[164] Many Taharah rooms today contain a built in Mikveh for this purpose.[165] In a time of need that the body is not able to be immersed in a Mikveh, one is to pour nine Kavim of water onto the body, as was the original custom.]

The water: The water is not to be drawn by a woman, or gentile, or man who did not previously immerse in a Mikveh.[166] The water is to be drinkable according to Halacha, and is to be Kosher for washing hands in the morning.[167]

Removing Chatzitzas: Prior to the Tevila, or nine Kavin being poured, the body is to be washed and cleaned of all impurities, and intervals, such as bandages, and have dentures and the like removed. The sheet that was covering the body during the initial washing is removed during the Tevila or pouring.[168]

Kavanah and prayers:[169] Upon pouring the water over the body, or immersing it in the Mikveh, the Chevra Kadisha are to intend to purify the body through doing so. They are to recite the prayers printed in Mavor Yabok upon doing the pouring or immersing. A list of prayers is recorded at the end of this chapter.

B. How to immerse in the Mikveh:

It is customary to immerse the body three times in the Mikveh.[170] Some are accustomed to hold a sheet over the genitals throughout the immersion, in order so it not be seen.[171] The people holding the body should loosen their grip in order to allow water to flow in the area of their grasp.[172]

A Kosher Mikveh:[173] Initially, a Kosher Mikveh is to be used for the immersion. If this is not available, then a pool of drawn water may be used for the Taharah immersion.

C. How the pouring of nine Kavin is performed:

If one is not able to immerse the body in a pool of water, then he is to pour nine Kavim [12.5 Liters or 3.3 gallons[174]] of water over his body, as stated in A.

Position of the body during the pouring: The body is to be held in a standing position and have the water poured over his head.[175] The custom is to place wet straw, or a wet piece of wood, under the feet of the body prior to pouring the water.[176] If enough people are not present, then the body remains in a lying position on the Taharah board. Some communities are accustomed to even initially perform the pouring while the body is in a lying position.[177]

Pouring the water: Some are accustomed for the leader of the group to pour the water.[178] Upon the water being poured the Chevra Kadisha are to say “Tahur Hu” three times.[179] Many are also accustomed to say the Mishneh of Rebbe Akiva Ashreichem Yisrael.[180]

How many buckets of water may be used:[181] One may use up to 2 or 3 buckets of water for this purpose, pouring each bucket one after the other, if in total they contain nine Kavim of water. In such a case, one must begin pouring the second bucket prior to finishing the pouring of the first bucket, and so too one must begin pouring the third bucket prior to finishing the pouring of the second bucket. It is invalid to use four buckets of water for the accumulation of nine Kavim, [and hence if the first three buckets or last three buckets do not contain nine Kavim in total it is invalid].[182] Even when pouring from one vessel, one must be careful that the water continuously falls on the body without any interval at all. If one entered the body halfway into a Mikveh and nine Kavim were poured on his top half, it is valid. [See Q&A regarding shower.]

Q&A on Nine Kavim

Can one perform “nine Kavim” in the shower?

Yes.[183] One can do so by staying under the shower head for 3-4 minutes consecutively without turning the water off for even a moment in between.[184] One is to stand straight under the shower head with his hands weakly folded over his chest as explained next. It is invalid when one is lying in the bath.

10. After the immersion/Nine Kavin:

When to say the prayers:[185] Some say the prayers recorded in Mavor Yabok only after performing the washing and Taharah of Mikveh, or nine Kavin. Others, however, say it during the actual washing. [Some Gedolim were accustomed to instructing that they receive Malkus and “Daled Misos Beis Din” after the Taharah process and immersion in the Mikveh.[186]]

Drying the body:[187] After the immersion or pouring of nine Kavin, the body is immediately wrapped in a clean and dry sheet[188], and placed on the Taharah board where the entire body is dried. Some are accustomed not to use the Taharah board but to use a different board.[189] The board is to have a sheet placed on it prior to resting the body on it.[190] 

Positioning the body:[191] The body is to be positioned facing the opening of the room, and is not to be replaced in the same area in which the Taharah took place.

Protecting from touch: One is to be very careful after the Taharah that a gentile does not touch the deceased.[192] Likewise, a Baal Keri or Nida is not to touch the body.[193]

Not to turn over the Taharah board: One must be very careful not to turn over the Taharah board from the side that the body rested during the Taharah, as there is a danger in this matter.[194] After the burial, the board may be overturned.[195]

Washing hands:[196] [Immediately] after the Chevra Kadisha completes the Taharah process, they are to wash their hands [three times inconsecutively[197], being that the evil spirits escorts the person until he washes his hands[198]].

11. The Tachrichin/Burial garments:[199]

The burial garments are called Tachrichin, as they are used to garb the dead.[200] These garments have extreme effect on the soul of the deceased, and one is thus not to swerve from any of the laws and regulations mentioned below, or from the community custom.[201] Not being careful in the above can lead to danger for the community.[202]

The cost and elegance:[203] One may not bury the deceased in expensive burial garments. This applies even if the deceased is a leader amongst Israel. [Nonetheless, the garments are to look nice, as whoever makes pleasant looking burial garments for the deceased shows that he believes in the resurrection, and he will be blessed.[204] In fact, Chazal state that the deceased will become resurrected wearing the clothing that he was buried in.[205] Accordingly, the custom of some is to purchase nice looking flax garments. Nonetheless, to purchase very extravagant burial garments is certainly forbidden.[206] If the burial garment is dirty, it is to be laundered.[207] If it is torn, it is to be sewn.[208]]

The color:[209] The custom is for all the burial garments to be white.

The material and production: From the letter of the law, the garment may be made of any material, including a mixture of Kilayim, wool and linen.[210] Nevertheless, it is customary to bury the dead in a linen garment [if possible[211]].[212] There is great Kabalistic meaning behind the wearing of linen, and doing so greatly benefits the soul of the deceased, turning all of his prosecuting angels to defense angels. It is imperative for this reason that no other material be mixed with the linen or be worn by the deceased. Hence the garment is to be sewed with linen strings.[213] It is customary for the burial garment to be woven by hand, and by Jewish women who are pure.[214] The garment is not to contain any pockets or knots.[215]

The number of garments:[216] Some are accustomed to dress the dead with three, or five, garments corresponding to the three/five soul levels. Others are accustomed to dress the dead with eight garments, corresponding to the eight garments worn by the Kohen Gadol. Each community is to follow their custom. The Chabad tradition is to dress the body of a man in six/seven garments: 1) shirt; 2) pants; 3) a turban that covers the head, neck and face; 4) Kittul; 5) belt; 6) Tallis 7) “Soveiv” wrapping [a white sheet].[217]

The Kittul:[218] It is customary to bury the dead in a Kittul.[219] The custom is to use the Kittul that he wore on Yom Kippur.[220] All the buttons are removed beforehand. This applies even if the Kittul is not made of linen. However, some are particular that the Kittul be made of linen.

Dressing the corpse:[221] A man may not dress the corpse of a woman, although a woman may dress the corpse of a man.[222] [The body is to be dried prior to dressing it.[223] The garment is not to be placed inside out and is not to have any of its parts folded. One is also to be careful that no part of the garment enters the mouth of the corpse.[224] While dressing the corpse, they are to have in mind that just as they are dressing the body, so too G-d is dressing the soul in Gan Eden.[225] When passing the clothing from one person to another, some are accustomed not to thank each other for it.[226] Some are accustomed to dress the dead in the same order as a Kohen, with the pants first and only then the shirt.[227] Others are accustomed to begin with the head and work their way down.[228] Each community is to follow their custom. The Chabad custom is like the former approach.[229] One is not to place two garments onto the body simultaneously.[230] The belt is not to be tied with a knot but is rather to be fastened with a bow.[231] It is tied a total of 13 times.[232] Some are accustomed to have the sons wrap the belt around the deceased.[233] The prayers written in the Sefer Mavor Yabok are recited while they dress the dead.[234] A list of prayers is recorded at the end of this chapter.

