Get the best of Chabad.org content every week!
Find answers to fascinating Jewish questions, enjoy holiday tips and guides, read real-life stories and more!
ב"ה

Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Avel - Chapter 3, Avel - Chapter 4, Avel - Chapter 5

Show content in:

Avel - Chapter 3

1

With the exception of the six relatives mentioned in the Torah and his wife, whenever a priest becomes impure because of contact with a corpse, if there are witnesses and a warning is administered, he is punished by lashes, as Leviticus 21:1 states: "No one shall contract ritual impurity for the sake of a deceased person among his people."

This applies whether one touches the corpse, stands over it, or carries it. And it applies to a corpse and to all other forms of ritual impurity stemming from a corpse, as implied by "No one shall contract ritual impurity for the sake of a deceased person among his people." In Hilchot Tumat Meit, we already described all the factors associated with a corpse that convey ritual impurity according to Scriptural Law and according to Rabbinic Law.

א

כָּל כֹּהֵן שֶׁנִּטְמָא לְמֵת חוּץ מִשִּׁשָּׁה מֵתִים הַמְפֹרָשִׁים בַּתּוֹרָה אוֹ אִשְׁתּוֹ. בְּעֵדִים וְהַתְרָאָה. הֲרֵי זֶה לוֹקֶה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כא א) "לְנֶפֶשׁ לֹא יִטַּמָּא בְּעַמָּיו". וְאֶחָד הַנּוֹגֵעַ בְּמֵת אוֹ הַמַּאֲהִיל אוֹ הַנּוֹשֵׂא. וְאֶחָד הַמֵּת וְאֶחָד שְׁאָר הַטֻּמְאוֹת הַפּוֹרְשׁוֹת מִן הַמֵּת שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר לְנֶפֶשׁ לֹא יִטַּמָּא בְּעַמָּיו. וּכְבָר פֵּרַשְׁנוּ בְּהִלְכוֹת טֻמְאַת מֵת כָּל דְּבָרִים הַמְטַמְּאִין מִן הַמֵּת מִן הַתּוֹרָה אוֹ מִדִּבְרֵיהֶם:

2

Similarly, a priest receives lashes if he touches a grave. He may, however, touch clothes that touched a corpse, even though by doing so, he contracts ritual impurity that continues for seven days.

ב

וְכֵן אִם נָגַע הַכֹּהֵן בְּקֶבֶר לוֹקֶה. אֲבָל נוֹגֵעַ הוּא בִּבְגָדִים שֶׁנָּגְעוּ בְּמֵת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁמִּטַּמֵּא בָּהֶן טֻמְאַת שִׁבְעָה:

3

Similarly, if a priest enters a covered structure into which ritual impurity enters, he is lashed. This applies even though the source of impurity itself is in another building. We have already explained all the types of "tents" into which ritual impurity can enter and depart, the laws involving foliage and projections, the entities which bring ritual impurity and those which interpose between ritual impurity, which involve Scriptural Law and which involve Rabbinic Law. All of this is discussed in Hilchot Tumat Meit.

There we explained that non-Jews do not convey ritual impurity through overhangs. Therefore their graves are pure and a priest may enter their cemetery and walk on their graves. He is forbidden only to touch impurity or carry it, as we explained there.

ג

וְכֵן אִם נִכְנַס לְאֹהֶל טָמֵא שֶׁנִּכְנְסָה לוֹ הַטֻּמְאָה לוֹקֶה. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁעַצְמָהּ שֶׁל טֻמְאָה בְּבַיִת אַחֵר. וּכְבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ כָּל הָאֹהָלִים שֶׁתִּכָּנֵס לָהֶן הַטֻּמְאָה אוֹ שֶׁתֵּצֵא מֵהֶן וְדִין הַסְּכָכוֹת וְהַפְּרָעוֹת. וְכָל הַדְּבָרִים הַמְּבִיאִין אֶת הַטֻּמְאָה וְהַחוֹצְצִין בִּפְנֵי הַטֻּמְאָה. וְאֵי זֶה מֵהֶן דִּין תּוֹרָה וְאֵי זֶה מֵהֶן מִדִּבְרֵיהֶן. הַכּל בְּהִלְכוֹת טֻמְאַת מֵת. וְשָׁם בֵּאַרְנוּ שֶׁאֵין עַכּוּ''ם מְטַמְּאִין בְּאֹהֶל וּלְפִיכָךְ קִבְרוֹתֵיהֶם טְהוֹרִים וּמֻתָּר לְכֹהֵן לִכָּנֵס לְשָׁם וְלִדְרֹךְ עַל קִבְרוֹתֵיהֶם. וְאֵינוֹ אָסוּר אֶלָּא שֶׁיִּגַּע בַּטֻּמְאָה אוֹ שֶׁיִּשָּׂאֶנָּה כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ שָׁם:

4

The following laws apply when a priest enters a building where a corpse is located or a cemetery inadvertently and he is given a warning after he discovers the fact. If he jumps and leaves, he is not liable. If, however, he remains there for the time it takes to prostrate oneself which we explained with regard to impurity in the Temple, he is lashed.

If he entered and departed, entered and departed, if he was given a warning for each time, he is given lashes for every entrance. Similarly, if he touches a corpse, is giving a warning, and then disengages himself, and afterwards, touches it and is given a warning - even if this sequence is repeated one hundred times, he is given lashes for each touch.

If he was touching a corpse and did not disengage himself or was standing in the cemetery and touched other corpses, although he is given a warning several times, he receives lashes only once. For as long as he does not cease, he is continuing to desecrate his priestly state.

ד

כֹּהֵן שֶׁנִּכְנַס לְאֹהֶל הַמֵּת אוֹ לְבֵית הַקְּבָרוֹת בִּשְׁגָגָה וְאַחַר שֶׁיָּדַע הִתְרוּ בּוֹ אִם קָפַץ וְיָצָא פָּטוּר. וְאִם יָשַׁב שָׁם כְּדֵי הִשְׁתַּחֲוָיָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ בְּעִנְיַן טֻמְאַת מִקְדָּשׁ הֲרֵי זֶה לוֹקֶה. נִכְנַס וְיָצָא וְחָזַר וְנִכְנַס וְיָצָא אִם הִתְרוּ בּוֹ עַל כָּל פַּעַם וּפַעַם לוֹקֶה עַל כָּל כְּנִיסָה וּכְנִיסָה. וְכֵן אִם נָגַע בְּמֵת וְהִתְרוּ בּוֹ וּפֵרַשׁ וְחָזַר וְנָגַע וְהִתְרוּ בּוֹ אֲפִלּוּ מֵאָה פְּעָמִים לוֹקֶה עַל כָּל אַחַת וְאַחַת. הָיָה נוֹגֵעַ וְלֹא פֵּרַשׁ אוֹ שֶׁהָיָה עוֹמֵד בְּבֵית הַקְּבָרוֹת וְנָגַע בְּמֵתִים אֲחֵרִים. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהִתְרוּ בּוֹ כַּמָּה פְּעָמִים אֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה אֶלָּא אַחַת שֶׁהֲרֵי מְחֻלָּל וְעוֹמֵד כָּל זְמַן שֶׁלֹּא פֵּרַשׁ:

5

The following rules apply when one causes a priest to contract ritual impurity. If they both acted intentionally, the priest receives lashes and the person who caused him to contract impurity violates the prohibition against placing a stumbling block in front of the blind. If the priest was not aware of the transgression and the person who caused him to contract impurity acted intentionally, that person receives lashes.

