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Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Avel - Chapter 12, Avel - Chapter 13, Avel - Chapter 14

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Avel - Chapter 12

1

A eulogy is an honor for the deceased. Therefore we compel the heirs to pay the wages of the men and women who recite laments and they eulogize him. If the deceased directed that he not be eulogized, we do not eulogize him. If, however, he directed that he not be buried, we do not heed him, for burial is a mitzvah, as Deuteronomy 21:22 states: "And you shall certainly bury him."

א

הַהֶסְפֵּד כְּבוֹד הַמֵּת הוּא. לְפִיכָךְ כּוֹפִין אֶת הַיּוֹרְשִׁין לִתֵּן שְׂכַר מְקוֹנְנִים וְהַמְקוֹנְנוֹת וְסוֹפְדִין אוֹתוֹ. וְאִם צִוָּה שֶׁלֹּא יִסְפְּדוּהוּ אֵין סוֹפְדִין אוֹתוֹ. אֲבָל אִם צִוָּה שֶׁלֹּא יִקָּבֵר אֵין שׁוֹמְעִין לוֹ. שֶׁהַקְּבוּרָה מִצְוָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כא כג) "כִּי קָבוֹר תִּקְבְּרֶנּוּ":

2

Anyone who is sluggish with regard to the eulogy for a sage will not live long. Anyone who is sluggish with regard to the eulogy of an upright person is fit to be buried in his lifetime. Anyone who sheds tears for an upright person will have his reward for this guarded by the Holy One, blessed be He.

ב

כָּל הַמִּתְעַצֵּל בְּהֶסְפֵּדוֹ שֶׁל חָכָם אֵינוֹ מַאֲרִיךְ יָמִים. וְכָל הַמִּתְעַצֵּל בְּהֶסְפֵּד אָדָם כָּשֵׁר רָאוּי לִקָּבֵר בְּחַיָּיו. וְכָל הַמּוֹרִיד דְּמָעוֹת עַל אָדָם כָּשֵׁר הֲרֵי שְׂכָרוֹ שָׁמוּר עַל כָּךְ אֵצֶל הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא:

3

We do not place a Torah scroll on the bier of a sage. We do not change him from one bier to another. We take his bier out only through the doorway; we do not lower it to remove it through the gardens. For others, this is permitted.

ג

אֵין מַנִּיחִין סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה עַל מִטָּתוֹ שֶׁל חָכָם. וְאֵין מְשַׁנִּין אוֹתוֹ מִמִּטָּה לְמִטָּה. וְאֵין מוֹצִיאִין מִטָּתוֹ אֶלָּא דֶּרֶךְ פְּתָחִים. לֹא שֶׁיְּשַׁלְשְׁלוּהָ דֶּרֶךְ גַּגּוֹת. וּבִשְׁאָר הָעָם מֻתָּר לַעֲשׂוֹת:

4

We rise and sit no less than seven times in honor of a deceased person. There should be no less than ten men who rise and sit. Only relatives should participate. This rite is carried out only on the first day, in the cemetery, in communities where it is customary to observe it.

How is this rite carried out in communities where it is customary to observe it? We have the other relatives and the members of the family who are not required to mourn stand and we recite dirges and the like in their presence. Afterwards, one says: "Sit honored persons, sit." He then recites other statements of lament before them while they are sitting and then says: "Stand honored persons, stand." He then speaks again while they are stand and repeats this pattern seven times.

ד

אֵין פּוֹחֲתִין מִשִּׁבְעָה מַעֲמָדוֹת לְמֵת. וְאֵין עוֹשִׂין מַעֲמָד וּמוֹשָׁב בְּפָחוֹת מֵעֲשָׂרָה. וְאֵין עוֹשִׂין אֶלָּא בִּקְרוֹבִים. וְאֵין עוֹשִׂין אֶלָּא בְּיוֹם רִאשׁוֹן וּבְבֵית הַקְּבָרוֹת וּבְמָקוֹם שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ. כֵּיצַד עוֹשִׂין בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ. מַעֲמִידִין שְׁאָר הַקְּרוֹבִים וּבְנֵי מִשְׁפָּחָה שֶׁאֵינָן בְּנֵי אָבֵל. וְאוֹמְרִין לִפְנֵיהֶם דִּבְרֵי קִינוֹת וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן. וְאַחַר כָּךְ אוֹמֵר שְׁבוּ יְקָרִים שְׁבוּ. וְאוֹמֵר לִפְנֵיהֶם דְּבָרִים אֲחֵרִים כְּשֶׁהֵן יוֹשְׁבִין וְאַחַר כָּךְ עִמְדוּ יְקָרִים עֲמֹדוּ. וְאוֹמֵר כְּשֶׁהֵן עוֹמְדִין וְחוֹזֵר וְאוֹמֵר כָּךְ [עַד] שֶׁבַע פְּעָמִים:

5

Just as we rise and sit in honor of men in places where this custom is observed, we observe the same rites in honor of women. Never, however, do we leave the bier of a women in the public thoroughfare, for this is considered disrespectful for a woman. Instead, she is buried directly after her death.

ה

כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁעוֹשִׂין מַעֲמָד וּמוֹשָׁב לַאֲנָשִׁים בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ. כָּךְ עוֹשִׂין לְנָשִׁים. וּמַסְפִּידִין הַנָּשִׁים כַּאֲנָשִׁים בְּכָל מָקוֹם. אֲבָל אֵין מַנִּיחִין מִטַּת הָאִשָּׁה בָּרְחוֹב לְעוֹלָם שֶׁזֶּה גְּנַאי לָאִשָּׁה. אֶלָּא סָמוּךְ לְמִיתָתָהּ קְבוּרָתָהּ:

6

When a person gathers the bones of a deceased, mourning dirges and lamentations should not be recited, not should the mourning blessing or words of comfort for mourners be said. Instead, we recite only words of praise to the Holy One, blessed be He, and exhortations to repentance.

