Introduction-The laws of Mourning

This article is an excerpt from our Sefer

Introduction

1. Dealing with death:

It is no easy matter dealing with the passing of a loved one. Each person, dependent on their personality, and the relationship they had with the deceased, becomes touched with emotions and feelings that perhaps they never knew even existed. Longing for the person who passed on, and the feelings of guilt regarding how one could have acted better in the relationship, are all natural and normal feelings after a death of a loved one. The soul of the living, as well as the soul of the deceased, need comfort. One feels heartbroken and at loss. Many begin thinking about life; where they are headed, what they have accomplished, and what is the true meaning and purpose of life. The Torah directs a Jew in mourning, from the moment of death until the end of the mandated mourning period.

2. The purpose of death:[1]

The purpose of death is to cleanse the soul and body of man from impurities. Initially, when man was first created, he was able to live forever. The concept of death was not initially planted into nature. This is because the man that was created by G-d was holy and had no reason to die. However, once man ate from the Tree of Knowledge and brought evil into the structure of his soul, he introduced the necessity of death in order for this evil to die with him. If he would now live forever, it would mean that evil would remain everlasting, and the purpose of the world’s creation would never be fulfilled. It is for this reason that after Adam and Chava ate from the Tree of Knowledge, they were expelled from Gan Eden as Hashem wanted to prevent them from eating from the Tree of Life, so that they could die and reach the goal of eradicating evil and making the world a dwelling place for G-d. Now, this necessity of death is not only applicable for Adam and Chava, but for all mankind thereafter, as Adam incorporated all the souls of mankind, and when he sinned, he caused them all to become tainted with Kelipa. It is for this reason that all people must eventually die, so the Kelipa that became attached to their souls becomes separated and refined. It is not possible for man to rid himself of this impurity through actions done during his lifetime, even if he is of most righteous nature, and only death can accomplish this ridding of the evil. Particularly, it is the punishment of Chibut Hakever which accomplishes the separation of the evil from the soul, as will be explained in 4G!

 

3. The reason and purpose behind the mourning rituals:

The Talmud[2] questions whether the purpose of eulogizing the deceased is for the sake of the living [i.e. Yikra Dechayeh] or for the sake of the deceased [i.e. Yikra Deshachvi]. The Poskim, Rishonim and Achronim, likewise debate this issue regarding the mourning period and its subsequent laws.[3] Practically, we find several reasons recorded behind the purpose of Aveilus, some being to benefit the deceased, while others to benefit the surviving relatives. The following are the reasons recorded:

A. For the relatives to repent:[4]

The purpose behind the laws of mourning is for a person to receive a spiritual wake-up, and make an accounting of his soul. In general, most people do not become deeply motivated through mere thought and contemplation until an action occurs. The action of the [tragic and early[5]] death of a relative with whom one shares a deep love according to nature, has a profound effect on the person. The purpose of the mourning is for the person to contemplate this death and arouse his pain and pity. This will then lead him to make an accounting of his own soul, of its purpose and its current focus. The Jewish religion professes the belief that the death of a relative, and the ensuing pain, is not something that comes on its own, but is due to man’s sins, and when a person recognizes this, he will be brought to Teshuvah. This negates the belief of the heretics who mistakenly think that death is just a matter of time, and just as animals die so too humans.

B. Alleviating the judgment of the soul of the deceased:[6]

The Zohar[7] states that after death, the body and soul are judged, and the soul cannot be elevated to the next world, Gan Eden, until its judgment is complete. This judgment is especially harsh within the first seven days of Shiva. It is for this reason that the relatives practice strict mourning laws throughout Shiva, as the pain that they experience helps alleviate the harshness of the judgment of the deceased. These laws then decrease throughout the Shloshim, as by then the judgment is less strict. The children continue to practice mourning customs after Shloshim, throughout the first 12 months, as Reshaim are judged in Gehinnom for 12 months, and the keeping of the mourning laws helps alleviate this judgment.[8]

C. Kibud Av Vaeim:[9]

By the children keeping the laws of Aveilus during the mourning period, they fulfill the Mitzvah of Kibud Av Vaeim, which applies even after their parent’s death.