ה

הַמְטַמֵּא אֶת הַכֹּהֵן. אִם הָיוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם מְזִידִין הֲרֵי הַכֹּהֵן לוֹקֶה וְזֶה שֶׁטִּמְּאוֹ עוֹבֵר עַל וְלִפְנֵי עִוֵּר לֹא תִתֵּן מִכְשׁל. הָיָה הַכֹּהֵן שׁוֹגֵג וְזֶה שֶׁטִּמְּאוֹ מֵזִיד הֲרֵי זֶה שֶׁטִּמְּאוֹ לוֹקֶה:

6

A High Priest may not become impure for the sake of his relatives, as Leviticus 21:11 states: "He shall not become impure for his father's or mother's sake." Similarly, he does not enter a shelter where there is a corpse, even the corpse of one of his relatives, as ibid.:30 states: "He shall not enter a place where there is any corpse." Thus we learn that he is liable both for not entering and for not becoming impure.

What is implied? If the High Priest touches or carries a corpse, he receives lashes for one transgression. If he enters a shelter and remains there until a person dies or he enters a chest, bureau, or drawer, and a colleague comes and opens the top of this container and thus his contact with impurity and his entrance into the shelter come at the same time, he receives two sets of lashes, for the prohibition against entering and for the prohibition against becoming impure.

ו

כֹּהֵן גָּדוֹל אֵינוֹ מִטַּמֵּא לִקְרוֹבִים שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כא יא) "לְאָבִיו וּלְאִמּוֹ לֹא יִטַּמָּא". וְכֵן אֵינוֹ נִכְנָס עִם הַמֵּת בְּאֹהֶל אֲפִלּוּ קְרוֹבָיו. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כא יא) "וְעַל כָּל נַפְשֹׁת מֵת לֹא יָבֹא". הָא לָמַדְתָּ שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב בְּלֹא יָבֹא וְחַיָּב בְּלֹא יִטַּמָּא. כֵּיצַד. נָגַע אוֹ נָשָׂא לוֹקֶה אַחַת. נִכְנַס לְאֹהֶל וְיָשַׁב שָׁם עַד שֶׁמֵּת עָלָיו הַמֵּת. אוֹ שֶׁנִּכְנַס לְשִׁדָּה תֵּבָה וּמִגְדָּל וּבָא חֲבֵרוֹ וּפָרַע עָלָיו גַּג הַשִּׁדָּה שֶׁהֲרֵי טֻמְאָה וּבִיאָה בָּאִין כְּאֶחָד. הֲרֵי זֶה לוֹקֶה שְׁתַּיִם מִשּׁוּם לֹא יָבֹא וּמִשּׁוּם לֹא יִטַּמָּא:

7

If the High Priest became impure beforehand, and then entered a shelter where a corpse was located, if he is warned, he should receive lashes even for this entry.

ז

נִטְמָא מִקֹּדֶם וְאַחַר כָּךְ נִכְנַס לְאֹהֶל אִם הִתְרוּ בּוֹ לוֹקֶה אַף עַל הַבִּיאָה:

8

When a priest - even a High Priest - encounters an unattended corpse on the road, he is obligated to become impure for its sake and bury it. What is meant by an unattended corpse? A Jewish corpse cast away on the road without anyone to bury it. This is a halachah conveyed by the received tradition.

When does the above apply? When the priest is alone and there is no one else with him; even when he calls out on the road, no one answers him. If, however, when he calls others answer, this is not considered an unattended corpse. Instead, he should call to the others and they should come and tend to the corpse.

ח

כֹּהֵן שֶׁפָּגַע בְּמֵת מִצְוָה בַּדֶּרֶךְ הֲרֵי זֶה מִטַּמֵּא לוֹ. אֲפִלּוּ כֹּהֵן גָּדוֹל חַיָּב לְהִטַּמֵּא לוֹ וּלְקָבְרוֹ. וְאֵיזֶהוּ מֵת מִצְוָה. אֶחָד מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁהָיָה מֻשְׁלָךְ בַּדֶּרֶךְ וְאֵין לוֹ קוֹבְרִין. דָּבָר זֶה הֲלָכָה מִפִּי הַקַּבָּלָה. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים כְּשֶׁהָיָה הַכֹּהֵן לְבַדּוֹ וְאֵין עִמּוֹ אַחֵר וַאֲפִלּוּ קָרָא שֵׁם בַּדֶּרֶךְ וְאֵין לוֹ עוֹנֶה. אֲבָל אִם כְּשֶׁיִּקְרָא אֲחֵרִים עוֹנִים אוֹתוֹ אֵין זֶה מֵת מִצְוָה אֶלָּא יִקְרָא לַאֲחֵרִים וְיָבוֹאוּ וְיַעַסְקוּ בּוֹ:

9

If a priest and a nazirite are proceeding on a road and they encounter an unattended corpse, the nazirite should tend to it. The rationale is that his holiness is not of an eternal nature. The priest - even an ordinary priest - should not become impure.

If a High Priest was going together with an ordinary priest, the ordinary priest should become impure. The general principle is: Whoever is on a higher level of holiness should become impure last. When a s'gan and the priest anointed to lead the army at war encounter an unattended corpse, the priest anointed to lead the army at war should become impure, not the s'gan.

ט

הָיוּ כֹּהֵן וְנָזִיר מְהַלְּכִין בְּדֶרֶךְ וּפָגְעוּ בְּמֵת מִצְוָה. יִתְעַסֵּק בּוֹ הַנָּזִיר לְפִי שֶׁאֵין קְדֻשָּׁתוֹ קְדֻשַּׁת עוֹלָם וְאַל יִטָּמֵא בּוֹ הַכֹּהֵן אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא כֹּהֵן הֶדְיוֹט. הָיָה כֹּהֵן גָּדוֹל וְכֹהֵן הֶדְיוֹט יִטָּמֵא הַהֶדְיוֹט. וְכָל הַקּוֹדֵם אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ בְּמַעֲלָה מִתְאַחֵר בְּטֻמְאָה. וּסְגָן עִם מְשׁוּחַ מִלְחָמָה שֶׁפָּגְעוּ בְּמֵת מִצְוָה יִטָּמֵא מְשׁוּחַ מִלְחָמָה וְאַל יִטָּמֵא הַסְּגָן:

10

When a nasi dies, everyone - even priests - should become impure for his sake. Our Sages had him considered as an unattended corpse, because everyone is obligated in his honor. Similarly, all must observe the rites of aninut for his sake.