ו

הַמְלַקֵּט עֲצָמוֹת אֵין אוֹמְרִים עֲלֵיהֶם קִינִים וּנְהִי. וְלֹא בִּרְכַּת אֲבֵלִים וְלֹא תַּנְחוּמֵי אֲבֵלִים. אֲבָל אוֹמְרִים עֲלֵיהֶן דִּבְרֵי שֶׁבַח לְהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא וְדִבְרֵי כִּבּוּשִׁים:

7

The following rules apply when a person moves the coffin of a person from one place to another. If the corpse's backbone is intact, we stand in a line for him, recite the mourning blessing and the words of comfort for mourners. We eulogize him even if his bones were moved after twelve months after his death. If its backbone is not intact, we do not eulogize him. We do not stand in a line for him, nor do we recite the mourning blessing and the words of comfort for mourners.

The term "mourning blessing" refers to what is said in the mourners' home. The words of comfort for mourners refers to what is said when standing in a line.

ז

הַמְפַנֶּה אֲרוֹנוֹ שֶׁל מֵת מִמָּקוֹם לְמָקוֹם. אִם שִׁדְרוֹ קַיֶּמֶת עוֹמְדִין עָלָיו בְּשׁוּרָה. וְאוֹמְרִים עָלָיו בִּרְכַּת אֲבֵלִים וְתַנְחוּמֵי אֲבֵלִים. וּמַסְפִּידִין אוֹתוֹ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֶעֱבִירוּהוּ לְאַחַר שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר חֹדֶשׁ. וְאִם אֵין שִׁדְרוֹ קַיֶּמֶת אֵין מַסְפִּידִין אוֹתוֹ. וְאֵין עוֹמְדִין עָלָיו בְּשׁוּרָה וְאֵין אוֹמְרִין עָלָיו בִּרְכַּת אֲבֵלִים וְלֹא תַּנְחוּמֵי אֲבֵלִים. וְאֵלּוּ הֵן בִּרְכַּת אֲבֵלִים דְּבָרִים שֶׁאוֹמְרִים בְּבֵית הָאָבֶל. תַּנְחוּמֵי אֲבֵלִים שֶׁאוֹמְרִים בַּשּׁוּרָה:

8

When a person gathers the bones of his father and his mother, he should mourn for them for that entire day. In the evening, he should not mourn even though they are bound up in his sheet. One does not recite mourning dirges.

ח

הַמְלַקֵּט עַצְמוֹת אָבִיו וְאִמּוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה מִתְאַבֵּל עֲלֵיהֶן כָּל הַיּוֹם כֻּלּוֹ. וְלָעֶרֶב אֵין מִתְאַבֵּל אֲפִלּוּ צְרוּרִין לוֹ בִּסְדִינוֹ. וְאֵין אוֹמְרִין עֲלֵיהֶן קִינוֹת:

9

We do not eulogize children. How old must a child be to be fit to be eulogized? For the children of the poor or the children of the elderly, five years old. For the children of the wealthy, six years old. This applies to both boys and girls.

ט

אֵין מַסְפִּידִין אֶת הַקְּטַנִּים. וּבֶן כַּמָּה שָׁנִים יִהְיֶה רָאוּי לְהֶסְפֵּד. בְּנֵי עֲנִיִּים אוֹ בְּנֵי זְקֵנִים בְּנֵי חָמֵשׁ. וּבְנֵי עֲשִׁירִים בְּנֵי שֵׁשׁ. אֶחָד זְכָרִים וְאֶחָד נְקֵבוֹת:

10

The following rules apply when a child dies. If he dies within 30 days of birth, he should be carried in one's bosom and buried with one woman and two men in attendance. He should not be buried with one man and two women in attendance because of the prohibition against men and women being together alone. We do not stand in a line because of him, nor do we recite the mourning blessing or the words of comfort for mourners.

When a child was a full 30 days old, his corpse should be carried in a small coffin that can be carried on one's forearms. We stand in a line because of him and recite the mourning blessing and the words of comfort for mourners. A child of twelve months is carried out in a bier.

י

תִּינוֹק שֶׁמֵּת כָּל שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹצֵא בְּחֵיק וְנִקְבָּר בְּאִשָּׁה אַחַת וּבִשְׁנֵי אֲנָשִׁים. אֲבָל לֹא בְּאִישׁ אֶחָד וּבִשְׁתֵּי נָשִׁים מִפְּנֵי הַיִּחוּד. וְאֵין עוֹמְדִין עָלָיו בְּשׁוּרָה. וְאֵין אוֹמְרִין עָלָיו בִּרְכַּת אֲבֵלִים וְתַנְחוּמֵי אֲבֵלִים. בֶּן שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם גְּמוּרִים יוֹצֵא בִּגְלוּסְקְמָא קְטַנָּה הַנִּטֶּלֶת בַּאֲגַפַּיִים. וְעוֹמְדִין עָלָיו בְּשׁוּרָה. וְאוֹמְרִין עָלָיו בִּרְכַּת אֲבֵלִים וְתַנְחוּמֵי אֲבֵלִים. בֶּן שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר חֹדֶשׁ יוֹצֵא בְּמִטָּה:

11

Whenever a corpse is taken out in a bier, people at large should grieve for him. Whenever it is not taken out in a bier, people at large need not grieve for him. Whenever anyone is known to people at large, people at large should occupy themselves with his burial. When one is not known to people at large, people at large need not occupy themselves with his burial.