 

4. The laws of mourning:

A. Learning the laws of Aveilus:[10]

It is a widespread custom for one whose parents are alive to avoid studying the laws of mourning.[11] It is thus only studied by the community Rabbi [or potential Posek], for him to answer questions to those who ask him on this subject.[12] On the other hand, some Poskim[13] encourage the study of the laws of mourning, calling it a “Meis Mitzvah” of which it is a great Mitzvah to break the custom of abstinence and study it. Likewise, some Poskim[14] learn that the entire avoidance of studying the subject of mourning is only in public, such as in the Yeshiva, however, to study it in private is not to be avoided. Practically, one who desires to learn the subject but fears from the danger, is to Daven to Hashem prior to commencing the study that no damage occur to them. Likewise, it is to be studied discreetly without publication.[15] Certainly, Rabbanim who must rule on the laws of Aveilus are to ignore the above custom and study the laws in order to be able to give accurate rulings to those who ask them questions.[16] The Rebbe encouraged Rabbanim to write and publicize Halachos on this subject for the sake of preventing people from transgressing.[17] Some[18] write that a most opportune time to study the laws of Aveilus is in the month of Marcheshvan which lacks any Holidays, and is the month in which Sarah Imeinu died.

Studying Tractate Moed Katan: Some avoid studying the Tractate of Moed Katan due to it containing the laws of Aveilus.[19] Practically, the above widespread custom to avoid learning the subject of mourning only applies to the study of the practical Halachos of mourning. However, there is no widespread custom to abstain from studying the Tractate of Moed Katan, and on the contrary many communities study the entire Shas in order, without skipping any Misechta, including Moed Katan.[20]

B. The source of the laws and customs:

As with many subjects in Jewish law, the laws of mourning are composed of Biblical, Rabbinical, and customary commands, restrictions and prohibitions. The uniqueness of the subject of mourning, however, lies with its abundance of customs that have become part of the standard laws and traditions. The Biblical obligations and regulations of mourning are very limited[21], with most of its restrictions being of either Rabbinical/Talmudic status, or tradition and custom that developed throughout the ages. Some of the death and mourning related customs are not even recorded in the classical codifiers [i.e. Shulchan Aruch and commentaries] and were rather established within particular communities by their Chevra Kadisha and the Rabbanim who stood at their head. Particularly regarding burial, and preparation for burial issues, we find a variety of traditions and customs amongst different communities, and each community is to abide by their custom. There are a number of classical and fundamental Sefarim that have been written on the subject, such as Mishmeres Shalom of Rav Shalom Shachna [late 1800’s]; Darkei Hachaim [1937]; Gesher Hachaim of Rav Y.M. Tukichinsky [1947]; Darkei Chesed of Rav Yitzchak Dovber [1975]; Pnei Baruch of Rav Chaim Binyamin Goldberg [1986]; Nitei Gavriel of Rav Gavriel Tzinner [2000]. However, the most vintage, classic and fundamental Sefer which is the source of many of today’s customs, is no doubt the 17th century classic called Mavor Yabok authored by Rav Aaron Berachya from Medina, Italy. The author was the prime student of the Rameh Mipuno and Reb Yisrael Sruk, who were amongst the known students of the Arizal. The book was printed in the year 1625. The 400 plus page book contains deep thought-provoking treatises on the purpose of life, and the afterlife, as well as various Kabalistic customs and traditions, and prayers to be said throughout the period of death and mourning.[22] The teachings of this Sefer have been accepted amongst all Jewry and its influence will be felt throughout the Halachos written in this Sefer.

C. Ruling like the lenient opinion by Aveilus:[23]

A known Talmudic[24] ruling which has greatly affected and penetrated the final rulings in the Shulchan Aruch is that whenever there is a dispute amongst Poskim within the laws of mourning, we follow the lenient opinion. This applies even initially, Lechatchila.[25] Some Poskim[26] rule that this applies even if the majority of Poskim are stringent, and only one opinion is lenient. While this rule is unanimously accepted for the most part, it does contain some qualifications, some of which are debated amongst the Poskim as to whether this rule should apply. For example, the above rule is limited to the specific laws of mourning, however, in the laws of Aninus[27], or Keriah[28], which precedes the start of Shiva, we do not apply this rule of following the lenient opinion. Likewise, if a certain stringent position has already become the widespread custom, then we do not allow one to follow the lenient opinion.[29] Likewise, if the Talmud or Shulchan Aruch has already arbitrated on the matter, then we do not say that one can be lenient against the Talmud or Shulchan Aruch to follow a lenient opinion.[30] Furthermore, some Poskim[31] rule that the entire Talmudic ruling is limited to debates in the Talmud [and/or Rishonim], while debates of later authorities do not necessarily receive the above rule of following the lenient opinion. Practically, the accepted position is that the above rule applies even by a dispute amongst the later authorities.[32] According to all, one may only be lenient based on opinions that have been voiced in the Poskim and cannot create leniencies based on reasons that he has come up with on his own.[33]