י

נָשִׂיא שֶׁמֵּת הַכּל מִטַּמְּאִין לוֹ אֲפִלּוּ כֹּהֲנִים. עֲשָׂאוּהוּ כְּמֵת מִצְוָה לַכּל מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהַכּל חַיָּבִין בִּכְבוֹדוֹ. וְכֵן הַכּל אוֹנְנִין עָלָיו:

11

The daughters of Aaron were not warned to avoid the ritual impurity imparted by a corpse. This derived from Leviticus 21:1: "Say to the priests, the sons of Aaron...." Implied is "the sons of Aaron," and not "the daughters of Aaron."

Similarly, challalim are permitted to become impure. This is also derived from the words, "the priests, the sons of Aaron," i.e., to be included in the prohibition, their priesthood must be intact.

יא

בְּנוֹת אַהֲרֹן לֹא הֻזְהֲרוּ עַל טֻמְאַת מֵת שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כא א) "אֱמֹר אֶל הַכֹּהֲנִים בְּנֵי אַהֲרֹן" וְלֹא בְּנוֹת אַהֲרֹן. וְכֵן הַחֲלָלִים מֻתָּרִין לְהִטַּמֵּא שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר בְּנֵי אַהֲרֹן עַד שֶׁיִּהְיוּ בְּכִהוּנָם:

12

When a priest is a minor, the adults are warned that they should not have him contact ritual impurity. If he comes to contract impurity on his own initiative, the court is not obligated to separate him from the source of impurity. His father, however, must educate him in the holiness of the priesthood.

יב

כֹּהֵן קָטָן הֲרֵי הַגְּדוֹלִים מֻזְהָרִים שֶׁלֹּא יְטַמְּאוּהוּ. וְאִם בָּא לְהִטַּמֵּא מֵעַצְמוֹ אֵין בֵּית דִּין מְצֻוִּין עָלָיו לְהַפְרִישׁוֹ. אֲבָל אָבִיו צָרִיךְ לְחַנְּכוֹ בִּקְדֻשָּׁה:

13

The four cubits circumscribed around a corpse are deemed impure. Any priest that enters into these four cubits is given stripes for rebellious conduct.

Similarly, if priests enter a beit hapras, go to the diaspora, become impure through contact with a mixture of blood, a gravestone, or the stones which support the gravestone, and the like, they are given stripes for rebellious conduct, because these entities are sources for ritual impurity by Rabbinic decree, as we explained in Hilchot Tumat Meit. If, however, a priest enters a cemetery, he receives lashes according to Scriptural Law.

יג

מֵת תּוֹפֵשׂ אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת שֶׁלּוֹ לְטֻמְאָה. וְכָל כֹּהֵן שֶׁנִּכְנַס לְתוֹךְ אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת מַכִּין אוֹתוֹ מַכַּת מַרְדּוּת. וְכֵן אִם נִכְנַס לְבֵית הַפְּרָס אוֹ יָצָא חוּצָה לָאָרֶץ. אוֹ שֶׁנִּטְמָא בְּדַם תְּבוּסָה. אוֹ בְּגוֹלֵל וּבְדוֹפֵק וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן. מַכִּין אוֹתוֹ מַכַּת מַרְדּוּת. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהֵן אָבוֹת שֶׁל דִּבְרֵיהֶם כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ בְּהִלְכוֹת טֻמְאַת מֵת. אֲבָל אִם נִכְנַס לְבֵית הַקְּבָרוֹת לוֹקֶה מִן הַתּוֹרָה:

14

It is permissible for a priest to become impure through walking through a beit hapras or the diaspora for the sake of a mitzvah, when there is no way other than that, e.g., he went to marry or to study Torah. Even though there is someone who could teach him in Eretz Yisrael, he is permitted to leave, because a person does not merit to learn from every colleague.

Similarly, a person may incur ritual impurity that is Rabbinic in origin to show respect to other people. What is implied? If a mourner walked through a beit hapras, everyone follows after him to comfort him. Similarly, we may walk over the coffins of the dead to greet Jewish kings. This is allowed even to greet gentile kings, so that a distinction will be able to be made between them and Jewish kings when their glory will return to its place. Similarly, leniency is granted in all analogous situations. Also, a priest may incur ritual impurity of Rabbinic origin to enter in judgment and disputation with gentiles concerning property, for he is saving it from their hands. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.

יד

מֻתָּר לְכֹהֵן לְהִטַּמֵּא בְּבֵית הַפְּרָס אוֹ בְּחוּצָה לָאָרֶץ לִדְבַר מִצְוָה בִּזְמַן שֶׁאֵין שָׁם דֶּרֶךְ אֶלָּא הִיא. כְּגוֹן שֶׁהָלַךְ לִשָּׂא אִשָּׁה אוֹ לִלְמֹד תּוֹרָה. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיֵּשׁ שָׁם מִי שֶׁיְּלַמְּדֶנּוּ בְּאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל לֹא מִן הַכּל אָדָם זוֹכֶה לִלְמֹד. וְכֵן מִטַּמֵּא בְּטֻמְאָה מִדִּבְרֵיהֶם לִכְבוֹד הַבְּרִיּוֹת. כֵּיצַד. אָבֵל שֶׁהָלַךְ בְּבֵית הַפְּרָס הַכּל הוֹלְכִין אַחֲרָיו שָׁם לְנַחֲמוֹ. וְכֵן מְדַלְּגִין עַל גַּבֵּי אֲרוֹנוֹת שֶׁל מֵתִים לִקְרַאת מַלְכֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וַאֲפִלּוּ מַלְכֵי עַכּוּ''ם כְּדֵי לְהַבְחִין בֵּינָם לְבֵין מַלְכֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל כְּשֶׁיַּחְזֹר כְּבוֹדָן לִמְקוֹמָן. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה. וְכֵן מִטַּמֵּא בְּטֻמְאָה שֶׁל דִּבְרֵיהֶם לָדוּן עִם הָעַכּוּ''ם וּלְעַרְעֵר עִמָּהֶן. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא מַצִּיל מִיָּדָם. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

Avel - Chapter 4

1

These are the customs observed by the Jewish people with regard to corpses and burial. We close the eyes of the deceased. If one's mouth hangs open, we tie the jaw closed. After washing the corpse, we stuff closed the orifices, anoint it with different fragrances, cut its hair, and dress it in shrouds of white linen which are not expensive. Our Sages followed the custom of using a cloak worth a zuz, so as not to embarrass a person who lacks resources. We cover the faces of the deceased so as not to embarrass the poor whose faces turned black because of hunger.