In a place where it is customary for women to walk before the bier, they walk before the bier; where it is customary for them to walk after the bier, they walk after the bier.

יא

כָּל הַיּוֹצֵא בְּמִטָּה רַבִּים מַצְהִיבִין עָלָיו. וְכָל שֶׁאֵינוֹ יוֹצֵא בְּמִטָּה אֵין רַבִּים מַצְהִיבִין עָלָיו. וכָּל הַנִּכָּר לָרַבִּים רַבִּים מִתְעַסְּקִין בּוֹ. וְכָל שֶׁאֵינוֹ נִכָּר לָרַבִּים אֵין רַבִּים חַיָּבִין לְהִתְעַסֵּק בּוֹ. וּמָקוֹם שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ נָשִׁים לָצֵאת לִפְנֵי הַמִּטָּה יוֹצְאוֹת לִפְנֵי הַמִּטָּה. לְאַחַר הַמִּטָּה יוֹצְאוֹת לְאַחַר הַמִּטָּה:

12

We do not eulogize servants and maidservants. Nor do we stand in a line because of them, nor do we recite the mourning blessing nor the words of comfort for mourners. Instead, we tell the master, as we would say if one lost an ox or a donkey: "May the Omnipresent replenish your loss."

יב

הָעֲבָדִים וְהַשְּׁפָחוֹת אֵין מַסְפִּידִין אוֹתָן וְאֵין עוֹמְדִין עֲלֵיהֶן בְּשׁוּרָה. וְאֵין אוֹמְרִים עֲלֵיהֶן בִּרְכַּת אֲבֵלִים וְתַנְחוּמֵי אֲבֵלִים. אֶלָּא אוֹמְרִין לוֹ כְּשֵׁם שֶׁאוֹמְרִין לוֹ עַל שׁוֹרוֹ וְעַל חֲמוֹרוֹ הַמָּקוֹם יְמַלֵּא חֶסְרוֹנְךָ:

Avel - Chapter 13

1

How are mourners comforted? After the deceased is buried, the mourners gather together and stand at the side of the cemetery. All of those who attended the funeral stand around them, line after line. A line may not be less than ten and the mourners are not included in the reckoning.

א

כֵּיצַד מְנַחֲמִין אֶת הָאֲבֵלִים. אַחַר שֶׁקּוֹבְרִין אֶת הַמֵּת מִתְקַבְּצִין הָאֲבֵלִים וְעוֹמְדִין בְּצַד בֵּית הַקְּבָרוֹת. וְכָל הַמְלַוִּין אֶת הַמֵּת עוֹמְדִין סָבִיב לָהֶן שׁוּרָה לִפְנֵי שׁוּרָה. וְאֵין שׁוּרָה פְּחוּתָה מֵעֲשָׂרָה וְאֵין אֲבֵלִים מִן הַמִּנְיָן:

2

The mourners stand at the left side of the comforters and the comforters pass by the mourners one by one and tell them: "May you be comforted from heaven."

Afterwards, the mourner goes home. On each of the seven days of mourning, people come to comfort him. Whether new people come or not, the others still comfort him.

ב

הָאֲבֵלִים עוֹמְדִין לִשְׂמֹאל הַמְנַחֲמִין וְכָל הַמְנַחֲמִין בָּאִין אֵצֶל הָאֲבֵלִים אֶחָד אֶחָד. וְאוֹמְרִים לָהֶן תְּנֻחֲמוּ מִן הַשָּׁמַיִם. וְאַחַר כָּךְ הוֹלֵךְ הָאָבֵל לְבֵיתוֹ. וְכָל יוֹם וְיוֹם מִשִּׁבְעַת יְמֵי אֲבֵלוּת בָּאִין בְּנֵי אָדָם לְנַחֲמוֹ. בֵּין שֶׁבָּאוּ פָּנִים חֲדָשׁוֹת בֵּין שֶׁלֹּא בָּאוּ:

3

The mourner sits at the head of the company. The comforters are permitted to sit only on the ground, as Job 2:13 states: "And they sat with him on the ground." They are not permitted to say anything until the mourner opens his mouth first, as it is written (ibid.): "And no one spoke anything to him." And it states (ibid. 3:1, 4:1): "And then Job held forth.... And Eliphaz responded."

Once the mourner shakes his head, the comforters are no longer permitted to sit with him, so that they do not trouble him overly so.

ג

הָאָבֵל מֵסֵב בָּרֹאשׁ. וְאֵין הַמְנַחֲמִין רַשָּׁאִין לֵישֵׁב אֶלָּא עַל גַּבֵּי קַרְקַע. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (איוב ב יג) "וַיֵּשְׁבוּ אִתּוֹ לָאָרֶץ". וְאֵין רַשָּׁאִין לוֹמַר דָּבָר עַד שֶׁיִּפָּתַח הָאָבֵל אֶת פִּיו תְּחִלָּה. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (איוב ב יג) "וְאֵין דֹּבֵר אֵלָיו דָּבָר" וּכְתִיב (איוב ג א) "אַחֲרֵי כֵן פָּתַח אִיּוֹב אֶת פִּיהוּ" וְגוֹ' (איוב ד א) "וַיַּעַן אֱלִיפַז". וְכֵיוָן שֶׁנִּעְנֵעַ בְּרֹאשׁוֹ שׁוּב אֵין הַמְנַחֲמִין רַשָּׁאִין לֵישֵׁב אֶצְלוֹ. שֶׁלֹּא יַטְרִיחוּהוּ יוֹתֵר מִדַּאי:

4

When a deceased person has no mourners who must be comforted, ten upright men from the community at large come and sit in his place throughout the seven days of mourning. Others gather around them. If there are not ten fixed people who remain throughout the seven days, each day, ten other people are selected and they sit in his place.