 The spiritual reasons for being lenient in Aveilus

 The Sitra Achra has weakened:[34]

The reason we find, as the generations progress, a gradual tendency amongst Poskim to be lenient in different customs of mourning, is because the power of the Sitra Achra has been weakening. The laws of mourning help insure that the Sitra Achra does not receive a full nurturing from the death and hence since its power has gradually diminished, so too have the severity of the customs.

Assist the soul of the deceased and sweetens his judgment:[35]

The Rebbe stated that the directive of being lenient in the laws of mourning benefits not only the mourners but also the soul of the deceased, that in heaven they too be lenient in his judgment. This can be understood from the fact that the Torah itself instructs us to be lenient, and hence if the leniency receives the mandate of the Torah, certainly it is of benefit for the soul of the deceased. [From this it is also understood that leniencies which are not based on the Poskim do not benefit the deceased, and on the contrary.] Siding like the lenient opinions is of even greater importance today in the end of exile, as when Moshiach comes all the matters of mourning will be nullified.

 

D. Miseches Semachos and Dinei Semachos:

It is customary to euphemistically refer to the laws of mourning as “laws of joy,” such as to say Dinei Semachos, or Miseches Semachos. This is done in order to give a positive perspective and coinage to this most negative and somber subject. Thus, we find that the Tractate of Avel Rabasi, which is one of the Misechtos Haketanos published in the end of the section of Nezikin in the Talmud, is referred to as Misecehs Semachos.

 

5. The journey of the soul after death:

The following is a compilation of teachings allocated from the Halachos printed throughout this Sefer regarding the journey of the soul of the deceased throughout the entire process of death, burial, Shiva, and post mourning.

A. Time of death:

All his life work shines:[36] Kabbalah teaches that at the moment of passing, every positive thought, word, or deed that occurred during the person’s life is concentrated into a pristine spiritual light. This light is revealed to the world and in the Heavenly spheres, where it continues to shine and have an effect on those above and below.

Angels greet Tzadikim:[37] At the time of death of a Tzadik there are three groups of angels who come to greet the soul and tell him to come in peace.

The soul needs comfort:[38] When the soul departs from the body it is in a state of bewilderment and needs comfort from people in the room.

 

B. The Taharah:

Cleanses soul:[39] 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 his attachment to this world, and thus the soul’s knowledge of this world is decreased after the Taharah.

Tachrichin-affects the soul and weakens judgment: The burial garments, called Tachrichin, have extreme effect on the soul of the deceased.[40] It is customary to bury the dead in a linen garment[41], as 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.[42] 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.[43]

C. Until the burial, the soul hears everything said before him:[44]

The Talmud Yerushalmi states that the soul of the deceased is present and listens to the eulogies said of him, as if it were a dream. He is aware of all that is said before him until he is buried in the ground.

D. The Burial:

Soul does not move on until burial:[45] The Zohar[46] states as follows: The soul cannot continue with its journey, either in Gan Eden, or as a Gilgul back in this world, until the body is buried. This is because a new body cannot be given to the soul until his old body is buried. It is possible that G-d predestined this soul to be reincarnated in a body that very day of his death, and the delay of the burial can cause a delay in this reincarnation. It is similar to a man who lost his wife and cannot marry a new wife until his late wife is buried. For this reason, the soul also cannot be elevated to Gan Eden until the body is buried, as to enter Gan Eden one needs to receive a spiritual body, and this body cannot be given until the original body is buried. It is therefore a Mitzvah to bury the deceased right away.

