Burial & Graves

Burial in Israel - I see that many people fly a body to be buried in Israel. Is there a special merit to be buried there? I heard someone suggest that my deceased father, who is buried in the U.S., will suffer when the… More »
Burying a Limb - My elderly father is very sick. Gangrene has set into his leg, and it now needs to be amputated. My question is: What is the proper way of disposing of the leg afterwards? More »
Cremation - A friend of mine was buried by a landslide while his wife was just a few feet away. People pitched in to dig him out and had two-thirds of his body out, blue but probably alive, when the hillside shifted… More »
Delaying Funeral for Relatives to Arrive - This may but hopefully will not be relevant to my family situation. If an older person dies, how long can the funeral be delayed to give the relatives time to arrive? More »
Determining Relative’s Hebrew Name - Our father passed away recently and we want to determine his Hebrew name for his tombstone. He was entirely secular and none of us know if he even had a Hebrew name. What should we do? More »
Funeral of Non-Jew - Can one go to a funeral of a non-Jew? More »
Jacob’s Embalmment - How was Joseph allowed to embalm his father Jacob? Is that permitted according to Jewish law? More »
Largest Jewish Funeral? - I saw on the news that the funeral of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef was attended by 850,000 people. What amazed me even more is that funeral was held just 4 hours after he died! I was wondering – when was the… More »
Mice and Uncleanness - I’m very uncomfortable. Our house is infested with mice and I know the Torah says that mice are unclean. Does this mean I shouldn’t be living in my house? Am I not allowed to eat food they come in contact… More »
Organ Donation - What is the Jewish position on organ donation? I have been told, albeit by someone relatively uneducated, that a Jewish body must be "whole and intact" for Jewish burial. But what confuses me is that, since my father had renal… More »
Prayer at Graves of Righteous - I often receive emails from different organizations offering that a rabbi will pray for me at this or that great rabbi’s grave. Does it really make a difference where one prays? Isn't praying to a dead rabbi for salvation practically… More »
Pregnant Woman Visiting Cemetery - I am currently 21 weeks pregnant (thank you Hashem!). My best friend's mother passed away recently, and the family will be having an unveiling sometime next month. I have heard there is a custom that pregnant women do not attending… More »
Sanctity of Human Body - You recently referred to the “Bodies” exhibit in which you elucidated your opinion that it flies in the face of the sanctity of the human body. I have trouble fathoming what sanctity there is to the human body any more… More »
Shoes of Deceased - We are in the process of disposing of the belonging of our late father, of blessed memory. I have heard that some people throw out the deceased’s shoes. Is there any basis for this? Is it a superstition? We were… More »
Start of Shiva – Not Attending Funeral - If one of the deceased’s children will not be attending her parent’s funeral (due to travel difficulties), when does shiva begin? Does she wait until the burial has ended? More »
Stones on Graves - At the end of the movie Schindler's List, I saw people placing stones on the top of the headstone. What is the reason for this? More »
Tattoo: Burial in Jewish Cemetery? - I have a tattoo from my younger days, which I now very much regret. I am debating whether to undergo laser removal surgery, and one of my considerations is whether the tattoo will prevent me from (eventually) being buried in… More »
Tombstone Unveiling - In a few weeks we are having the unveiling of the tombstone for my mother-in-law. She was not a member of a synagogue and did not have a rabbi who knew her. I had a very good relationship with her… More »
Who Should Attend an Unveiling? - We are planning the unveiling for my father in about a month. Is it important that the entire family be there? I would have to fly several of my grown children in at considerable expense. Likewise, we would like my… More »
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