ד

מֵת שֶׁאֵין לוֹ אֲבֵלִים לְהִתְנַחֵם. בָּאִים עֲשָׂרָה בְּנֵי אָדָם כְּשֵׁרִין וְיוֹשְׁבִין בִּמְקוֹמוֹ כָּל שִׁבְעַת יְמֵי הָאֲבֵלוּת. וּשְׁאָר הָעָם מִתְקַבְּצִין עֲלֵיהֶן. וְאִם לֹא הָיוּ שָׁם עֲשָׂרָה קְבוּעִין בְּכָל יוֹם וְיוֹם מִתְקַבְּצִין עֲשָׂרָה מִשְּׁאָר הָעָם וְיוֹשְׁבִין בִּמְקוֹמוֹ:

5

Everyone is obligated to stand in front of a nasi except a mourner and sick person. To all who stand in his presence, he says: "Sit," with the exception of a mourner and sick person, for that would imply: "Remain in your mourning," "Remain in your illness."

ה

הַכּל חַיָּבִין לַעֲמֹד בִּפְנֵי נָשִׂיא חוּץ מֵאָבֵל וְחוֹלֶה. וּלְכָל הָעוֹמֵד מִפָּנָיו אוֹמֵר לוֹ שֵׁב חוּץ מֵאָבֵל וְחוֹלֶה שֶׁמַּשְׁמָע יֵשֵׁב בְּאֶבְלוֹ יֵשֵׁב בְּחָלְיוֹ:

6

We sweep and we mop in a mourner's home. We wash plates, cups, pitchers, and bottles, and light lamps. We do not, however, bring incense or spices.

ו

מְכַבְּדִין וּמְרַבְּצִין בְּבֵית הָאָבֵל. וּמְדִיחִין קְעָרוֹת וְכוֹסוֹת וְקִיתוֹנוֹת וּצְלוֹחִיּוֹת וּמַדְלִיקִין אֶת הַנֵּרוֹת. אֲבָל אֵין מְבִיאִין שָׁם לֹא אֶת הַמֻּגְמָר וְלֹא אֶת הַבְּשָׂמִים:

7

We do not bring the food for the meal of comfort to a mourner's home in silver or cork utensils or the like, but wicker-work baskets of planed willow trees or the like so as not to embarrass a person who lacks means. Similarly, beverages are not poured in clear glasses rather than colored ones so as not to embarrass the poor whose wine is not of a high quality.

ז

אֵין מוֹלִיכִין לְבֵית הָאָבֵל הַמַּאֲכָל שֶׁמַּבְרִין בּוֹ. לֹא בִּכְלֵי כֶּסֶף וְלֹא בִּכְלֵי שַׁעַם וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן. אֶלָּא בִּכְלֵי נְסָרִים שֶׁל עֲרָבָה קְלוּפָה וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן. שֶׁלֹּא לְבַיֵּשׁ אֶת מִי שֶׁאֵין לוֹ. וְאֵין מַשְׁקִין בִּזְכוּכִית לְבָנָה אֶלָּא בִּצְבוּעָה. שֶׁלֹּא לְבַיֵּשׁ אֶת הָעֲנִיִּים שֶׁאֵין יֵינוֹתֵיהֶן טוֹבוֹת:

8

No one person should drink more than ten cups of wine in the house of a mourner: three before the meal, three during the meal, and four afterwards. One should not drink more lest he become intoxicated.

ח

אֵין שׁוֹתִין בְּבֵית הָאָבֵל יֶתֶר עַל עֲשָׂרָה כּוֹסוֹת לְכָל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד. שְׁלֹשָׁה קֹדֶם אֲכִילָה. וּשְׁלֹשָׁה בְּתוֹךְ אֲכִילָה. וְאַרְבָּעָה לְאַחַר אֲכִילָה. וְלֹא יוֹסִיף שֶׁמָּא יִשְׁתַּכֵּר:

9

We do not relate teachings of Torah law or homiletic insights in the home of a mourner. Instead, we sit in grief. In the presence of the corpse, we speak only of matters related to the corpse. To be involved in Torah study in the presence of a corpse or in a cemetery is forbidden.

ט

אֵין אוֹמְרִין שְׁמוּעָה וְהַגָּדָה בְּבֵית הָאָבֵל אֶלָּא יוֹשְׁבִין דָּוִין. וְכֵן אֵין אוֹמְרִין בִּפְנֵי הַמֵּת אֶלָּא דְּבָרִים שֶׁל מֵת. אֲבָל לַעֲסֹק בְּדִבְרֵי תּוֹרָה בְּפָנָיו אוֹ בְּבֵית הַקְּבָרוֹת אָסוּר:

10

One should not cry over the deceased for more than three days and one should not eulogize him for more than seven.

When does the above apply? To people at large. With regard to Torah scholars, by contrast, everything depends on their wisdom. In any case, we do not cry over them for more than 30 days, for we have no one greater than Moses our teacher and concerning him, Deutronomy 34:8 states: "The children of Israel cried over Moses... for 30 days and the days of crying in mourning for Moses concluded."

We do not eulogize for more than twelve months, for we have no one of greater wisdom than our holy teacher Rabbeinu Hakodesh, and he was eulogized for only twelve months. Similarly, if a report of a wise man's death reaches us after twelve months, we do not eulogize him.