12. The Tallis:[235]

The custom of all Jewry is to garb a [male[236]] corpse in a Tallis Gadol at the time of his funeral and burial, as his form of Tachrichim.[237] [The custom is to wrap him in the Tallis Gadol that he wore while alive.[238] This applies even if his Tallis is elegant and expensive.[239] If the deceased had a Shabbos and weekday Tallis, the Shabbos Tallis is to be used.[240] If this is not available, then a new Tallis may be used.[241] The deceased is not garbed with a Tallis Katan.[242] However, there is a difference of opinion and custom as to whether a child or Bochur who did not yet begin wearing a Tallis Gadol should be wrapped in a Tallis Gadol or Tallis Katan.[243] If a child below age three passed away, some do not wrap him in a Tallis at all.[244] In Eretz Yisrael, the custom is to bury the corpse without a Tallis, although he is garbed in a Tallis throughout the funeral, until the burial.[245] In Eretz Yisrael, one may not swerve from this custom.[246]]

Invalidating the Tzitzis: Some Poskim[247] rule that the corpse is to be buried in a Tallis that contains Kosher Tzitzis. Other Poskim[248] rule that there is no need for the Tallis to have Tzitzis. Practically the custom is to bury him with Tzitzis, however some[249] are accustomed to invalidating one corner of Tzitzis prior to the burial, and so is the Chabad custom.[250] Others[251] tie the Tzitzis to each other or tuck them into the corner.

Wrapping the deceased in the Tallis:[252] The Tallis is to be wrapped around the deceased and is to cover his head.

The Soveiv wrapping:[253] In addition to wrapping the body in a Tallis, one wraps it also in a white sheet, called a Soveiv. The Chabad custom is to first cover the body with a Tallis and only then with the Soveiv. Others do it in the opposite order and each is to follow his custom.

Covering the face:[254] In previous times it was customary to allow the faces of the wealthy to be revealed by the funeral, however, today the custom is for the face of all deceased to be covered to prevent shaming the poor. [It is covered by both the Tallis and the Soveiv.]

13. Placing the body into the casket:[255]

The body is to be placed into the casket in a gentle and respectful manner.[256] The body is placed into the coffin on his back, facing up, like a person who is sleeping.[257] The hands are to be straightened and placed by his sides, with the right hand by his right side and left hand by his left side.[258] One is to be careful in the above mentioned matters [see Halacha 8E] that the mouth and eyes are closed, and his hands are open.[259] Prior to closing the casket, the Chevra Kadisha requests forgiveness from the deceased.[260] Once the casket is closed, it is no longer to initially be opened.[261]

Eretz Yisrael:[262] In Eretz Yisrael, where the custom is to bury without a casket, the body is placed on a makeshift bed/cot, following all the details mentioned above.

14. Leaving the Taharah room/home:[263]

Upon taking the body out of the Taharah room, or home housing the body prior to the funeral, the body is to be the first to leave the room, and all the people inside are then to follow. [However, prior to the exit of the body, it is permitted for people to come and go.[264] Likewise, those people who are needed to carry the body, may be the first to exit in the process of carrying.[265] Some are accustomed to place shattered earthenware by the entrance of the door upon taking the body out.[266] This is not the Chabad custom.[267] The body is to exit with its feet first.[268] Upon the body leaving the Taharah room, the verses of Yosheiv Besisar are to be recited.[269] Charity is to be given at this time in merit of the elevation of the soul of the deceased.[270]]

Kaddish:[271] In the event that the sons will not be participating in the funeral or burial [i.e. is in other country, or Minhag Yerushalayim] then Kaddish is to be recited by the sons prior to the body leaving the room. [The custom of many in the Diaspora, however, is for Kaddish to be said only after the burial, and not during the Levaya.[272]]

Not to place one coffin on top of another:[273] One is not to place the casket of the deceased on top of another casket that contains a body, and doing is a grave danger.

15. Taharah for a murder victim:[274]

A murder victim is to be buried in the state that he is found. He is not to have Tachrichin placed on him [and does not go through the Taharah process]. None of his clothing is to be removed, not even his shoes.[275] [If the victim was murdered by a gentile, then this applies even if the murder victim does not contain open injuries which release blood, such as if he was drowned or strangled.[276]]

The Tachrichin: As stated above, the murder victim does not have his clothing removed and thus does not have Tachrichin placed on his body in their stead. Some Poskim[277], however, rule that the Tachrichin is to be placed above the clothing. Practically, the custom is not to make the same Tachrichin for the murder victims, as is done for others who have passed away, but rather to bury them in their clothing and then place a [white] sheet over them as is done for others who pass away.[278]

Blood stained clothing and earth:[279] All material that has absorbed the blood of the victim, such as clothing and earth, is to be buried with him. Hence, the custom is to dig around the area that the murder victim was found and to bury that earth together with the body.

Burying the victim with a knife:[280]

Some are accustomed to burying a murder victim with a knife in his hands, representing the fact that he will avenge his death. It is forbidden to get benefit from this knife if the body becomes unearthed.[281]

 

The murder weapon:[282]

It is forbidden to get benefit from a murder weapon, such as a murder knife, and it is to be buried with the victim.

 

The murder victim does not rest until the murderer is killed:[283]

The soul of a murder victim does not rest in heaven until their murderer is apprehended and held accountable. The soul of the victim demands justice and that his murderer be put to death, and does not rest his case until this is done. This is the secret meaning of the verse “One who spills blood of man, his blood will spill” as the prosecution that the soul of the victim voices against the murderer, brings about the death of the murderer, and if not in this world then in the next world. This can be seen with the story brought in the Midrash[284] that after a certain son was murdered by his brother, his mother saved the blood in a jar, and that blood boiled until the murderer sibling as killed. It is for this reason that we do not perform Taharah to the victim, as burying the victim in the clothing of his murder helps motivate him to seek vengeance against the murderer.

Saying Hashem Yikom Damo:[285]

It brings satisfaction to the soul of the murder victim when one says “Hashem Yikom Damo/May Hashem avenge his death” after mentioning his name.

16. Taharah for Yoledes:

A woman who died during childbirth r”l, is buried in the state that she is found without Taharah or Tachrichin, just as explained regarding a murder victim.[286] However, if a few days passed since the birth until she passed away, and the injuries have stopped releasing blood, then they are to have the Taharah process performed on them prior to burial just like anyone else.[287] Practically, however, many communities are accustomed to perform the Taharah to any Yoledes who dies due to birth, and to dress her in Tachrichin, and to then place her clothing on top of her Tachrichin, and then above that to place the sheet.[288] [This is the widespread custom today.[289]]

Removing the child from a pregnant woman who died:[290] A woman who died during childbirth is to have her womb opened and the child removed, as perhaps he will be found to be alive. This applies even on Shabbos, even if it entails the performance of Biblical Melacha.[291] Practically, however, the custom is to no longer extract the child from her womb even during the week, being that by the time we unequivocally verify and determine her to be dead, the baby has certainly died.[292] [Nonetheless, if one is able to determine the exact time of death for the mother, as well as whether the baby is still alive, through medical apparatuses, then one may obviously desecrate Shabbos to help save the baby in accordance to the readings of these machines.[293] The above discussion is all in regards to removing the child for the sake of saving his life, however if one knows that the child is dead, then the implication is that there is no need to remove him from the womb and the mother is buried with the child. However, it is widely accustomed to always remove the fetus from the womb of a pregnant woman who died even if one knows for certain that the child is dead, as it is a Sakana/danger to bury the woman with her fetus inside.[294] Practically, while spiritual tactics[295] and gentle massaging may be used to have her expel the child after death, one may not surgically remove it, and in a case that the child is not expelled from the womb through the gentle tactics, she is to be buried in that state.[296]]