א

מִנְּהַג יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּמֵתִים וּבִקְבוּרָה כָּךְ הוּא. מְאַמְּצִין עֵינָיו שֶׁל מֵת. וְאִם נִפְתַּח פִּיו קוֹשְׁרִין אֶת לְחָיָיו. וּפוֹקְקִין אֶת נְקָבָיו אַחַר שֶׁמְּדִיחִין אוֹתוֹ. וְסָכִין אוֹתוֹ בְּמִינֵי בְּשָׂמִים. וְגוֹזְזִין שְׂעָרוֹ. וּמַלְבִּישִׁין אוֹתוֹ תַּכְרִיכִין תְּפוּרִין בְּחוּט שֶׁל פִּשְׁתָּן לְבָנִים. וְלֹא יִהְיוּ דְּמֵיהֶן יְקָרִים. וְנָהֲגוּ חֲכָמִים בְּסוּדָר שְׁוֵה זוּז שֶׁלֹּא לְבַיֵּשׁ אֶת מִי שֶׁאֵין לוֹ. וּמְכַסִּין פְּנֵי הַמֵּת שֶׁלֹּא לְבַיֵּשׁ אֶת הָעֲנִיִּים שֶׁפְּנֵיהֶם מֻשְׁחָרִין בָּרָעָב:

2

It is forbidden to bury the dead, even a nasi among the Jewish people, in silk shrouds or clothes embroidered with gold, for this is an expression of haughtiness, the destruction of useful property, and the emulation of gentile practices.

We carry the dead on our shoulders to the cemetery.

ב

וְאָסוּר לִקְבֹּר בְּתַכְרִיכִין שֶׁל מֶשִׁי וּבְגָדִים הַמֻּזְהָבִין הָרְקוּמִין אֲפִלּוּ לְנָשִׂיא שֶׁבְּיִשְׂרָאֵל. שֶׁזֶּהוּ גַּסּוּת הָרוּחַ וְהַשְׁחָתָה וּמַעֲשֵׂה עַכּוּ''ם. וְסוֹבְלִין אֶת הַמֵּת עַל הַכָּתֵף עַד בֵּית הַקְּבָרוֹת:

3

The pallbearers are forbidden to wear sandals, lest the strap of one of them snap and he hold back the performance of the mitzvah.

ג

וְנוֹשְׂאֵי הַמִּטָּה אֲסוּרִין בִּנְעִילַת הַסַּנְדָּל שֶׁמָּא תִּפָּסֵק רְצוּעָה מִסַּנְדָּלוֹ שֶׁל אֶחָד מֵהֶן וְנִמְצָא מִתְעַכֵּב מִן הַמִּצְוָה:

4

We dig burial caves in the earth and make hollows at the side of the caves. There we bury the corpse with its face upward; we then place the earth and the stones back in place above it. They may bury it in a wooden coffin.

Those who accompany the corpse tell him: "Go in peace," as Genesis 15:15 states: "You will go to your ancestors in peace."

Markings are made on the graves. A tombstone is placed on the grave. For the righteous, by contrast, a tombstone is not placed, because their words will cause them to be remembered; a person will not need to visit in the cemeteries.

ד

וְחוֹפְרִין בַּעֲפַר מְעָרוֹת וְעוֹשִׂין כּוּךְ בְּצַד הַמְּעָרָה וְקוֹבְרִין אוֹתוֹ בּוֹ וּפָנָיו לְמַעְלָה. וּמַחְזִירִין הֶעָפָר וְהָאֲבָנִים עָלָיו. וְיֵשׁ לָהֶן לִקְבֹּר בְּאָרוֹן שֶׁל עֵץ. וְהַמְלַוִּין אוֹתוֹ אוֹמְרִין לוֹ לֵךְ בְּשָׁלוֹם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (בראשית טו טו) "וְאַתָּה תָּבוֹא אֶל אֲבֹתֶיךָ בְּשָׁלוֹם". וּמְצַיְּנִין אֶת כָּל בֵּית הַקְּבָרוֹת וּבוֹנִין נֶפֶשׁ עַל הַקֶּבֶר. וְהַצַּדִּיקִים אֵין בּוֹנִים לָהֶם נֶפֶשׁ עַל קִבְרוֹתֵיהֶם שֶׁדִּבְרֵיהֶם הֵם זִכְרוֹנָם. וְלֹא יִפְנֶה אָדָם לְבַקֵּר הַקְּבָרוֹת:

5

A person in his death throes is considered as a living person with regard to all matters. We do not tie his cheek, stuff his orifices, nor do we place a metal utensil or a utensil that cools on his navel so that his body will not bloat. We do not anoint it or wash it or place it on sand or on salt until the person dies.

One who touches him is considered as shedding blood. To what can the matter be compared? To a candle that is flickering, were a person to touch it, it will be extinguished. Similarly, anyone who closes a dying person's eyes as his soul expires is considered as shedding blood. Instead, they should wait some lest he have fainted. Similarly, we do not rend our clothes because of him, uncover our shoulders, recite eulogies, or bring a coffin or shrouds into the house until the person dies.

ה

הַגּוֹסֵס הֲרֵי הוּא כְּחַי לְכָל דָּבָר. אֵין קוֹשְׁרִין לְחָיָיו וְאֵין פּוֹקְקִין נְקָבָיו וְאֵין מַנִּיחִין כְּלִי מַתָּכוֹת וּכְלִי מֵיקֵר עַל טַבּוּרוֹ שֶׁלֹּא יִתְפַּח. וְלֹא סָכִין אוֹתוֹ. וְלֹא מְדִיחִין אוֹתוֹ. וְלֹא מְטִילִין אוֹתוֹ עַל הַחוֹל וְלֹא עַל הַמֶּלַח עַד שָׁעָה שֶׁיָּמוּת. וְהַנּוֹגֵעַ בּוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה שׁוֹפֵךְ דָּמִים. לְמָה זֶה דּוֹמֶה לְנֵר שֶׁמְּטַפְטֵף כֵּיוָן שֶׁיִּגַּע בּוֹ אָדָם יִכְבֶּה. וְכָל הַמְאַמֵּץ עֵינָיו עִם יְצִיאַת נֶפֶשׁ הֲרֵי זֶה שׁוֹפֵךְ דָּמִים אֶלָּא יִשְׁהֶא מְעַט שֶׁמָּא נִתְעַלֵּף. וְכֵן אֵין קוֹרְעִין עָלָיו. וְלֹא חוֹלְצִין כָּתֵף. וְלֹא מַסְפִּידִין. וְלֹא מַכְנִיסִין עִמּוֹ אָרוֹן וְתַכְרִיכִין בַּבַּיִת עַד שֶׁיָּמוּת:

6

When a person's dead is lying before him, he should eat in another house. If he does not have another house, he should construct a partition and eat. If he does not have the materials to make a partition, he should turn away his face and eat. Under no circumstances should he recline and eat or eat meat or drink wine.

He does not recite the blessing before eating, nor the grace after meals. Others do not recite the blessings for him, nor is he included in a quorum of three for the recitation of grace. He is free from the obligation to recite the Shema, pray, put on tefillin, or observe any of the mitzvot stated in the Torah.

On the Sabbath, he should recline, eat meat, and drink wine, recite the blessing before eating, and recite grace. Others may recite blessings for him. He is included in a quorum for grace and is obligated in all the mitzvot of the Torah with the exception of sexual relations.

Once the dead is buried, he is permitted to eat meat and drink a small amount of wine to help digest the food that he has eaten, but not in an unrestrained manner.