י

אֵין בּוֹכִין עַל הַמֵּת יֶתֶר מִשְּׁלֹשָׁה יָמִים. וְאֵין מַסְפִּידִין יֶתֶר מִשִּׁבְעָה. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בִּשְׁאָר הָעָם. אֲבָל תַּלְמִידֵי חֲכָמִים הַכּל לְפִי חָכְמָתָן. וְאֵין בּוֹכִיִן עֲלֵיהֶם יוֹתֵר מִשְּׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם. שֶׁאֵין לָנוּ גָּדוֹל מִמּשֶׁה רַבֵּנוּ וּכְתִיב (דברים לד ח) "וַיִּתְּמוּ יְמֵי בְכִי אֵבֶל משֶׁה". וְכֵן אֵין מַסְפִּידִין יֶתֶר עַל שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר חֹדֶשׁ. אֵין לָנוּ בְּחָכְמָה גָּדוֹל מֵרַבֵּנוּ הַקָּדוֹשׁ וּשְׁנֵים עָשָׂר חֹדֶשׁ בִּלְבַד נִסְפַּד. וְכֵן חָכָם שֶׁבָּאָה שְׁמוּעָתוֹ לְאַחַר שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר חֹדֶשׁ אֵין סוֹפְדִין אוֹתוֹ:

11

A person should not become excessively broken hearted because of a person's death, as Jeremiah 22:10 states: "Do not weep for a dead man and do not shake your head because of him." That means not to weep excessively. For death is the pattern of the world. And a person who causes himself grief because of the pattern of the world is a fool.

What should one do? Weep for three days, eulogize for seven, and observe the restrictions on cutting one's hair and the other five matters for 30 days.

יא

אַל יִתְקַשֶּׁה אָדָם עַל מֵתוֹ יֶתֶר מִדַּאי. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ירמיה כב י) "אַל תִּבְכּוּ לְמֵת וְאַל תָּנֻדוּ לוֹ". כְּלוֹמַר יֶתֶר מִדַּאי שֶׁזֶּהוּ מִנְהָגוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם. וְהַמְצַעֵר [עַצְמוֹ יוֹתֵר] עַל מִנְהָגוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם הֲרֵי זֶה טִפֵּשׁ. אֶלָּא כֵּיצַד יַעֲשֶׂה. שְׁלֹשָׁה לִבְכִי. שִׁבְעָה לְהֶסְפֵּד. שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם לְתִסְפֹּרֶת וְלִשְׁאָר הַחֲמִשָּׁה דְּבָרִים:

12

Whoever does not mourn over his dead in the manner which our Sages commanded is cruel. Instead, one should be fearful, worry, examine his deeds and repent.

If one member of a group dies, the entire group should worry. For the first three days, one should see himself as if a sword is drawn over his neck. From the third day until the seventh, he should consider it as if it is in the corner. From that time onward, as if it is passing before him in the market place. All of this is so that a person should prepare himself and repent and awake from his sleep. Behold it is written Jeremiah 5:3: "You have stricken them, but they have not trembled." Implied is that one should awake and tremble.

יב

כָּל מִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ מִתְאַבֵּל כְּמוֹ שֶׁצִּוּוּ חֲכָמִים הֲרֵי זֶה אַכְזָרִי. אֶלָּא יִפְחַד וְיִדְאַג וִיפַשְׁפֵּשׁ בְּמַעֲשָׂיו וְיַחְזֹר בִּתְשׁוּבָה. וְאֶחָד מִבְּנֵי חֲבוּרָה שֶׁמֵּת תִּדְאַג כָּל הַחֲבוּרָה כֻּלָּהּ. כָּל שְׁלֹשָׁה יָמִים הָרִאשׁוֹנִים יִרְאֶה אֶת עַצְמוֹ כְּאִלּוּ חֶרֶב מֻנַּחַת לוֹ עַל צַוָּארוֹ. וּמִשְּׁלֹשָׁה וְעַד שִׁבְעָה [כְּאִלּוּ הִיא] מֻנַּחַת בְּקֶרֶן זָוִית. מִכָּאן וְאֵילָךְ [כְּאִלּוּ] עוֹבֶרֶת כְּנֶגְדּוֹ בַּשּׁוּק. כָּל זֶה לְהָכִין עַצְמוֹ וְיַחְזֹר וְיֵעוֹר מִשְּׁנָתוֹ. וַהֲרֵי הוּא אוֹמֵר הִכִּיתָה אֹתָם וְלֹא חָלוּ מִכְלַל שֶׁצָּרִיךְ לְהָקִיץ וְלָחוּל:

Avel - Chapter 14

1

It is a positive commandment of Rabbinic origin to visit the sick, comfort mourners, to prepare for a funeral, prepare a bride, accompany guests, attend to all the needs of a burial, carry a corpse on one's shoulders, walk before the bier, mourn, dig a grave, and bury the dead, and also to bring joy to a bride and groom and help them in all their needs. These are deeds of kindness that one carries out with his person that have no limit.

Although all these mitzvot are of Rabbinic origin, they are included in the Scriptural commandment Leviticus 19:18: "Love your neighbor as yourself." That charge implies that whatever you would like other people to do for you, you should do for your comrade in the Torah and mitzvot.