17. Taharah for person who died an unnatural death [i.e. drowning, blunt force injury, accident, etc]:

One who fell from [a certain height] and died, is to be buried in the state that he is found [without Taharah or Tachrichin], just as explained regarding a murder victim.[297] [The same applies to anyone who dies tragically due to unnatural causes, such as blunt injury and the like.[298]] This, however, only applies if the person contains open wounds which release blood. If, however, they did not release any blood in the process of their death, such as a drowning victim, or one who died in the cold due to frostbite, they are buried like everyone else, with having their clothing removed, Taharah performed, and garbed in Tachrichin.[299] Furthermore, even if the person died from a blood releasing blunt injury, if a few days have passed since the accident until they pass away, and the injuries have stopped releasing blood, then they are to have the Taharah process performed prior to burial just like anyone else.[300]

18. Taharah for suicide victim:

One who committed suicide, is to have Taharah performed, is to be garbed in Tachrichin, and is to be buried in a Jewish cemetery [an 8 Amos distance from other graves[301]].[302] [This applies even if his clothing is stained with blood.[303]]

19. Removing the foreskin of an uncircumcised Jew:

A child:[304] A Nefel [i.e. still born, or baby who died within thirty days], or any child who died prior to circumcision, is to be circumcised [by a Jew[305]] prior to the burial.[306] A blessing is not recited over the circumcision. He is also to be named at that time.[307] [Some are accustomed to performing the circumcision during the Taharah process, and not by the burial.[308] He is circumcised with any sharp material, such as a rock, glass, or knife.[309] The circumcision may be done even at night.[310] Peria is not performed.[311] If the child was buried without a circumcision, it is permitted for the child to be unearthed and circumcised.[312]] See Chapter 10 Halacha 4 for the full details of this matter!

An adult:[313] A Jewish male who was not circumcised during his lifetime, due to whatever reason, is to be circumcised prior to the burial. The foreskin is to be buried on its own.

Prayers said during the Taharah

Darkei Chesed p. 264

____________________________________________

[1] See Shulchan Aruch 352; Gesher Hachaim 9-11; Darkei Chesed 11-13; Nitei Gavriel Chapter 39-50

[2] See Nitei Gavriel 39:2 footnote 2

[3] See Rama 349:3 “The board on which the Taharah took place”

[4] Mishneh Shabbos 151a

[5] Michaber O.C. 311; Y.D. 352; Admur 311:13; 526:3

[6] Chochmas Adam in Hanhagas Chevra Kadisha 1

[7] Rokeiach 317; Rebbe Yehuda Hachassid, brought in Chochmas Adam ibid

[8] Sefer Tzarei Lanefesh; Mavor Yabok Sifsei Rinanos 17 “Seder Rechitza Hagedola from Hillel Hazakein”; Lechem Hapanim 352:4; Darkei Chesed 11:1 footnote 1; See Gesher Hachaim 9:1

[9] See Shevet Yehuda 352:4; Lechem Hapanim 352; Nitei Gavriel ibid

[10] Lechem Hapanim 352; Chochmas Adam ibid; Kitzur Shu”a 197:2-4

[11] Teshuvah Meahavah 3:410

[12] Mishmeres Shalom Tes 20

[13] Beis Lechem Yehuda 352:2; Tuv Taam Vadas 2:238; Halef Lecha Shlomo 305; Beis Shlomo 2 Y.D. 227; Nitei Gavriel 42:1

[14] Mavor Yabok Sefas Emes 25

[15] Darkei Moshe 352:2; Binyamon Zev 204 in name of Rav Eliezer Halevi

[16] Gesher Hachaim 10:2; Darkei Chesed 12:14; Nitei Gavriel 40:12; 44:19

[17] Darkei Chesed ibid

[18] See Nitei Gavriel Vol. 1 42:1; Vol. 2 97-98

[19] Tashbeitz 3:13

[20] Nitei Gavriel Vol. 2 98

[21] See Tashbeitz 3:13; Chasam Sofer 128

[22] Elya Raba, brought in Toras Chaim 5:1 and Nitei Gavriel ibid

Story with Maggid of Mezritch: After the passing of the Maggid in the city of Anipoli, an argument between the local Chevra Kadisha and the students of the Maggid broke out regarding who will do Taharah. In the end, the Rabbinical court ruled like the Chevra Kadisha, however the Alter Rebbe was allowed to participate since he had experience with the Chevra Kadisha, and was himself a member in his old home town. They did a lottery to see who would get which part of the body to clean, and the Alter Rebbe received the head of the Maggid. The Alter Rebbe then said that Tzadikim are more alive in their death and thus the Maggid can immerse himself, and so it was that the Maggid lifted himself into the Mikveh and immersed himself three times. [See Beis Rebbe page 10; Sefer Hatoldos of Maggid and Admur volume 1]

[23] See Nitei Gavriel Vol. 2 chapter 97-98

[24] Darkei Chesed p. 285; Nitei Gavriel ibid that so was custom of Liozna, Kapust, Russia, Halbershtat, Volozhin, Lita, Shklov, New York,

[25] See Nitei Gavriel Vol. 2 chapter 97 in length

[26] See Darkei Chesed p. 285 for the Nussach of Selichos said on this day, and the prayers said upon visiting the cemetery

[27] One who did not have Taharah done to them: See Igros Kodesh 4:120, printed in Shulchan Menachem 5:261, regarding parents who did not have Taharah done to them, and that as a Tikkun, the sons should donate charity on behalf of two Kosher Jews who are deceased and then visit them by their grave and ask them to tell their parents that they ask for forgiveness for them not having a Taharah done to them.

[28] Nitei Gavriel 135:11

[29] See Chapter 10 Halacha 1!

[30] Gesher Hachaim p. 117

[31] Nitei Gavriel 135:12

[32] Chasam Sofer Y.D. 328; Noda Beyehuda Tinyana 211; Pischeiy Teshuvah 352:3; Aruch Hashulchan 352:4; Gesher Hachaim 9:1; Igros Moshe Y.D. 2:145; Darkei Chesed 11:8 and p. 306; Nitei Gavriel 39:4

[33] Darkei Chesed ibid; Nitei Gavriel ibid

[34] Shevet Yehuda Y.D. 352:4; Nitei Gavriel 40:1

[35] Sefer Hachaim 311; Kaf Hachaim 311:32; Darkei Chesed 11:1; Nitei Gavriel 40:1 based on Rashal Beitza 1:10

[36] Radbaz 2:507 regarding Taharah; Mishmeres Shalom Ayin 7; Darkei Chesed 11:1 in name of Harechitza Hagedola of Hillel Hazakein, brought in Lechem Hapanim 352:4 [not found in source]; Nitei Gavriel 40:2; See Admur 526:7 and Michaber 526:4 that even on Yom Tov Sheiyni, a Jew is to be involved in the entire process, and it is not to be done through a gentile even if he is available.