ו

מִי שֶׁמֵּתוֹ מֻטָּל לְפָנָיו אוֹכֵל בְּבַיִת אַחֵר. אֵין לוֹ בַּיִת אַחֵר עוֹשֶׂה מְחִצָּה וְאוֹכֵל. אֵין לוֹ דָּבָר לַעֲשׂוֹת מְחִצָּה מַחְזִיר פָּנָיו וְאוֹכֵל. וּבֵין כָּךְ וּבֵין כָּךְ אֵינוֹ מֵסֵב וְאוֹכֵל. וְלֹא אוֹכֵל בָּשָׂר. וְלֹא שׁוֹתֶה יַיִן. וְאֵינוֹ מְבָרֵךְ. וְאֵינוֹ מְזַמֵּן. וְאֵין מְבָרְכִין עָלָיו וְאֵין מְזַמְּנִין עָלָיו. וּפָטוּר מִקְּרִיאַת שְׁמַע וּמִן הַתְּפִלָּה וּמִתְּפִלִּין וּמִכָּל מִצְוֹת הָאֲמוּרוֹת בַּתּוֹרָה. בְּשַׁבָּת מֵסֵב וְאוֹכֵל בָּשָׂר וְשׁוֹתֶה יַיִן. וּמְבָרֵךְ. וּמְזַמֵּן. וּמְבָרְכִין עָלָיו וּמְזַמְּנִין עָלָיו. וְחַיָּב בְּכָל מִצְוֹת הָאֲמוּרוֹת בַּתּוֹרָה חוּץ מִתַּשְׁמִישׁ הַמִּטָּה. נִקְבַּר הַמֵּת הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר לֶאֱכל בָּשָׂר וְלִשְׁתּוֹת יַיִן מְעַט כְּדֵי לִשְׁרוֹת אֲכִילָה שֶׁבְּמֵעָיו אֲבָל לֹא לִרְווֹת:

7

We do not delay the burial of the dead. Instead, we hurry to bury him immediately. Hastening the burial is praiseworthy. For one's father and mother, by contrast, it is demeaning.

ז

אֵין מַשְׁהִין אֶת הַמֵּת אֶלָּא מַדְחִין מִטָּתוֹ מִיָּד. וְכָל הַמַּדְחֶה מִטָּתוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה מְשֻׁבָּח. וְעַל אָבִיו וְעַל אִמּוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה מְגֻנֶּה:

8

On Friday or the day before a festival, or when rain was drenching the coffin, it is permitted to hurry even the funeral of one's parents. For the person hurried the funeral only as an expression of honor for his father and mother.

Whoever delays the burial of his dead overnight violates a negative commandment, unless he delays the burial for the honor of the dead and to complete providing for his needs.

ח

הָיָה עֶרֶב שַׁבָּת אוֹ עֶרֶב יוֹם טוֹב אוֹ שֶׁהָיוּ גְּשָׁמִים מְזַלְּפִין עַל הַמִּטָּה מֻתָּר. שֶׁלֹּא מִהֵר אֶלָּא לִכְבוֹד אָבִיו וְאִמּוֹ. וְכָל הַמֵּלִין אֶת מֵתוֹ עוֹבֵר בְּלֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הֱלִינוֹ לִכְבוֹדוֹ וּלְהַשְׁלִים צְרָכָיו:

9

On the first day alone, it is forbidden for a mourner to put on tefillin or to eat food of his own. He must sit on a overturned bed. During the remainder of the days of mourning, he may eat his own food, sit on a mat or on the ground, and put on tefillin.

What is the source which teaches that a mourner may not put on tefillin on the first day? Instructions were given Ezekiel (Ezekiel 24:17): "Your glory should be bound upon you." Implied is other people are forbidden. He was instructed: "Do not eat the bread of men." Implied is that other people should eat from others on the first day and are forbidden to eat their own food.

ט

הָאָבֵל בְּיוֹם רִאשׁוֹן בִּלְבַד אָסוּר לְהָנִיחַ תְּפִלִּין וּלֶאֱכל מִשֶּׁלּוֹ. וְחַיָּב לֵישֵׁב עַל מִטָּה כְּפוּיָה. וּבִשְׁאָר יְמֵי הָאֵבֶל מֻתָּר לוֹ לֶאֱכל מִשֶּׁלּוֹ וְלֵישֵׁב עַל גַּבֵּי מַפַּץ אוֹ קַרְקַע. וּמֵנִיחַ תְּפִלִּין. וּמִנַּיִן שֶׁהוּא אָסוּר בְּיוֹם רִאשׁוֹן לְהָנִיחַ תְּפִלִּין. שֶׁהֲרֵי נֶאֱמַר לִיחֶזְקֵאל (יחזקאל כד יז) "פְּאֵרְךָ חֲבוֹשׁ עָלֶיךָ" מִכְלַל שֶׁכָּל הָעָם אֲסוּרִין. וְנֶאֱמַר לוֹ (יחזקאל כד יז) "וְלֶחֶם אֲנָשִׁים לֹא תֹאכֵל" מִכְלַל שֶׁכָּל הָעָם אוֹכְלִין מִשֶּׁל אֲחֵרִים בְּיוֹם רִאשׁוֹן וַאֲסוּרִין לֶאֱכל מִשֶּׁל עַצְמָן:

Avel - Chapter 5

1

These are the matters forbidden to a mourner on the first day according to Scriptural Law and on the remaining [six] days according to Rabbinic Law. He is forbidden to cut his hair, launder his clothes, wash, anoint himself, engage in sexual relations, wear shoes, perform work, study the Torah, stand his bed upright, leave his head uncovered, and greet others, eleven matters in total.

א

אֵלוּ דְּבָרִים שֶׁהָאָבֵל אָסוּר בָּהֶן בְּיוֹם רִאשׁוֹן מִן הַתּוֹרָה וּבִשְׁאָר יָמִים מִדִּבְרֵיהֶם. אָסוּר לְסַפֵּר. וּלְכַבֵּס. וְלִרְחֹץ. וְלָסוּךְ. וּלְשַׁמֵּשׁ מִטָּתוֹ. וְלִנְעל אֶת הַסַּנְדָּל. וְלַעֲשׂוֹת מְלָאכָה. וְלִקְרוֹת בְּדִבְרֵי תּוֹרָה. וְלִזְקֹף אֶת הַמִּטָּה. וְלִפְרֹעַ אֶת רֹאשׁוֹ. וְלִשְׁאל שָׁלוֹם. הַכּל אַחַד עָשָׂר דָּבָר:

2

Which source teaches that a mourner is forbidden to have his hair cut? Leviticus 10:6 warns the sons of Aaron: "Do not let the hair of your heads grow untended." Implied is that every mourner is forbidden to cut his hair. Instead, he lets his hair grow untended. Just as he is forbidden to cut off his hair; so, too, he is forbidden to trim his beard and any other hair on his body. This applies to cutting hair and having one's own hair cut. If he was in the midst of a haircut and he heard that his father died, he may complete the haircut. This applies to cutting hair and having one's own hair cut.

Similarly, it is forbidden to cut off one's mustache or to cut one's nails with a utensil. One may, however, bite off one's nails or trim them with one's other nails.