א

מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה שֶׁל דִּבְרֵיהֶם לְבַקֵּר חוֹלִים. וּלְנַחֵם אֲבֵלִים. וּלְהוֹצִיא הַמֵּת. וּלְהַכְנִיס הַכַּלָּה. וּלְלַוּוֹת הָאוֹרְחִים. וּלְהִתְעַסֵּק בְּכָל צָרְכֵי הַקְּבוּרָה. לָשֵׂאת עַל הַכָּתֵף. וְלֵילֵךְ לְפָנָיו וְלִסְפֹּד וְלַחְפֹּר וְלִקְבֹּר. וְכֵן לְשַׂמֵּחַ הַכַּלָּה וְהֶחָתָן. וּלְסַעֲדָם בְּכָל צָרְכֵיהֶם. וְאֵלּוּ הֵן גְּמִילוּת חֲסָדִים שֶׁבְּגוּפוֹ שֶׁאֵין לָהֶם שִׁעוּר. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁכָּל מִצְוֹת אֵלּוּ מִדִּבְרֵיהֶם הֲרֵי הֵן בִּכְלַל (ויקרא יט יח) "וְאָהַבְתָּ לְרֵעֲךָ כָּמוֹךָ". כָּל הַדְּבָרִים שֶׁאַתָּה רוֹצֶה שֶׁיַּעֲשׂוּ אוֹתָם לְךָ אֲחֵרִים. עֲשֵׂה אַתָּה אוֹתָן לְאָחִיךְ בְּתוֹרָה וּבְמִצְוֹת:

2

The reward one receives for accompanying guests is greater than all of the others. This is a statute which Abraham our Patriarch instituted and the path of kindness which he would follow. He would feed wayfarers, provide them with drink, and accompany them. Showing hospitality for guests surpasses receiving the Divine Presence as Genesis 18:3 states: "And he saw and behold there were three people."

Accompanying them is greater than showing them hospitality. Our Sages said: "Whoever does not accompany them is considered as if he shed blood."

ב

שְׂכַר הַלְּוָיָה מְרֻבֶּה מִן הַכּל. וְהוּא הַחֹק שֶׁחֲקָקוֹ אַבְרָהָם אָבִינוּ וְדֶרֶךְ הַחֶסֶד שֶׁנָּהַג בָּהּ. מַאֲכִיל עוֹבְרֵי דְּרָכִים וּמַשְׁקֶה אוֹתָן וּמְלַוֶּה אוֹתָן. וּגְדוֹלָה הַכְנָסַת אוֹרְחִים מֵהַקְבָּלַת פְּנֵי שְׁכִינָה. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (בראשית יח ב) "וַיַּרְא וְהִנֵּה שְׁלֹשָׁה אֲנָשִׁים". וְלִוּוּיָם יוֹתֵר מֵהַכְנָסָתָן. אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים כָּל שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְלַוֶּה כְּאִלּוּ שׁוֹפֵךְ דָּמִים:

3

We compel people to accompany wayfarers in the same manner as we compel them to give charity. The court would prepare agents to accompany people who travel from place to place. If they were lax in this matter, it is considered as if they shed blood. Even a person who accompanies a colleague for four cubits will receive a great reward.

What is the extent to which a person must accompany a colleague? A teacher must accompany his student to the outskirts of the city. A person must accompany a colleague to the city's Sabbath limits. A student must accompany his teacher for a parsah. If he was his master teacher, he must accompany him until three parseot.

ג

כּוֹפִין לִלְוָיָה כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁכּוֹפִין לִצְדָקָה. וּבֵית דִּין הָיוּ מְתַקְּנִין שְׁלוּחִין לְלַוּוֹת אָדָם הָעוֹבֵר מִמָּקוֹם לְמָקוֹם. וְאִם נִתְעַצְּלוּ בְּדָבָר זֶה מַעֲלֶה עֲלֵיהֶם כְּאִלּוּ שָׁפְכוּ דָּמִים. אֲפִלּוּ הַמְלַוֶּה אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת יֵשׁ לוֹ שָׂכָר הַרְבֵּה. וְכַמָּה שִׁעוּר לְוָיָה שֶׁחַיָּב אָדָם בָּהּ. הָרַב לְתַלְמִיד עַד עִבּוּרָהּ שֶׁל עִיר. וְהָאִישׁ לַחֲבֵרוֹ עַד תְּחוּם שַׁבָּת. וְהַתַּלְמִיד לָרַב עַד פַּרְסָה. וְאִם הָיָה רַבּוֹ מֻבְהָק עַד שָׁלֹשׁ פַּרְסָאוֹת:

4

It is a mitzvah incumbent on everyone to visit the sick. Even a person of great spiritual stature should visit one of lesser stature. One may visit many times during the day. Whoever increases the frequency of his visits is praiseworthy provided he does not become burdensome. Whoever visits a sick person removes a portion of his sickness and relieves him. Whoever does not visit the sick is consider as if he shed blood.

ד

בִּקּוּר חוֹלִים מִצְוָה עַל הַכּל. אֲפִלּוּ גָּדוֹל מְבַקֵּר אֶת הַקָּטָן. וּמְבַקְּרִין הַרְבֵּה פְּעָמִים בַּיּוֹם. וְכָל הַמּוֹסִיף מְשֻׁבָּח וּבִלְבַד שֶׁלֹּא יַטְרִיחַ. וְכָל הַמְבַקֵּר אֶת הַחוֹלֶה כְּאִלּוּ נָטַל חֵלֶק מֵחָלְיוֹ וְהֵקֵל מֵעָלָיו. וְכָל שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְבַקֵּר כְּאִלּוּ שׁוֹפֵךְ דָּמִים:

5

We do not visit the sick except from the third day onward. If, however, a person became ill suddenly and his illness became very severe, he should be visited immediately.

We do not visit the sick during the first three hours of the day, nor in the last three hours because his attendants are tending to the sick person's needs. We do not visit patients with stomach illnesses, eye illnesses, or headaches because the visits are difficult for them.