[37] Sefer Chassidim 533 “in the Kever”; Beis Lechem Yehuda 362; Rav Akiva Eiger 362; Makor Chesed on Sefer Chassidim ibid; Nitei Gavriel 40:3

[38] Michaber 352:3; Aruch Hashulchan 352:2; Divrei Malkiel 5:154; Gesher Hachaim p. 103; Nitei Gavriel 40:4

[39] The reason: This is due to worry that the man may have erotic thoughts. However, a woman is not suspected of erotic thought to this extent. [Shach 352:1]

[40] Nitei Gavriel 40:4

[41] Machaneh Chaim C.M. 11; Nitei Gavriel 41:7

[42] Nitei Gavriel 40:4-5; However, see there regarding time of need, and single woman

[43] Nitei Gavriel 40:6 as the trauma can endanger the child

[44] Nitei Gavriel 40:12

[45] Sefer Chassidim 537; Nitei Gavriel 41:5

[46] Lechem Hapanim 352:4 from Seder Rechitza of Hillel Hazakein; Nitei Gavriel 39:9

[47] Gesher Hachaim 9:1; p. 111; Darkei Chesed 11:7; Nitei Gavriel 41:1-3; See there also regarding students performing Taharah on their Rebbe

[48] See Rama E.H. 23:6 and Y.D. 242:16 that the Talmud Pesachim 51a prohibits one from bathing together with his father or step father, or father in-law, or sister’s husband [brother in-law]; omitted from Tur and Michaber both in Yoreh Deah and Even Haezer

[49] Nitei Gavriel ibid

[50] See Darkei Chesed p. 306 in Yiddish Seder Taharah; He does not make such a point earlier in 11:7

[51] Darkei Chesed 11:7

[52] See Mavor Yabok Sifsei Rinanos 9 regarding placing the earth on the eyes and being the first to put the earth on the corpse; Nitei Gavriel 49:20

[53] Nitei Gavriel 40:14

[54] Gesher Hachaim 9:1; Darkei Chesed 11:2 [p. 44]; Beir Moshe 8:115; Nitei Gavriel 40:7

[55] Gesher Hachaim 9:4

[56] Nitei Gavriel 39:8 in name of Rav Moshe Feinstein

[57] Nitei Gavriel 40:11, 13

[58] Nitei Gavriel 41:6; 44:18

[59] The reason: It is belittling to the deceased for people to watch him being washed and cleaned without clothing.

[60] Nitei Gavriel 39:5

[61] Nitei Gavriel 39:6 that so is Minhag Chabad to say the mothers name

[62] Gesher Hachaim p. 136; Nitei Gavriel 39:7

[63] Nitei Gavriel 40:8

[64] Gesher Hachaim 9:1; Darkei Chesed 11:2, p. 43; Nitei Gavriel 43:2-4

[65] Nitei Gavriel ibid

[66] Nitei Gavriel 43:1

[67] Darkei Chesed 11:2; Nitei Gavriel 40:9; 43:10 in name of Sefer Hachaim and other Poskim

[68] Horiyos 13b; Maharil Semachos; Mavor Yabok Sifsei Renanos 9; Peri Chadash O.C. 2; P”M 2 A”A1; M”B 2:2; Darkei Chesed p. 31; Nitei Gavriel 4:2 footnote 3-4; 43:12

[69] The reason: As a) one who looks at the face of a body forgets his learning. [Poskim ibid] b) It is forbidden to look at the face of a corpse as it is belittling to him.

[70] Mavor Yabok ibid; Seder Hillel Hazakein; Darkei Chesed ibid; Nitei Gavriel ibid

The reason: In addition to preventing people from staring at the face, covering the face prevents the evil forces from looking at the sins marked on the forehead of the deceased. [Mavor Yabok ibid] One must be especially careful in this matter after the Taharah, as it can lead to danger [Seder Hillel Hazakein]

[71] Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 44:9

[72] Mavor Yabok Sifsei Rinanos 10; This prayer is based on Seder Hillel Hazakein, as brought in Lechem Hapanim 452:4; See Gesher Hachaim ibid footnote 1

[73] Gesher Hachaim 9:3 Nitei Gavriel 44:16

[74] Gesher Hachaim 9:1; Darkei Chesed 11:5

[75] Nitei Gavriel 40:11

[76] Nitei Gavriel 43:6; See Rama 349:3 “The board on which the Taharah took place”

[77] Gesher Hachaim 9:1

[78] Nitei Gavriel 45:3

[79] Tzavas Rav Yehuda Hachassid 18 [that one may die within 9 days]; Beis Lechem Yehuda 362; Chochmas Adam 157:8; Kitzur SHU”A 197:6; Aruch Hashulchan 362:8; Darkei Chesed 11:13; Nitei Gavriel 45:11

[80] Shivim Temarim on Tzavah ibid; Beir Moshe 8:111; Nitei Gavriel 45:11

[81] Chochmas Adam Hanhagos Chevra Kadisha 6; Kitzur Shu”a 197:2; Gesher Hachaim 9:1; Darkei Chesed 11:3 and 5; Nitei Gavriel 43:8; 44:2

[82] Gesher Hachaim ibid

[83] See Nitei Gavriel 44:11 footnote 23

[84] Darkei Chesed 11:3

[85] Nitei Gavriel 43:9

[86] Nitei Gavriel 43:5

[87] Nitei Gavriel 43:11

[88] Rama 352:4; Binyamon Zev; Ramban in Toras Hadam; Mishneh Shabbos 151a; Sefer Chassidim 732; Mavor Yabok Sefas Emes 25; See Nitei Gavriel 44; 44:22 regarding scrubbing off sticky areas

[89] Michaber 352:4; Tur 352 in name of Ramban that so is custom of all Jewry

The reason: This is done in order so the corpse does not smell, and people do not become disgusted by it. [Kol Bo, brought in Beir Hagoleh ibid]

[90] Nitei Gavriel 45:3

[91] Lechem Hapanim 352:4 from Seder Rechitza of Hillel Hazakein; Nitei Gavriel 39:9

[92] Chochmas Adam 157:8; Kitzur SHU”A 197:2; Seder Hillel Hazakein; Nitei Gavriel 44:4; See Gesher Hachaim 9:1 that in Yerushalyim the custom is to use cold water

[93] Nitei Gavriel 43:6-7; 44:3; See Darkei Chesed 11:3

[94] Gesher Hachaim 9:1 writes that the entire washing is done through the cloth for modesty purposes, with exception to Yom Tov; Darkei Chesed 11:5 that so is custom of Jerusalem

[95] See Gesher Hachaim 9:1; Darkei Chesed 11:4-5; Nitei Gavriel 44:7

[96] Gesher Hachaim 9:1

[97] Nitei Gavriel 44:7

[98] Gesher Hachaim 9:1

[99] Gesher Hachaim 9:1

[100] Nitei Gavriel 44:2; 5 regarding Yom Tov

[101] Nitei Gavriel 44:19

[102] Darkei Chesed 11:6; Nitei Gavriel 44:20 that some communities clean it with a cloth and then bury the cloth with the body.

[103] Gesher Hachaim 9:1 during the first washing and 9:2 during the scrubbing with soap

[104] See Michaber 339:1; Shach 339:3; Lechem Hapanim 352:4 in Seder Rechitza Gedola of Hillel Hazakein

[105] Omitted from Seder Taharah of Gesher Hachaim; Darkei Chesed and Nitei Gavriel

[106] Michaber 352:4; Tur 352 in name of Ramban that so is custom of all Jewry; See Nitei Gavriel 44:11-13

[107] The reason: This is done in order so the corpse does not smell and people do not become disgusted by it. [Kol Bo, brought in Beir Hagoleh ibid]

[108] Implication of Seder Rechitza Hillel Hazakein to clean rectum area until all excrement leaves; Mishmeres Shalom Tes 8; Poskim in Sdei Chemed Aveilus 125; See Gesher Hachaim in length that so is the custom in Eretz Yisrael; Darkei Chesed 11:4 footnote 2 that so is custom of some while others oppose; Nitei Gavriel 44:11 that so is custom of most communities today

[109] See Gesher Hachaim 9:3 for the entire practice in great detail

[110] Chochmas Adam Hanhagas Chevra Kadisha 6; Poskim in Sdei Chemed ibid; Darkei Chesed ibid; Poskim in Nitei Gavriel ibid footnote 21

[111] Nitei Gavriel ibid

[112] Gesher Hachaim 9:3

[113] Gesher Hachaim ibid; Nitei Gavriel 44:12-13

[114] Michaber 352:4; Tur 352 in name of Ramban that so is custom of all Jewry

[115] See Kitzur SHU”A 197:2; Maharash Eiger Y.D. 47; Gesher Hachaim 9:4 footnote 3 writes they do not even comb the hair; Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 44:21

[116] Nitei Gavriel 44:7

[117] Rama 352:4; Chochmas Adam 157:8; Hanhagas Chevra Kadisha 6

[118] See Kitzur SHU”A 197:2; Maharash Eiger Y.D. 47; Gesher Hachaim 9:4 footnote 3; Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 44:21

[119] Darkei Chesed 12:9

[120] Michaber 352:3; Tur 352 in name of Ramban that so is custom of all Jewry; Darkei Chesed 12:9; See Admur 311:13

[121] Michaber 352:4; Tur 352 in name of Ramban that so is custom of all Jewry; See Michaber 339:1; Shach 339:2; Admur 311:13

[122] Beis Lechem Yehuda 362 in name of Tzavah of Rav Yehuda Hachassid; Kitzur SHU”A 197:5; Darkei Chesed 12:9 in name of Rokeiach, Sefer Chassidim and Rabbeinu Yerucham; See Chochmas Adam Matzeivas Moshe 9 and Pischeiy Teshuvah 352:4; See Reshimos 5 [printed in Toras Menachem Tziyon p. 26] that the Rebbe Rayatz instructed for a Tzetel to be placed in the right hand of his mother, as she wrote in her will, and for her hands to be closed over it so it does not fall out.