ב

וּמִנַּיִן שֶׁהָאָבֵל אָסוּר בְּתִסְפֹּרֶת. שֶׁהֲרֵי הִזְהִיר בְּנֵי אַהֲרֹן (ויקרא י ו) "רָאשֵׁיכֶם אַל תִּפְרָעוּ". מִכְלַל שֶׁכָּל הַמִּתְאַבֵּל אָסוּר לְסַפֵּר שְׂעָרוֹ אֶלָּא מְגַדֵּל פֶּרַע. וּכְשֵׁם שֶׁאָסוּר לְגַלֵּחַ שְׂעַר רֹאשׁוֹ כָּךְ אָסוּר לְגַלֵּחַ שְׂעַר זְקָנוֹ וְכָל שֵׂעָר שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ. אֶחָד הַמְגַלֵּחַ וְאֶחָד הַמִּתְגַּלֵּחַ. הָיָה מְגַלֵּחַ וְשָׁמַע שֶׁמֵּת אָבִיו מַשְׁלִים תִּגְלַחַת שְׂעָרוֹ אֶחָד הַמְגַלֵּחַ וְאֶחָד הַמִּתְגַּלֵּחַ. וְכֵן אָסוּר לְגַלֵּחַ שָׂפָה וְלִטּל צִפָּרְנָיו בִּכְלִי אֲבָל בְּשִׁנָּיו אוֹ שֶׁנּוֹטֵל צִפֹּרֶן בְּצִפֹּרֶן מֻתָּר:

3

Which source teaches that a mourner is forbidden to launder his clothes and to wash and anoint his body: II Samuel 14:2 states: "Please conduct yourself as a mourner; please wear mourner's clothes and do not anoint yourself with oil." Washing is including in anointing oneself, for it is a preliminary step before anointing oneself as Ruth 3:3 states: "Wash and anoint yourself."

Just as a mourner is forbidden to launder clothes; so, too, he is forbidden to wear new and freshly pressed white clothes.

ג

וּמִנַּיִן שֶׁהָאָבֵל אָסוּר לְכַבֵּס בְּגָדָיו וְלִרְחֹץ גּוּפוֹ וְלָסוּךְ. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמואל ב יד ב) "הִתְאַבְּלִי נָא וְלִבְשִׁי בִגְדֵי אֵבֶל וְאַל תָּסוּכִי שֶׁמֶן". וּרְחִיצָה בִּכְלַל סִיכָה שֶׁהָרְחִיצָה קוֹדֶמֶת לְסִיכָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (רות ג ג) "וְרָחַצְתְּ וָסַכְתְּ". וּכְשֵׁם שֶׁאָבֵל אָסוּר בְּכִבּוּס בְּגָדִים כָּךְ אָסוּר לִלְבּשׁ כֵּלִים לְבָנִים חֲדָשִׁים וּמְגֹהָצִין:

4

As it is forbidden to anoint one's entire body; so, too, it is forbidden to anoint a portion of one's body. To remove filth, however, it is permitted. Similarly, it is forbidden to wash a portion of one's body in hot water. One may, however, wash one's face, one's hands, and one's feet - but not one's entire body - in cold water.

ד

אָסוּר לָסוּךְ מִקְצָת גּוּפוֹ כְּכָל גּוּפוֹ. וְאִם לְהַעֲבִיר אֶת הַזֻּהֲמָא מֻתָּר. וְכֵן אָסוּר בִּרְחִיצַת מִקְצָת גּוּפוֹ בְּחַמִּין. אֲבָל בְּצוֹנֵן רוֹחֵץ פָּנָיו יָדָיו וְרַגְלָיו אֲבָל לֹא כָּל גּוּפוֹ:

5

Which source teaches that a mourner is forbidden to engage in sexual relations. II Samuel 12:24 states: "And David comforted his wife, Batsheva, and he came to her and lay with her." This indicates that this was forbidden beforehand.

Similarly, a mourner should not marry a woman, nor should a woman marry while mourning even though they do not engage in relations. It is permitted for a mourner to remain in solitude with his wife even though he is forbidden to engage in sexual relations.

ה

מִנַּיִן לְאָבֵל שֶׁאָסוּר בְּתַשְׁמִישׁ הַמִּטָּה. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמואל ב יב כד) "וַיְנַחֵם דָּוִד אֵת בַּת שֶׁבַע אִשְׁתּוֹ וַיָּבֹא אֵלֶיהָ וַיִּשְׁכַּב עִמָּהּ". מִכְלַל שֶׁהָיָה אָסוּר מִקֹּדֶם. וְכֵן לֹא יִשָּׂא הָאָבֵל אִשָּׁה וְלֹא תִּנָּשֵׂא אִשָּׁה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין מְשַׁמְּשִׁין מִטָּתָן. וּמֻתָּר לְהִתְיַחֵד עִם אִשְׁתּוֹ וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא אָסוּר בְּתַשְׁמִישׁ הַמִּטָּה:

6

Which source teaches that a mourner is forbidden to wear shoes? Ezekiel was instructed Ezekiel 24:17: "And place your shoes on your feet." Implied is that all others are forbidden. If a person is traveling on a journey, he may wear shoes and proceed on his way. When he enters a city, he should remove his shoes.

ו

מִנַּיִן שֶׁהָאָבֵל אָסוּר בִּנְעִילַת הַסַּנְדָּל. שֶׁהֲרֵי נֶאֱמַר לִיחֶזְקֵאל (יחזקאל כד יז) "וּנְעָלֶיךָ תָּשִׂים בְּרַגְלֶיךָ". מִכְלַל שֶׁכָּל הָעָם אֲסוּרִין. הָיָה בָּא בַּדֶּרֶךְ נוֹעֵל וְהוֹלֵךְ וּכְשֶׁיִּכָּנֵס בַּמְּדִינָה חוֹלֵץ מִנְעָלָיו:

7

An allusion to the prohibition against a mourner performing labor can be derived from Amos 8:10: "I shall transform your festivals into mourning." Just as it is forbidden to perform work on a festival; so, too, a mourner is forbidden to perform work. And just as a mourner is forbidden to perform work; so, too, is he forbidden to engage in commercial transactions and to travel from city to city on a business trip.

ז

רֶמֶז לְאָבֵל שֶׁאָסוּר בַּעֲשִׂיַּת מְלָאכָה. זֶה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (עמוס ח י) "וְהָפַכְתִּי חַגֵּיכֶם לְאֵבֶל" מָה חַג אָסוּר בַּעֲשִׂיַּת מְלָאכָה אַף אָבֵל אָסוּר בַּעֲשִׂיַּת מְלָאכָה. וּכְשֵׁם שֶׁהוּא אָסוּר בַּעֲשִׂיַּת מְלָאכָה כָּךְ הוּא אָסוּר לִשָּׂא וְלִתֵּן בִּסְחוֹרָה וְלֵילֵךְ מִמְּדִינָה לִמְדִינָה בִּסְחוֹרָה:

8

For the first three days, all mourners, even a poor person who derives his livelihood from charity, are forbidden to perform work. After that period, if the mourner is indigent, he may perform this work privately in his home. A woman may spin fabric on a spindle in her home.