ה

אֵין מְבַקְּרִין אֶת הַחוֹלֶה אֶלָּא מִיּוֹם שְׁלִישִׁי וָהָלְאָה. וְאִם קָפַץ עָלָיו הַחלִי וְהִכְבִּיד מְבַקְּרִין אוֹתוֹ מִיָּד. וְאֵין מְבַקְּרִין אֶת הַחוֹלֶה לֹא בְּשָׁלֹשׁ שָׁעוֹת רִאשׁוֹנוֹת בַּיּוֹם. וְלֹא בְּשָׁלֹשׁ אַחֲרוֹנוֹת. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהֵן מִתְעַסְּקִין בְּצָרְכֵי הַחוֹלֶה. וְאֵין מְבַקְּרִין לֹא חוֹלֵי מֵעַיִם וְלֹא חוֹלֵי הָעַיִן. וְלֹא מֵחוֹשֵׁי הָרֹאשׁ. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהַבִּקּוּר קָשֶׁה לָהֶן:

6

When one comes to visit a sick person, he should not sit on a bed, nor on a chair, nor on a bench, nor on a high place, nor above the invalid's head. Instead, he should wrap himself in a tallit, sit below his head, entreat God for mercy on his behalf and depart.

ו

הַנִּכְנָס לְבַקֵּר אֶת הַחוֹלֶה לֹא יֵשֵׁב לֹא עַל גַּבֵּי מִטָּה וְלֹא עַל גַּבֵּי כִּסֵּא וְלֹא עַל גַּבֵּי סַפְסָל וְלֹא עַל גַּבֵּי מָקוֹם גָּבוֹהַּ וְלֹא לְמַעְלָה מִמְּרַאֲשׁוֹתָיו. אֶלָּא מִתְעַטֵּף וְיוֹשֵׁב לְמַטָּה מִמְּרַאֲשׁוֹתָיו וּמְבַקֵּשׁ עָלָיו רַחֲמִים וְיוֹצֵא:

7

It appears to me that comforting mourners takes precedence over visiting the sick. For comforting mourners is an expression of kindness to the living and the dead.

ז

יֵרָאֶה לִי שֶׁנֶּחָמַת אֲבֵלִים קוֹדֵם לְבִקּוּר חוֹלִים. שֶׁנִּחוּם אֲבֵלִים גְּמִילוּת חֶסֶד עִם הַחַיִּים וְעִם הַמֵּתִים:

8

When a person is faced with either tending to a corpse or a bride, he should leave the bride and occupy himself with the corpse. Thus Ecclesiastes 7:4 states: "The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning."

When a corpse and a bride confront each other on a road, the corpse is turned aside before the bride. Both of these should turn aside before a king

ח

מִי שֶׁהָיָה לְפָנָיו מֵת וְכַלָּה. מֵנִיחַ אֶת הַכַּלָּה וּמִתְעַסֵּק עִם הַמֵּת. וְכֵן הוּא אוֹמֵר (קהלת ז ד) "לֵב חֲכָמִים בְּבֵית אֵבֶל" וְגוֹ'. מֵת וְכַלָּה שֶׁפָּגְעוּ זֶה בָּזֶה בַּדֶּרֶךְ. מַעֲבִירִין אֶת הַמֵּת מִלִּפְנֵי הַכַּלָּה. וְזֶה וְזֶה עוֹבְרִין מִלִּפְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ:

9

We nullify Torah study for a funeral and for a wedding. When does the above apply? When there are not enough people to care for a corpse. If there are enough people to care for it, Torah study should not nullified. Whoever does not occupy himself with Torah study is obligated to occupy himself with the corpse.

ט

מְבַטְּלִין תַּלְמוּד תּוֹרָה לְהוֹצָאַת הַמֵּת וּלְהַכְנָסַת הַכַּלָּה. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּשֶׁאֵין לוֹ כָּל צָרְכּוֹ. אֲבָל יֵשׁ לוֹ כָּל צָרְכּוֹ אֵין מְבַטְּלִין. וְכָל שֶׁאֵין מִתְעַסְּקִין בַּתּוֹרָה חַיָּבִין לְהִתְעַסֵּק עִמּוֹ:

10

If there is one corpse in a city, all the inhabitants of the city are forbidden to perform work until they bury him. If there is a person responsible for tending to the needs of funeral, the others are permitted.

י

מֵת אֶחָד בָּעִיר. כָּל בְּנֵי הָעִיר אֲסוּרִין בַּעֲשִׂיַּת מְלָאכָה עַד שֶׁיִּקְבְּרוּהוּ. וְאִם יֵשׁ לוֹ מִי שֶׁיִּתְעַסֵּק בִּצְרָכָיו מֻתָּרִין:

11

When a Torah scholar dies, unless there are 600,000 to accompany him, we nullify Torah study for his funeral. If there are 600,000, we do not nullify Torah study. If he would also teach others, there is no limit. Instead, we nullify everyone from their ordinary activity for his funeral.

יא

תַּלְמִיד חָכָם שֶׁמֵּת. אֲפִלּוּ הָיוּ עִמּוֹ עַד שִׁשִּׁים רִבּוֹא מְבַטְּלִין תַּלְמוּד תּוֹרָה לְהוֹצָאָתוֹ. הָיוּ שִׁשִּׁים רִבּוֹא אֵין מְבַטְּלִין. וְאִם הָיָה מְלַמֵּד לַאֲחֵרִים אֵין לוֹ שִׁעוּר אֶלָּא מְבַטְּלִין הַכּל לְהוֹצָאָתוֹ:

12

We bury the dead of the gentiles, comfort their mourners, and visit their sick, as an expression of the ways of peace.

יב

קוֹבְרִין מֵתֵי עַכּוּ''ם וּמְנַחֲמִין אֲבֵלֵיהֶם וּמְבַקְּרִין חוֹלֵיהֶם מִפְּנֵי דַּרְכֵי שָׁלוֹם:

13

It is forbidden to benefit from a cemetery. What is implied? We do not eat or drink, perform work read the Torah or study the Oral Law within them. The general principle is: We do not benefit from them nor act frivolously within them.