Effect on soul if buried in Eretz Yisrael:[47] One who is buried in Eretz Yisrael is saved from Chibut Hakever, and from infestation. The soul goes straight up to heaven, as Chazal state[48] that all the souls are elevated through Yerushalayim.[49] See Chapter 4 Halacha 5C!

Effect on soul if buried near a Rasha: One may not bury a Rasha near a Tzadik[50], as the soul of Tzadik is pained if it is buried near a Rasha.[51] See Chapter 4 Halacha 5D!

E. The soul of the Niftar during Shiva:

Throughout the days of Shiva, the soul of the deceased is found in the home that it lived in.[52] Elsewhere it states that the soul of the deceased hovers over the body for the first three days of Shiva. After the passing of three days, when the soul sees the change of look of the face of his body, he no longer comes to visit it.[53]

Minyan:[54] Thus, we Daven with a Minyan [Shacharis, Mincha, and Maariv] throughout the Shiva in the area that the Niftar passed away[55] as doing so gives Nachas Ruach to the soul of the deceased.

Candles:[56] We light a candle in the home in order to sooth the soul, which returns to the home where it lived and mourns there for seven days. [Some write that every Shabbos throughout the first year the soul of the Niftar comes to visit his family and having a candle lit helps sooth his soul. See Chapter 24 Halacha 3!]

Walking around the block:[57] Some mourners are accustomed after getting up from Shiva on the seventh day to walk around the block of the Shiva home [starting from the right side] until they reach their home from the other side. Some say this walk accompanies the soul to its new resting place in heaven.

Matzeiva:[58] The Matzeiva serves a as resting place for the encompassing lights of the soul of the deceased, and these encompassing lights come to rest on the Matzeiva after the Shiva.

F. The soul of a murder victim:[59]

The soul of a murder victims 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 through the prosecution that the soul of the victim voices against the murderer, he 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[60] that after a certain son was murdered by his brother, his mother saved the blood in a jar, and that blood boiled until the sibling murderer was killed. It is for this reason that we do not perform Taharah to a murder victim, as burying the victim in the clothing that he wore at the time of his murder helps motivate him to seek vengeance against the murderer.

G. The judgment of the soul-Chibut Hakever:

The soul of the deceased is judged throughout the Shiva, Shloshim, and 12 months after passing as explained above in 2B. Likewise, each year on the day of the Yahrzeit, the soul goes through a judgment.[61]

Chibut Hakever:[62] Chibut Hakever is a punishment, or stage of refinement, that the body of the deceased goes through after the burial. This process accomplishes the separation of Kelipa and evil from the body, which has become attached due to sin, including the sin of Adam, as explained in Halacha 1. The Arizal explains the process as follows: Immediately after the burial inside earth, four angels come and lower the earth in the grave and make a vacuum of space that can fit one person. They then return his soul to his body, just as he was when he was alive, and the four angels hold him from his arms and legs and shake him and hit him with bats of fire, similar to how two people shake a Tallis. They shake him off from all the dirt that became stuck to him, until all the Kelipa is removed from him. It is for this reason that the grave must be dug deep, in order for there to be room for this shaking process to transpire. Now, different people go through different amounts, and intensities, of shaking, depending on their actions when alive. A Tzadik who controlled his inclination, and suffered in this world, only requires a swift shake, which is virtually painless. However, a Rasha who indulged in sin and the worldly pleasures requires a much stronger and lengthy cleansing process. This then is the meaning of the statement in Pirkeiy Derebbe Eliezer that an angel comes to the grave and asks the deceased as to his name, and the deceased answers that G-d knows that he does not know his name. This refers to a Rasha who did not know the name of his specific form of Kelipa or Yetzer Hara and thus did not properly battle it.