ח

כָּל שְׁלֹשָׁה יָמִים הָרִאשׁוֹנִים אָסוּר בַּעֲשִׂיַּת מְלָאכָה אֲפִלּוּ הָיָה עָנִי הַמִּתְפַּרְנֵס מִן הַצְּדָקָה. מִכָּאן וְאֵילָךְ אִם הָיָה עָנִי עוֹשֶׂה בְּצִנְעָה בְּתוֹךְ בֵּיתוֹ. וְהָאִשָּׁה טוָֹה בַּפֶּלֶךְ בְּתוֹךְ בֵּיתָה:

9

When two brothers or two partners operate one store together and one of them is forced to mourn, the store should be closed for all seven days of mourning.

ט

שְׁנֵי אַחִים אוֹ שְׁנֵי שֻׁתָּפִין שֶׁהָיוּ בַּחֲנוּת אַחַת וְאֵרַע אֵבֶל לְאֶחָד מֵהֶן. נוֹעֲלִין אֶת הַחֲנוּת כָּל שִׁבְעָה:

10

Even activities which are permitted to be performed during chol hamo'ed may not be performed by a mourner during the days of mourning. Others may, however, perform these tasks on his behalf.

What is implied? If it is necessary to turn over a person's olives, put pitch on his barrels, or bring his flax up from the vat where it is soaking or his wool from the kettle where it is being dyed, he may hire someone else to perform this task on his behalf so that he will not suffer a loss. And he may have his field irrigated in the irrigation season.

י

אֲפִלּוּ דְּבָרִים שֶׁמֻּתָּר לַעֲשׂוֹתָן בְּחֻלּוֹ שֶׁל מוֹעֵד אָסוּר לְאָבֵל לַעֲשׂוֹתָן בְּיָדוֹ בִּימֵי אֶבְלוֹ. אֲבָל אֲחֵרִים עוֹשִׂים לוֹ. כֵּיצַד. הָיוּ זֵיתָיו לַהֲפֹךְ וְכַדָּיו לָגוֹף וּפִשְׁתָּנוֹ לַעֲלוֹת מִן הַמִּשְׁרָה וְצַמְרוֹ מִן הַיּוֹרָה. שׂוֹכֵר אֲחֵרִים לַעֲשׂוֹת לוֹ כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יֹאבְדוּ. וּמְרַבְּצִין לוֹ שָׂדֵהוּ מִשֶּׁתַּגִּיעַ עוֹנַת הַמַּיִם:

11

His sharecroppers or those who hire his fields may perform work in their ordinary way. But donkey-drivers and camel-drivers who rent his animals and sailors who rent his ships should not perform work. If the animals or ships were hired out or rented out previously for a specific time, the renters may perform work.

יא

הָאֲרִיסִין וְהַחֲכִירִין שֶׁלּוֹ וְהַקַּבְּלָנִין הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ יַעֲשׂוּ כְּדַרְכָּן. אֲבָל הַחַמָּרִים וְהַגַּמָּלִים בַּבְּהֵמוֹת שֶׁלּוֹ וְהַסַּפָּנִים בַּסְּפִינָה שֶׁלּוֹ הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ לֹא יַעֲשׂוּ. וְאִם הָיוּ מֻחְכָּרִים אוֹ מֻשְׂכָּרִים מִקֹּדֶם לִזְמַן קָצוּב הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ יַעֲשׂוּ:

12

A worker hired by the day - even if he is located in another city - should not perform work on behalf of the mourner.

יב

שְׂכִיר יוֹם אֲפִלּוּ בְּעִיר אַחֶרֶת לֹא יַעֲשֶׂה לוֹ:

13

When a mourner was charged with doing tasks on behalf of others, whether as a contractor or not as a contractor, he should not do it. If his tasks were entrusted to others, they should not work on it in his home, but may work on it elsewhere.

יג

הָאָבֵל שֶׁהָיְתָה מְלֶאכֶת אֲחֵרִים בְּיָדוֹ בֵּין בְּקַבְּלָנוּת בֵּין שֶׁאֵינָהּ בְּקַבְּלָנוּת לֹא יַעֲשֶׂה. הָיְתָה מְלַאכְתּוֹ בְּיַד אֲחֵרִים. בְּבֵיתוֹ לֹא יַעֲשׂוּ בְּבַיִת אַחֵר עוֹשִׂין:

14

If a mourner has litigation with a colleague, he should not prosecute the matter throughout the seven days of mourning. If it concerned a matter that could lead to a loss, he should appoint an agent. The Geonim ruled in this manner.

יד

הָיָה לוֹ דִּין עִם אָדָם אֵינוֹ תּוֹבְעוֹ כָּל שִׁבְעַת יְמֵי הָאֲבֵלוּת. וְאִם הָיָה דָּבָר אָבֵד עוֹשֶׂה שָׁלִיחַ. כָּזֶה הוֹרוּ הַגְּאוֹנִים:

15

Which source teaches that a mourner is forbidden to speak words of Torah? Ezekiel was instructed Ezekiel 24:17: "Be silent from groaning."

טו

מִנַּיִן שֶׁהָאָבֵל אָסוּר בְּדִבְרֵי תּוֹרָה. שֶׁהֲרֵי נֶאֱמַר לִיחֶזְקֵאל (יחזקאל כד יז) "הֵאָנֵק דֹּם":

16

He is forbidden to read from the Torah, the Prophets, and the Holy Scriptures and to study the Mishnah, the Midrash, and the Halachot. If many require his instruction, he is permitted, provided he does not appoint a spokesman. Instead, he should whisper to the person sitting next to him. That person should relate the teachings to the spokesman and the spokesman should communicate them to the people at large.

טז

אָסוּר לִקְרוֹת בַּתּוֹרָה בַּנְּבִיאִים וּבַכְּתוּבִים וְלִשְׁנוֹת בַּמִּשְׁנָה וּבַמִּדְרָשׁ וּבַהֲלָכוֹת. וְאִם הָיוּ רַבִּים צְרִיכִין לוֹ מֻתָּר וּבִלְבַד שֶׁלֹּא יַעֲמִיד תֻּרְגְּמָן אֶלָּא יִלְחשׁ לְאַחֵר בְּצִדּוֹ וְזֶה שֶׁבְּצִדּוֹ אוֹמֵר לַתֻּרְגְּמָן וְהַתֻּרְגְּמָן מַשְׁמִיעַ לָרַבִּים:

17

Which source teaches that a mourner should not sit on a bed? II Samuel 13:31 states: "And the king arose, rent his garments, and lay on the ground."

יז

וּמִנַּיִן שֶׁאֵין הָאָבֵל יוֹשֵׁב עַל הַמִּטָּה. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמואל ב יג לא) "וַיָּקָם הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיִּקְרַע אֶת בְּגָדָיו וַיִּשְׁכַּב אָרְצָה":

18

A mourner is obligated to overturn his bed for all seven days of mourning. This applies not only to his own bed. Instead, he must overturn all the beds he has in his house. Moreover, even if he has ten beds in ten homes in ten cities, he is obligated to overturn all of them. Even if there are five brothers and one of them dies, all the remainder must overturn their beds.