[123] Shach 362:1 in name of Derisha; Zohar Vayechi; Mavor Yabok Sifsei Rinanos 9; Lechem Hapanim 339; Gesher Hachaim 10:2; Nitei Gavriel 49:14; 76:13

[124] Shach 362:1 in name of Derisha; Darkei Chesed 12:9; Nitei Gavriel 49:19 regarding earthenware

[125] See Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 49:16 footnote 24; However, see Darkei Chesed 12:9

[126] Darkei Chesed 12:13; See Nitei Gavriel 76:13

Other customs: Some delay placing the earth and earthenware shards on the eyes and mouth until the burial, after the body is lowered into the grave. [See Sefarim in Nitei Gavriel 76:13 footnote 23]

[127] Darkei Chesed 12:13

[128] Nitei Gavriel 49:14; 76:16

[129] Nitei Gavriel 49:15

[130] See Rama 363:1; Mavor Yabok Sifsie Emes 9; Darkei Chesed 12:9; Nitei Gavriel 49:15

[131] Darkei Chesed 11:7; Nitei Gavriel 49:20; 76:15

[132] See Mavor Yabok Sifsei Rinanos 9; Nitei Gavriel 49:20; Many Sefarim brought in Nitei Gavriel 76:15 footnote 32

[133] Rama 363:1; See Gesher Hachaim 27:9

[134] Gesher Hachaim ibid; Nitei Gavriel 49:17

[135] Gesher Hachaim ibid; Darkei Chesed 12:9; Nitei Gavriel 49:17; 76:11

[136] Mavor Yabok Sefas Emes 27; Kitzur SHU”A 198:2; See Nitei Gavriel 76:11

[137] Mavor Yabok Sifsie Emes 9 [omits face]; Darkei Chesed 12:9; Nitei Gavriel 49:17 [See there footnote 27 that so is the Chabad custom]

[138] Darkei Chesed 12:13

[139] Beir Heiytiv 362:1; Darkei Chesed 12:16; Nitei Gavriel 49:18

[140] Darkei Chesed 12:16

[141] Rama 352:4; Kol Bo; Chasam Sofer 327, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 352:4

[142] Kitzur SHU”A 197:4 “wine, or water if not available; Darkei Chesed 12:9; Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 44:25 footnote 46

[143] The reason: This serves as a sign that death is a recurring cycle. [Rama ibid]

[144] See Chochmas Adam in Matzeivas Moshe 8, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 352:4 that the custom should be nullified; Gesher Hachaim 9:4 footnote 3 that they do not do this custom; Darkei Chesed 12:9 footnote 15; Nitei Gavriel 44:25 footnotes 49-52

[145] Darkei Chesed 12:9; Nitei Gavriel 44:25

[146] Darkei Chesed 12:13

[147] See Nitei Gavriel 76:14

[148] Chasam Sofer Y.D. 327, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 352:4; Kesav Sofer Y.D. 171; Darkie Chaim Veshalom 985; many Sefarim recorded in Nitei Gavriel 76:14 footnote 27

[149] Chochmas Adam in Matzeivas Moshe 9, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah ibid; Kitzur SHU”A 197:5

[150] Darkei Chesed 12:9 that our custom is not to do so; Nitei Gavriel 76:14 footnote 27 that so is Minhag Chabad

[151] See Nitei Gavriel ibid

[152] Michaber 350:1; Braisa in Miseches Semachos

[153] Beis Hillel 350

[154] Title of chapter 350

[155] Shach 350:1; Bach 350

[156] Nitei Gavriel 39:11

[157] Nitei Gavriel 43:13

[158] Nitei Gavriel 44:10

[159] Nitei Gavriel 44:6

[160] Darkei Chesed 11:6; Nitei Gavriel 44:19; See 44:23 regarding Dam Nida that it does not require burial; See Gesher Hachaim 11 that from the letter of the law, blood that is released after death does not require burial unless there is a Revius, and thus he concludes that only the bloody clothing should be buried, but drops that fall may be ignored; See Darkei Chesed 13:5

[161] See Nitei Gavriel 44:1; 45

[162] Mavor Yabok Sefas Emes 25; Chochmas Adam Hanhagas Chevra Kadisha 7; Kitzur SHU”A 197:2-3; Aruch Hashulchan 352:4; Gesher Hachaim 9:4

[163] See Gesher Hachaim 9:4-5

[164] Nitei Gavriel 44:1 that so is widespread custom today and that Chabad custom is to immerse everyone in a Mikveh except for the Rebbeim, on which we pour nine Kavim. Vetzaruch Iyun from Darkei Chesed ibid who makes no mention of immersing in a Mikveh by Taharah and only records the custom of nine Kavin. Rav Eliyahu Landau Shlita confirmed with me that the Chabad custom, as is the widespread custom, is to immerse the body in a Mikveh and only if a Mikveh is not available is nine Kavin done.

[165] See Gesher Hachaim 9:4 that in his days they only had one in Tzefas and Tiveria, from earlier generations

[166] Lechem Hapanim 352:4 from Seder Rechitza of Hillel Hazakein; Nitei Gavriel 39:9

[167] Gesher Hachaim 9:4; Darkei Chesed 11:12; Nitei Gavriel 45:15

[168] Gesher Hachaim 9:4

[169] Mavor Yabok Sefas Emes 25; Nitei Gavriel 45:2, 4

[170] Nitei Gavriel 45:6

[171] Nitei Gavriel 45:5

[172] Nitei Gavriel 45:7

[173] Igros Moshe Y.D. 3:137; Nitei Gavriel 45:20

[174] Shiurei Torah 3:30 writes that 9 Kavim is equivalent to 12.441 liters of water. The Piskeiy Teshuvos 88:5 writes that according to the Grach Naah [author of Shiurei Torah] one is to initially use 18 liters and 12.5 litters is only in a time of need. Vetzaruch Iyun as to his source, being that the Grach Naah explicitly writes 12.5 liters.

Other Opinions: The Chazon Ish rules that initially it is to be 23 liters and in a time of need 17.5 liters suffice. Others rule it is 11.3 liters. [brought in Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid] Others rule it is 16 Liters. [Minchas Yitzchak 4:51] Nitei Gavriel 44:1 records 7-8 gallons, which is equivalent to 25 liters.