Segulos to avoid Chibut Hakever: 1) One who is buried in Eretz Yisrael is saved from Chibut Hakever, and from infestation.[63] 2) One who is buried on Erev Shabbos past the fifth hour is saved from Chibut Hakever.[64] 3) One who recites the letters of Torah for six hours throughout every 24 hours period, is saved from Chibut Hakever.[65]

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[1] See Arizal in Shaar Hagilgulim 23; Torah Or p. 5b Mamar “Vayomer Hashem Elokim Hen Adam….…”

[2] Sanhedrin 46b; See Michaber 344:10

[3] See Rama 344:10; Darkei Moshe 344; Maryu 4; Shut Ranach 50; Teshuvah Meahava 1:10, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 344:2; Iyun Yaakov Sanhedrin 47 and Shvus Yaakov 2:102, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 344:2; Rav Akiva Eiger 344:10 explains that whether Aveilus is on behalf of the dead or living is a dispute between the Rambam and Ramban, and we rule in 345 like the Rambam. He concludes with a Tzaruch Iyun Ledina; See Nitei Gavriel Vol. 2 1:7

[4] Sefer Hachinuch Mitzvah 264; See also Ramban in Hakdama to Toras Hadam; Rambam Avel 13:12; Nimukeiy Yosef Moed Katan 18a; Radbaz 3:555; Michaber 394:6; Beis Hilel Y.D. 381 “the main reason for Aveilus is for Teshuvah”

[5] Ramban ibid

[6] See Mavor Yabok Sefas Emes 20; Rav Poalim 1:51; Nitei Gavriel 1:1 footnote 1

[7] Zohar Vayakhel p. 129

[8] See Taz Y.D. 402:9; O.C. 568:4; Maharam Merothenberg Semachos 50; Mavor Yabok Sifsei Emes 20 and 21; Nitei Gavriel Vol. 2 62:1

[9] See Shach 344:9

[10] See in length Nitei Gavriel Aveilus Hakdama

[11] Sefer Chassidim 261 calls it a Meis Mitzvah; Letter of Rav Zalman Shimon Dworkin, printed in Koveitz Zalman Shimon p. 64 “It is a widespread custom amongst all Jewry for one who has parents to avoid studying the laws of mourning. It is thus only studied by the community Rabbi [or potential Posek], for him to answer questions to those who ask him on this subject.”

The reason: As they fear it can cause danger, as the verse in Mishlei 3:11 states that one should not despise rebuke, and one may hurry through the study the Tractate [and bring on this danger]. Furthermore, whatever people consider to be of danger, in truth can cause danger simply due to the bad eye they give to it. [See Sefer Chassidim ibid]

[12] Rav Zalman Shimon ibid

[13] Sefer Chassidim 261 regarding Moed Katan “Love the Mitzvah which is similar to a Meis Mitzvah being that no one occupies themselves with it…such as if you see that people in your city avoid studying Moed Katan, you shall learn it and receive much reward corresponding to them all, as it is like a Meis Mitzvah. Love the Tractates and laws that people avoid. Tractate Moed Katan is similar to a lone daughter who is left unmarried due to her occupation as a seamstress for burial garments. Moed Katan approached Hashem and asked Him as to why people do not study the tractate and Hashem replied that it is good to study it.”; Yosef Ometz p. 270 writes against skipping the laws of Aveilus.

[14] Kneses Hagedola Y.D. 245:3

[15] Sefer Chassidim ibid

[16] Nitei Gavriel Hakdama

[17] Maaneh of Rebbe to Rav Gavriel Tzinner regarding his book on Aveilus

[18] Kemach Soles p. 154

[19] Sefer Chassidim ibid

[20] Letter of Rav Zalman Shimon Dworkin, printed in Koveitz Zalman Shimon p. 64

[21] List of Biblical matters: 1) To bury the deceased; 2) To mourn on the first day [according to some Poskim];

[22] See Nitei Gavriel 113 footnote 28

[23] See Birkeiy Yosef 393; Dvar Moshe 76; Mishmeres Shalom Hei; Sdei Chemed Mareches Hei 10; 118; Chaf Klal 108; Zekan Aaron 24; Gesher Hachaim 19:8; Nitei Gavriel 113:16; Introduction of Volume 2 page 12 and onwards

[24] Shmuel Moed Katan 18a; 19b; 22a; 26b; Tosfos Eiruvin 46a

[25] Nitei Gavriel 113 footnote 28 as otherwise there would be no novelty in the Talmudic ruling, as in any event we rule leniently by a Rabbinical dispute. Thus, one must say that the novelty is that even initially one may be lenient, unlike the ruling by other Rabbinical matters in which initially one must be stringent. [See Taz O.C. 71:3; Shach Y.D. 110]