When a bed is set aside to be used for money or for utensils, it need not be overturned. Similarly, a dargesh need not be overturned. Instead, the straps should be released and the bed allowed to fall.

When bed posts emerge from a bed and so it is impossible to turn it over, he should turn it on its side while upright; this is sufficient.

If a person turned all his own beds over, but slept on beds belonging to others, on a chair, on a chest, or on the ground, he does not fulfill his obligation. Instead, he must sleep on the overturned bed.

יח

וְחַיָּב לִכְפּוֹת הַמִּטָּה כָּל שִׁבְעָה. וְלֹא מִטָּתוֹ בִּלְבַד הוּא כּוֹפֶה אֶלָּא כָּל הַמִּטּוֹת שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ בְּתוֹךְ בֵּיתוֹ הוּא כּוֹפֶה אֲפִלּוּ עֶשֶׂר מִטּוֹת בַּעֲשָׂרָה בָּתִּים וּבְעֶשֶׂר עֲיָרוֹת חַיָּב לִכְפּוֹת אֶת כֻּלָּן. וַאֲפִלּוּ חֲמִשָּׁה אַחִים וּמֵת אֶחָד מֵהֶן כֻּלָּן כּוֹפִין אֶת מִטּוֹתֵיהֶן. הַמִּטָּה הַמְיֻחֶדֶת לְכֵלִים אוֹ לְמָעוֹת אֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לִכְפּוֹתָהּ. דַּרְגָּשׁ אֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לִכְפּוֹתוֹ אֶלָּא מַתִּיר אֶת קַרְבִּיטָיו וְהוּא נוֹפֵל מֵאֵלָיו. מִטָּה שֶׁנַּקְלִיטֶיהָ יוֹצְאִין מִמֶּנָּה שֶׁהֲרֵי אִי אֶפְשָׁר לְהָפְכָהּ זוֹקְפָהּ וְדַיּוֹ. הָפַךְ כָּל מִטּוֹתָיו וְהָיָה הוּא יָשֵׁן עַל גַּבֵּי מִטּוֹת אֲחֵרִים אוֹ עַל גַּבֵּי כִּסֵּא אוֹ עַל גַּבֵּי אָרוֹן אוֹ עַל גַּבֵּי קַרְקַע לֹא יָצָא יְדֵי חוֹבָתוֹ אֶלָּא יָשֵׁן עַל גַּבֵּי הַמִּטָּה הַכְּפוּיָה:

19

Which source teaches that a mourner is forbidden to uncover his head? Ezekiel was instructed Ezekiel 24:17: "Do not veil your face until the lips." Implied is that others are obligated to cover their heads. He should use the sash with which he covers his head and wind a portion of it over his mouth slightly. In this vein, Onkelos renders Leviticus 13:45: "He should veil his face until his lips," as "He should cover himself like a mourner."

יט

מִנַּיִן לְאָבֵל שֶׁאָסוּר בִּפְרִיעַת הָרֹאשׁ. שֶׁהֲרֵי נֶאֱמַר לִיחֶזְקֵאל (יחזקאל כד יז) "לֹא תַעְטֶה עַל שָׂפָם" מִכְלַל שֶׁשְּׁאָר הָאֲבֵלִים חַיָּבִין בַּעֲטִיפַת הָרֹאשׁ. וְהַסּוּדָר שֶׁמְּכַסֶּה בּוֹ רֹאשׁוֹ עוֹטֶה מִמִּקְצָתוֹ מְעַט עַל פִּיו. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יג מה) "וְעַל שָׂפָם יַעְטֶה" וְאוּנְקְלוֹס תִּרְגֵּם כַּאֲבֵלָא יִתְעַטֵּף:

20

Which source teaches that a mourner is forbidden to exchange greetings with colleagues? Ezekiel was instructed: "Be silent from groaning."

For the entire first three days, if someone greets him, he does not respond with greetings. Instead, he notifies him that he is a mourner. From the third day until the seventh, when a person greets him, he should respond with greetings. From the seventh until the thirtieth day, he may greet others, but others should not greet him until after thirty days have passed. And when he is in mourning for his father or mother, he should not be greeted until after twelve months.

If he is forbidden to greet a colleague during the mourning period, one can certainly infer that he is forbidden to engage in lengthy talk and frivolity, as implied by the instruction: "Be silent." He should not hold an infant in his arms so that he will not lead him to laughter. And he should not enter a place of celebration, e.g., a feasting hall or the like.

כ

וּמִנַּיִן שֶׁהָאָבֵל אָסוּר בִּשְׁאֵלַת שָׁלוֹם. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (יחזקאל כד יז) "הֵאָנֵק דֹּם". כָּל שְׁלֹשָׁה יָמִים הָרִאשׁוֹנִים מִי שֶׁנָּתַן לוֹ שָׁלוֹם אֵין מַחְזִיר לוֹ אֶלָּא מוֹדִיעוֹ שֶׁהוּא אָבֵל. וּמִשְּׁלֹשָׁה וְעַד שִׁבְעָה מִי שֶׁשָּׁאַל בִּשְׁלוֹמוֹ מַחְזִיר לוֹ שָׁלוֹם. וּמִשִּׁבְעָה וְעַד שְׁלֹשִׁים שׁוֹאֵל בִּשְׁלוֹם אֲחֵרִים אֲבָל אֲחֵרִים אֵין שׁוֹאֲלִין בִּשְׁלוֹמוֹ עַד לְאַחַר שְׁלֹשִׁים. וְעַל אָבִיו וְעַל אִמּוֹ אֵין שׁוֹאֲלִין בִּשְׁלוֹמוֹ עַד לְאַחַר שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר חֹדֶשׁ. אִם בִּשְׁאֵלַת שָׁלוֹם נֶאֱסַר בְּאָבֵל קַל וָחֹמֶר שֶׁהוּא אָסוּר לְהַרְבּוֹת דְּבָרִים וְלִשְׂחוֹק שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר דֹּם. וְלֹא יֶאֱחֹז תִּינוֹק בְּיָדוֹ שֶׁלֹּא יְבִיאֶנּוּ לִידֵי שְׂחוֹק. וְלֹא יִכָּנֵס לִמְקוֹם שִׂמְחָה כְּגוֹן בָּתֵּי הַמִּשְׁתָּאוֹת וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן:

Published and copyright by Moznaim Publications, all rights reserved.
To purchase this book or the entire series, please click here.
The text on this page contains sacred literature. Please do not deface or discard.
Vowelized Hebrew text courtesy Torat Emet under CC 2.5 license.
The Mishneh Torah was the Rambam's (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon) magnum opus, a work spanning hundreds of chapters and describing all of the laws mentioned in the Torah. To this day it is the only work that details all of Jewish observance, including those laws which are only applicable when the Holy Temple is in place. Participating in one of the annual study cycles of these laws (3 chapters/day, 1 chapter/day, or Sefer Hamitzvot) is a way we can play a small but essential part in rebuilding the final Temple.
Download Rambam Study Schedules: 3 Chapters | 1 Chapter | Daily Mitzvah