[175] Chochmas Adama Hanhagas Chevra Kadisha 7; Kitzur SHU”A 197:2; Gesher Hachaim 9:4; Darkei Chesed 11:10; Nitei Gavriel 45:13

[176] Chochmas Adama Hanhagas Chevra Kadisha 7 and Kitzur SHU”A 197:2 “floor or straw”; Darkei Chesed 11:10; Nitei Gavriel 45:9

[177] Darkei Chesed 11:10; Nitei Gavriel 45:13; See Gesher Hachaim 9:4 footnote 3 who protests against those who do it with the body lying down

[178] Nitei Gavriel 45:16

[179] Gesher Hachaim 9:4; Darkei Chesed 11:11; Nitei Gavriel 45:17 [writes to say after pouring]

[180] Nitei Gavriel 45:17

[181] Admur 88:1; 606:11; Taz 88:1; Olas Tamid 88:2; M”A 606:9; Elya Raba 606:11; Kitzur SHU”A 197:3; Gesher Hachaim 9:4; Darkei Chesed 11:10; Nitei Gavriel 45:14

[182] Admur ibid; Some Poskim [Bier Heiytiv 88] record 3-4 buckets are valid. This is a printing error. [Kaf Hachaim 88:6]

[183] Nitei Gavriel 39:10 in name of Darkei Chesed p. 273; Kinyan Torah 1:33; Tzur Yaakov 9; Chelkas Yaakov 3:61 Minchas Yitzchak 4:51; Vayaan Yosef 1:45; Divrei Yaatziv Likkut 13; Beir Moshe 6:74; Shraga Hameir 1:16; Sheivet Halevi 1:24; Piskeiy Teshuvos 88:5

Other Opinions: Some Poskim are stringent and disqualify the use of a shower on the basis that according to the Raavad one requires Koach Gavra to validate the nine Kavim. [Opinion of Mishneh Halachos 3:2-6; 3:8; 5:19-22; 6:23]. The vast majority of Gedolei HaPoskim ibid however rule it is allowed based on that we do not rule like the Raavad in this matter, and even according to the Raavad today that the nine Kavim is only a custom he would agree it is allowed. [Kinyan Torah ibid]

[184] Piskeiy Teshuvos 88 footnote 42 [This applies even according to the opinion that requires 23 liters]

[185] Nitei Gavriel 44:24

[186] Gesher Hachaim 9:4

[187] Gesher Hachaim 9:4; Darkei Chesed 11:13; Nitei Gavriel 45:9-10

[188] Gesher Hachaim 9:4 and Nitei Gavriel 45:10; not recorded in Darkei Chesed

[189] Nitei Gavriel ibid

[190] Sefarim ibid

[191] Tzavas Rav Yehuda Hachassid 6; Beis Lechem Yehuda 362; Kneses Hagedola Y.D. 362; Chochmas Adam 157:8; Kitzur SHU”A 197:6; Aruch Hashulchan 362:8; Darkei Chesed 12:15; Pnei Baruch 4:13; Nitei Gavriel 45:12

[192] Radbaz 1:507 regarding Taharah; Mishmeres Shalom Ayin 7; Nitei Gavriel 40:2; 45:19

[193] Seder Hillel Hazakein brought in Lechem Hapanim 362:4; Nitei Gavriel 45:19

[194] Tzavas Rav Yehuda Hachassid 18; Beis Lechem Yehuda 362; Chochmas Adam 157:8; Kitzur SHU”A 197:6; Aruch Hashulchan 362:8; Darkei Chesed 11:13; Nitei Gavriel 45:11

[195] Shivim Temarim on Tzavah ibid; Beir Moshe 8:111; Nitei Gavriel 45:11

[196] Admur Kama 4:18 that one who touches a corpse is required to wash his hands one time afterwards; Nitei Gavriel 44:17

[197] Elya Raba 4:12; Machatzis Hashekel 4:17; Soles Belula 4:14; Machazik Bracha 4:6 in name of Makor Chaim; Ben Ish Chaiy Toldos 16; Kaf Hachaim 4:61; M”B 4:39; Ketzos Hashulchan 2 footnote 29 regarding Levaya; Olas Tamid; Shlah Shaar Haosiyos 9; Lev Chaim 1:63; Kaf Hachaim [Falagi] 7:26; Ruach Chaim 4:3; Chesed Lealafim brought in Kaf Hachaim 4:61; Piskeiy Teshuvos 4:25 footnote 241

Background: Kama 4:18; M”A 4:17; Seder Hayom; Kneses Hagedola all rule that one is not required to wash three times. Nevertheless, the custom today has become to follow the opinions brought above.

[198] M”A 4:20 in name of Teshuvos Maharil; This applies according to all. See Halacha 2 in footnotes.

[199] See Gesher Hachaim 10; Darkei Chesed 12; Nitei Gavriel Chapter 46

[200] Kol Bo Avel

[201] Beir Heiytiv 352:1

[202] See Beiry Heiytiv ibid in name of Sefer Chassidim 451 that when there is a plague in the city one may unbury the dead to see if any were buried with worn out clothing; See Darkei Chesed 12:11 regarding if they forgot to dress the deceased, or if one of the garments were forgotten.

[203] Michaber 352:1; Kilayim 9:1

The reason: This is due to Tikun Haolam, as the poor people cannot afford expensive garments. It is also due to that having expensive burial garments is considered a gesture of arrogance and Baal Tashchis. [Shach 352:1]

[204] Darkei Moshe and Derisha in name of Nemukei Yosef, brought in Shach 352:1; Kitzur SHU”A 197:1

[205] Miseches Semachos 9; Yerushalmi end of Kilayim; Aruch Hashulchan 352:2; See Kesubos 111b that the dead will be resurrected in their clothing

[206] Shach ibid; See however Beir Heiytiv 352:1 that for a wealthy person it is permitted based on his standard of dress

[207] Nitei Gavriel 46:5

[208] Nitei Gavriel 46:20

[209] Michaber 352:2; Tur 352; Ramban in Toras Hadam; Sefer Chassidim 733; Nitei Gavriel 46:21

[210] Michaber 301:7; 351:1; Mishneh Kilayim 4:9; Nidda 61b

The reason: As a dead person is not obligated in Mitzvos. [Taz 301:9; Rambam Kilayim 10:25; Rebbe Yochanon in Nidda ibid] Now, although by the resurrection he will awaken wearing the Shatnez clothing, some Poskim learn that by then the Mitzvos will be nullified. [Rav Yosef in Nidda ibid; Tosfos Nidda 61b; Tanya Igros Kodesh end of 26; See Poskim in Sdei Chemed Kelalil Mem 218; Divrei Chachamim 53] Alternatively, it is valid even according to those opinions who rule that the Mitzvos are eternal [Rashba; Ayin Beis 1:193], as by then the Mitzvos will not exist as a command but as an automatic fact of life, and therefore as soon as the person is resurrected, and even during the resurrection, the Kilayim will be removed in a miraculous way. [Rebbe in Kuntres Mitzvos Bitalos Liasid Lavo, printed in Shaar Hageulah 54; See Maharitz Chayos on Nidda ibid]

[211] See Gesher Hachaim p. 101; Darkei Chesed 12:2; Nitei Gavriel 46:19; See below regarding the Kittul and Tallis

[212] Shach 352:1; Levush 352; Tur 352 in name of Rambam Avel 4; Yalkut Reuveini Parshas Mikeitz, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 352:2; Gesher Hachaim 10:1; Darkei Chesed 12:1

[213] Yalkut Reuveini ibid; See Rambam Avel 4:1; Mavor Yabok Imrei Noam 21

[214] See Mavor Yabok Sifsei Emes 32; Divrei Malkiel 6:22; Gesher Hachaim 10:1; Darkei Chesed 12:3; Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 46:3 footnote 6-7

[215] Rokeiach 316; Mavor Yabok Sifsei Emes 6; Siddur Beis Oved; Chochmas Adam 157:8; Kitzur SHU”A 197:1; Gesher Hachaim 10:1; Darkei Chesed 12:4; Nitei Gavriel 46:6

[216] Nitei Gavriel 46:8; Gesher Hachaim 10:2 lists 8 garments, including gloves for a Kohen; See Darkei Chesed 12:5 for detailed Chabad custom

[217] Darkei Chesed p. 49

[218] Nitei Gavriel 47:1

[219] See Admur 610:9 that a Kittul is the clothing of the dead

[220] Kitzur SHU”A 197:1 regarding Tallis that on wore during davening; Teshuvah Meahava 3:349