[26] Eiruvin 46a; Beis Yosef end of 396 [however see Beis Yosef 389]; Ginas Veradim Klal 5; Chaim Sheol 2; Zera Emes 2:161; Sdei Chemed ibid; See Chida in Machazik Bracha O.C. 548; Gesher Hachaim 19:8 regarding a Talmudic debate, as opposed to Poskim

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that we do not follow the lenient opinion by Aveilus if the majority of Poskim are stringent. [Darkei Moshe 390:5; Gesher Hachaim ibid regarding dispute in Poskim as opposed to Talmud; Tosfos and Rosh Kesubos 4a that by Amoraim and onwards we do not say this]

[27] Rosh Moed Katan 3:53; Beis Yosef 341 [in contrast to in O.C. 71]; Nitei Gavriel 113:16; See Gesher Hachaim ibid

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that we follow the lenient opinion even by Aninus. [Mishmeres Shalom 1:24 in name of Rabbeinu Yona; See Tosfos Eiruvin 86; Sdei Chemed Mareches Hei 41 brings that Beis Yosef in O.C. 71 is lenient and contradicts himself]

[28] The rule of following the lenient opinion in Aveilus does not apply towards the laws of Keriah. [Moed Katan 26b; Gilyon Maharsha 340:1; Gesher Hachaim ibid]

[29] See Beis Yosef 396

[30] Chida in Machazik Bracha O.C. 548:2; Beis David O.C. 497; Gesher Hachaim Hakdama and 19:8; Nitei Gavriel ibid

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that we follow the lenient opinion even against the rulings in Shulchan Aruch. [Shulchan Gavoa 401:17] 

[31] Poskim brought in Kneses Hagedola 387 and Birkeiy Yosef 387

[32] Birkeiy Yosef 399:3; Toras Chaim 3:50; Divrei Emes 2; Ginas Veradim Y.D. Klal 5

[33] See in length Nitei Gavriel volume 2 p. 12

[34] Shem Mishmuel Parshas Nasso

[35] Words of Rebbe to his brother in law the Rashag [Brought in Toras Menachem 20:202; Toras Menachem Tziyon 2:371; Shulchan Menachem 5:266; Nitei Gavriel volume 2 p. 13] The Rashag asked the Rebbe as to the source of this saying and the Rebbe replied that he does not have a source and it’s from “Sevara”

[36] Tanya Igeres Hakodesh 28

[37] Rama 403:10

[38] Taz 339:4; Kol Bo ibid, brought in Beir Hagoleh; Beis Lechem Yehuda 339

[39] Mavor Yabok Sefas Emes 25

[40] Beir Heiytiv 352:1

[41] 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

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

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

[44] Taz 344:1

[45] Mavor Yabok Mamar Sefas Emes 27; Zohar Parshas Emor p. 88b

[46] Parshas Emor p. 88b

[47] See Gesher Hachaim 27:8

[48] Midrash Raba Vayikra

[49] Gesher Hachaim ibid

[50] Michaber 362:5; Mishneh Sanhedrin 46a and Gemara 47a

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

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

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

[52] Tanya 67; Mavor Yabok Imrei Noam 35; Daas Torah 384; Torah Leshma 520 in name of Arizal

[53] Yerushalmi, Pnei Baruch 13 footnote 1

[54] Rama 384:3

[55] Rama 376:3 in name of Maharil and in 384:3

[56] Torah Leshma 520

[57] Darkei Chesed 25:11

[58] Arizal in Shaar Hamitzvos Vayechi and in Nagid Mitzvah Inyanei Aveilus

[59] Mavor Yabok Sefas Emes 10

[60] Midrash Raba Vaeschanon

[61] See Arizal in Shaar Hakavanos; Lechem Hapanim 376; Maharam Mintz 69 ; Leket Yoser p. 98; Mishmeres Shalom Yud 15 in name of Besht; Torah Lishmah 493; Nitei Gavriel 70:1; 72 footnote 1

[62] Shaar Hagilgulim Hakdama 23

[63] See Gesher Hachaim 27:8

[64] Shaar Hagilgulim Hakdama 23; Radbaz 1:107, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 357:2; Gilyon Maharsha 357; Nitei Gavriel 129:6 See Toras Menachem 19:31 [brought in Shulchan Menachem 5:324]

[65] Hayom Yom 7th Teves

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