[221] Michaber 352:3; See Gesher Hachaim 10:2 and Darkei Chesed 12:7-8 in great detail regarding the exact order of dress

[222] The reason: This is due to worry that the man may have erotic thoughts. However, a woman is not suspected of erotic thought to this extent. [Shach 352:1]

[223] Nitei Gavriel 46:6

[224] Nitei Gavriel 46:10

[225] Mavor Yabok Sifsei Rinanos 13; Chochmas Adam 157:8; Kitzur SHU”A 197:1; Nitei Gavriel 46:7

[226] Nitei Gavriel 46:9

[227] Seder Rechitza Hillel Hazakein; Siddur Besi Oveid that so is Sephardic custom; Order in Darkei Chesed p. 49: 1) Mitznefes; 2) pants; 3) shirt; 4) Kittul; 5) belt; Sefarim in Nitei Gavriel 46:12

[228] Sefarim in Nitei Gavriel 46:12

[229] See Darkei Chesed ibid footnote 11

[230] Nitei Gavriel 46:14; See Admur Kama 2:3; Basra 2:3; M”A 2:3; Arizal Shaar Hakavanos; However, see Darkei Chesed 12:7 that two people put on the pants at the same time

[231] Mavor Yabok Sefas Emes 6

[232] Darkei Chesed p. 170

[233] Aruch Hashulchan 352:2; Darkei Chesed 170 that so is custom of some even for the mother; Ishkavta Derebbe p. 102 that so did the Rebbe Rayatz to his father the Rebbe Rashab; See Nitei Gavriel 47:17-18 and footnote 34 that so did the Rebbe for his mother

[234] Gesher Hachaim 10:3; See Mavor Yabok Sifsei Rinanos 14 that the Sages did not prohibit the recital of prayers or words of Torah near a corpse; Vetzaruch Iyun regarding prohibition of learning Torah near a gravesite. See Nitei Gavriel 46:17 regarding the order followed for bodies of women and children r”l

[235] See Gesher Hachaim 2:14 for a lengthy treatise on this subject, with all the reasons and opinions mentioned; Nitei Gavriel Chapter 47

Deceased was garbed in another persons Tallis: See Igros Kodesh 18:374, printed in Shulchan Menachem 5:262 that one should pay them for the Tallis

[236] A woman is not wrapped in a Tallis, but rather in a white cloth. [Gesher Hachaim 10:4]

[237] Michaber Y.D. 351:2 “One may not bury a corpse in a Tallis without Tzitzis” and Rama ibid “Other Poskim rule it does not require Tzitzis, although the custom is to bury him with Tzitzis”; Nemukei Yosef Tzitzis; Shesileiy Zeisim 23:6; Aruch Hashulchan 351:3 “The custom of all Jewry is to bury the corpse in a Tallis with Tzitzis”; Kaf Hachaim 23:7

The reason: Some say this is because a corpse is obligated in Tzitzis, and it is for this reason that the Parsha of Tzitzis in Shelach was taught immediately after the Parsha of the death of the Mikosheish Eitzim. [Nimueki Yosef ibid] Alternatively, the reason is to show that we believe that the corpse will be resurrected with its clothing, and hence will immediately begin to perform its Mitzvah of Tzitzis. [Soles Belula, brought in Kaf Hachaim ibid]

[238] Sefer Chassidim 733; Beis Lechem Yehuda 349; Kitzur SHU”A 197:1; Mishmeres Shalom 9:22; See Sheilas Yaavetz 1:166; Pischeiy Teshuvah 351:3

[239] Kitzur SHU”A 197:1; Teshuvah Meahava 3:349

[240] Mishmeres Shalom Tes 23; Ishkavta Derebbe p. 105 that so was done to the Rebbe Rashab; Darkei Chesed p. 183; See Nitei Gavriel 47:10

[241] Sheilas Yaavetz 1:166; Pischeiy Teshuvah 351:3; Darkei Chesed 12:11

[242] See Nitei Gavriel 47:11; A murder victim, however, is wrapped in a Tallis Gadol while the Tallis Katan is not removed. [Daas Kedoshim 352:1; Mishmeres Shalom Tes 26; Nitei Gavriel 47:15]

[243] See Nitei Gavriel 47:12; 14; Maharam Shick Y.D. 350 that if he was not Frum [but married] he is to be garbed in a Tallis Gadol even if he did not wear one.

[244] See Darkei Chesed; Nitei Gavriel 47:13

[245] Gesher Hachaim Vol. 1 10:4; Vol. 2:14 [See there for a very lengthy discussion on this topic and that the Tallis remains permitted in benefit]; Mishpitei Uziel Y.D. 2:109; Nitei Gavriel 47:7

[246] See Gesher Hachaim ibid

[247] Michaber ibid; Ramban; Nemukei Yosef Tzitzis; Semak Amudei Goleh 31 Hagah 27; Shesileiy Zeisim 23:6; Kaf Hachaim 23:7;

[248] Rama ibid

[249] Rama ibid “Some say the Tallis does not require Tzitzis, and the custom is to bury in a Tallis with Tzitzis, but to invalidate one of the corners, or to wrap one of the corners”; Kitzur SHU”A 197:1; Aruch Hashulchan 351:3 [See there that the Gr”a and the Baal Yesod Veshoresh Havoda, Rav Alexander Ziskind, asked to be buried in Kosher Tzitzis and neither Chevra Kadisha were successful in doing so due to unexplainable events. In the case of Rav Alexander Ziskind, although the Rav reluctantly agreed to allow him to be buried with a Kosher Tallis [due to his great stature of holiness], during the funeral, the Tzitzis became stuck on something and tore, hence becoming invalid.]

[250] Minhag Chabad brought in Nitei Gavriel 47 footnote 7; Darkei Chesed 12:10 gives all three options listed; See Admur 15:5 in parentheses

[251] 2nd option in Rama ibid; Shach 351:2 in name of Bach that the Tzitzis should not be invalidated but simply tied to each other or covered. [See Admur 23:3; Michaber 23:2; M”A 23:1 regarding if tying the Tzitzis invalidates it]; Mavor Yabok Sifsei Rinanos 13; Chochmas Adam 157:1; Kitzur SHU”A 197:1 that so is the best option; Nitei Gavriel ibid that so is custom of most communities

[252] Mavor Yabok Sifsei Tzedek 7 and Sifsei Rinanos 13

[253] Darkei Chesed 12:10 and 12 [see there for the exact order of how the body is wrapped inside the Tallis and Soveiv simultaneously]

[254] Michaber 353:1

[255] See Nitei Gavriel 49

[256] Mavor Yabok Sifsei Tzedek 7; Nitei Gavriel 49:1

[257] See Michaber 362:2; See Bava Basra 74a; Nitei Gavriel 49:2

The reason: It is considered a belittlement for the deceased to be buried in any other position, such as standing or sitting. [Shach 362:2]

[258] Chochmas Adam Matzeivas Moshe 9; Gesher Hachaim p. 138; Nitei Gavriel 49:2; 76:17

[259] Kitzur SHU”A 197:5; Nitei Gavriel 49:2

[260] Nitei Gavriel 49:3

[261] Nitei Gavriel 49:4

[262] See Chapter 5 Halacha 6A; Nitei Gavriel 49:5

[263] Beis Lechem Yehuda 362 in name of Tzavah of Rav Yehuda Hachassid 8; Rokeiach 316; Rabbeinu Yerucham 28:1; Aruch Hashulchan 358:5; Kitzur SHU”A 197:8; Pnei Baruch 4:15

[264] Shivim Temarim on Tzavah ibid

[265] Aruch Hashulchan 358:5 in name of Beir Heiytiv; Nitei Gavriel 50:3

[266] See Pnei Baruch 4:16; Nitei Gavriel 50:1

Upon doing so one says: “הפח נשבר ואנחנו נמלטנו ולא יהיה עוד שבר בגבול ישראל”.

[267] Darkei Chesed 15:1

[268] Nitei Gavriel 50:6

[269] Mavor Yabok Sifsie Tzedek 7; Nitei Gavriel 50:5

[270] Lechem Hapanim 368; Nitei Gavriel 50:5

[271] Gesher Hachaim 12:4 [p. 114]; Nitei Gavriel 50:7

[272] Rav Levi Garelik

[273] Aruch Hashulchan 358:5 in name of Beir Heiytiv; Nitei Gavriel 50:8

[274] Michaber 364:4; Hagahos Maimanis end of Aveilus in name of Rabbeinu Ephraim; Shach 364:11; Taz 364:2; Mavor Yabok Sefas Emes 10; Chochmas Adam 157:12; Kitzur SHU”A 197:12; Gesher Hachaim 11; Darkei Chesed 13; Nitei Gavriel 48:6-7

[275] The reason: The reason for all the above is because a person with an open wound which releases blood needs to have the blood buried with him, and thus we avoid cleaning him and changing his clothing, which would wash away the blood. [Shach 364:11; See Taz 364:2] Likewise, in addition to above we bury the murder victim in his current state because we desire to arouse anger and avenge his death. [Shach 364:11; Taz 364:2; Bach 364; Kitzur SHU”A 197:12] It is for this reason that we do not perform Taharah to the victim, as burying the victim in the clothing of his murder helps motivate him to seek vengeance against the murderer. [Mavor Yabok ibid]

If his clothing were already removed: See Birkeiy Yosef 364:1 in name of Shelah, and other Poskim brought in Nitei Gavriel 48:7, that in such a case a regular Taharah is performed and he is garbed in Tachrichin. Nonetheless, the clothing is buried with him.

Died in prison: See Birkeiy Yosef 364:1

[276] Shach 364:11; Taz 364:3; Bach 364; Mavor Yabok Sefas Emes 10; Chochmas Adam 157:12; Kitzur SHU”A 197:12; Gesher Hachaim 11 [see there regarding if he only died later on of his injuries]; Nitei Gavriel 48:6

The reason: This is due to the second reason mentioned above. [Poskim ibid]

If murdered by Jew r”l: The above ruling is written regarding if the victim was murdered by a gentile. Vetzaruch Iyun if he was murdered by a Jew and there are no open injuries.

[277] Opinion in Rama ibid; Hagahos Maimanis in name of Rav Yehuda Midura

[278] Rama ibid

[279] Shach 364:11

[280] Sefarim brought in Nitei Gavriel 48 footnote 7

[281] Sefer Chassidim 1013; Mavor Yabok Sefas Emes 10

[282] Azharos Nosafos of Rav Yehuda Hachassid in Tzavah 6; See also Sefer Chassidim 1013 and Mavor Yabok ibid; Nitei Gavriel 48:13

[283] Mavor Yabok Sefas Emes 10

[284] Midrash Raba Vaeschanon

[285] Mavor Yabok Sefas Emes 10

[286] Rama 364:4; Maharil 65; Chochmas Adam 157:11; Kitzur SHU”A 197:11

The reason: The reason for all the above is because a person with an open wound which releases blood needs to have the blood buried with him, and thus we avoid cleaning him and changing his clothing, which would wash away the blood. [Shach 364:11; Taz 364:2; Maharil ibid]

[287] Shach 364:11; Taz 364:2 [negates custom to bury Yoledes in her clothing even if many days passed]; Bach 364; Chochmas Adam 157:11 and Kitzur SHU”A 197:11; Misgeres Hashulchan 197:1

[288] Shach ibid; Beis Lechem Yehuda 364; Beis Hillel 364 that so is the custom; Chochmas Adam 157:11 and Kitzur SHU”A 197:11 rule like Rama ibid although conclude that this matter is dependent on the community custom

[289] Gesher Hachaim 11 regarding Yerushalayim; Darkei Chesed 13:6 [p. 54]; Nitei Gavriel 48:10

[290] Admur 330:7 “A woman which sat on the birthing stool and died, one is to bring a knife on Shabbos even through a public property, and tear her stomach and take out the baby as perhaps [the baby] will be found alive.”; Michaber 330

[291] The reason for why we suspect that he is alive: Now, although majority of times the infant dies prior to the mother, nevertheless by the danger of a life we do not follow the majority, and at times it is able to live after its mother’s death. Now, although this infant never had a living status, Shabbos is to be desecrated due to doubt just as one who did have a living status. [Admur ibid]

[292] The reason for why today we are no longer accustomed to tear the mothers stomach: The reason that [cutting the mother’s womb] is not in practice today even during the week, is because we are no longer expert in the mother’s death to such close proximity that the child still can live, as [we suspect that] perhaps she fainted, and if her stomach were to be torn she will die, and thus one needs to wait [to verify whether she has died or merely fainted] and until then the child has certainly died. [Admur ibid]

[293] Piskeiy Teshuvos 330:5

[294] Aruch Hashulchan 330:8 that so is the custom [although states that he does not know the reason why]; All Poskim in next footnote; See Gesher Hachaim 5:6 who negates this custom!

[295] Such as speaking into her ear and asking her to expel the child, promising to circumcise the child and call him a name, and other matters of the like. [See Poskim in next footnote]

[296] See Heishiv Moshe 13; Shvus Yaakov 1:13; Tuv Taam Vadaas 1:285; Maharsham 2:159; Mishmeres Shalom Mem 74; Divrei Chaim 2:137; Arugas Habosem Y.D. 252; Darkei Chesed 13:7; Nitei Gavriel 48:12 and footnotes 15-16

[297] Rama 364:4; Maharil 65

The reason: The reason for all the above is because a person with an open wound which releases blood, needs to have the blood buried with him, and thus we avoid cleaning him and changing his clothing, which would wash away the blood. [Shach 364:11; Taz 364:2; Maharil ibid]

Death due to suicide: See next!

[298] Gesher Hachaim 11; See Nitei Gavriel 48:14 regarding one who died during surgery

[299] Shach 364:11; Taz 364:2; Bach 364; Maharil ibid regarding falling from roof; Chochmas Adam 157:12; Kitzur SHU”A 197:12; Gesher Hachaim 11; Darkei Chesed 13:3; Nitei Gavriel 48:6-7

The reason: If there is no releasing of blood, there is no reason to avoid the Taharah as is done for a regular person who passed away. [Poskim ibid]

Other customs: Some are accustomed to burying drowning victims in the clothing that they drowned in. Each community is to follow his custom. [Chochams Adam ibid; Kitzur SHU”A ibid]

[300] Shach 364:11; Taz 364:2 [negates custom to bury Yoledes in her clothing even if many days passed]; Bach 364; Gesher Hachaim 11 [see there regarding if he was murdered]; Darkei Chesed 13:4

[301] Gilyon Maharsha 345

[302] Shach 345:1 in name of Rashba 763; Chochmas Adam 156:1; Kitzur SHU”A 201:1

[303] See Nitei Gavriel 48:15 in name of Meishiv Halacha and Daas Kedoshim 354 that he is not buried with his bloody clothing.

[304] Michaber Y.D. 353:6; 263:5; O.C. 526:10; Admur 526:19-20; Rav David Abudarham; Rosh Moed Katan

[305] Kitzur SHU”A 199:4; Aruch Hashulchan 526:19; Admur 526:19

[306] The reason: This is done to arouse mercy from heaven, and so the child merit resurrection in the future.  [Michaber 263:5]

[307] Michaber 353:6

[308] Ruach Chaim 353; Gesher Hachaim 147 that so is the custom; Nitei Gavriel 135:26

[309] See Michaber 263:5; Admur 526:19; Nitei Gavriel 135:25

[310] Nitei Gavriel; 135:27

[311] Nitei Gavriel 135:24

[312] Bechor Shur Sanhedrin 47; Kneses Yechezkal 44, brought in Gilyon Maharsha 353; See Poskim in Rav Akiva Eiger 353

[313] See Michaber 353:6; Nitei Gavriel 75:20

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