A person should not walk within four cubits of a grave with tefillin in his hand or a Torah scroll in his arm, nor should he pray there. At a distance of four cubits, this is permitted.

יג

בָּתֵּי הַקְּבָרוֹת אֲסוּרִין בַּהֲנָאָה. כֵּיצַד. אֵין אוֹכְלִין בָּהֶן. וְאֵין שׁוֹתִין בָּהֶן. וְאֵין עוֹשִׂין בָּהֶן מְלָאכָה. וְלֹא קוֹרִין בָּהֶן וְלֹא שׁוֹנִין בָּהֶן. כְּלָלוֹ שֶׁל דָּבָר אֵין נֵאוֹתִין בָּהֶן. וְלֹא נוֹהֲגִין בָּהֶן קַלּוּת רֹאשׁ. לֹא יֵלֵךְ אָדָם בְּתוֹךְ אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת שֶׁל קֶבֶר וּתְפִלִּין בְּיָדוֹ וְסֵפֶר תּוֹרָה בִּזְרוֹעוֹ. וְלֹא יִתְפַּלֵּל שָׁם. וּבְרִחוּק אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת מֻתָּר:

14

When a person is transporting the bones of a corpse from one place to another, he should not put them in a leather sack, place them on a donkey and ride upon them, because this is treating them contemptuously. If he was afraid of thieves or robbers, this is permitted.

יד

הַמּוֹלִיךְ עֲצָמוֹת מִמָּקוֹם לְמָקוֹם לֹא יִתְּנֵם בְּדִיסְקִיָּא וְיַנִּיחֵם עַל גַּבֵּי חֲמוֹרוֹ וְיִרְכַּב עֲלֵיהֶם. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁנּוֹהֵג בָּהֶן מִנְהַג בִּזָּיוֹן. וְאִם הָיָה מִתְיָרֵא מִפְּנֵי הַגַּנָּבִים וּמִפְּנֵי הַלִּיסְטִים מֻתָּר:

15

We do not move a corpse from one grave to another, even from a denigrating site to an honorable one. If the grave was located in another person's property, the corpse may be moved even from an honorable site to a denigrating one.

טו

אֵין מְפַנִּין אֶת הַמֵּת מִקֶּבֶר לְקֶבֶר אֲפִלּוּ מִבָּזוּי לִמְכֻבָּד. וְאִם הָיָה בְּתוֹךְ שָׂדֵהוּ מְפַנֵּהוּ אֲפִלּוּ מִמְּכֻבָּד לְבָזוּי:

16

We do not bury one corpse on top of another, nor do we bury two corpses together, for this is denigrating. A baby who sleeps with his mother may be buried with her.

טז

אֵין קוֹבְרִין מֵת עַל גַּבֵּי מֵת וְלֹא שְׁנֵי מֵתִים כְּאֶחָד שֶׁבִּזָּיוֹן הוּא. וְקָטָן הַיָּשֵׁן עִם אִמּוֹ נִקְבָּר עִמָּהּ:

17

It is not forbidden to benefit from the earth of a grave. For ordinary earth never becomes forbidden. It is, by contrast, forbidden to benefit from a building which is a grave.

יז

עֲפַר הַקֶּבֶר אֵינוֹ אָסוּר בַּהֲנָאָה שֶׁאֵין קַרְקַע עוֹלָם נֶאֱסֶרֶת. אֲבָל קֶבֶר הַבִּנְיָן אָסוּר בַּהֲנָאָה:

18

When a person builds a grave for a deceased person, the grave does not become forbidden until the corpse is placed inside. Even if one places a stillborn infant in a grave, the prohibition against benefiting from it takes effect.

יח

הַבּוֹנֶה קֶבֶר לְמֵת לֹא נֶאֱסַר עַד שֶׁיִּכָּנֵס בּוֹ הַמֵּת. וַאֲפִלּוּ הֵטִיל בּוֹ נֵפֶל נֶאֱסַר בַּהֲנָאָה:

19

The following rules apply when a monument is built for the sake of a living person and a corpse is placed within. If one row of bricks was added for the sake of the deceased person, it is forbidden to derive benefit from the entire monument even after the corpse was removed from there. If one recognized the addition, one may remove it and then the remainder is permitted. If the monument was made for the sake of the deceased, once the corpse was placed in it, it becomes forbidden even though the corpse was removed.

יט

נֶפֶשׁ שֶׁנַּעֲשָׂה לְשֵׁם חַי וְשָׂם בּוֹ הַמֵּת. וְהוֹסִיף בּוֹ דִּימוֹס אַחֵר לְשֵׁם הַמֵּת. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁפִּנָּה הַמֵּת הַכּל אָסוּר בַּהֲנָאָה. וְאִם הִכִּיר אֶת הַתּוֹסֶפֶת חוֹלֵץ אוֹתָהּ וְהַשְּׁאָר מֻתָּר. נַעֲשָׂה לְשֵׁם הַמֵּת כֵּיוָן שֶׁהֻטַּל בּוֹ הַמֵּת נֶאֱסַר אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁפִּנָּהוּ:

20

When a person builds a grave for his father and then buries his father's corpse in another grave, he should never bury another corpse in that grave. Instead, it is forbidden to benefit from this grave forever as an expression of respect for his father.

כ

הַבּוֹנֶה קֶבֶר לְאָבִיו וְהָלַךְ וּקְבָרוֹ בְּקֶבֶר אַחֵר. הֲרֵי זֶה לֹא יִקָּבֵר בּוֹ מֵת אַחֵר עוֹלָמִית. וְהַקֶּבֶר הַזֶּה אָסוּר בַּהֲנָאָה מִפְּנֵי כְּבוֹד אָבִיו:

21

It is forbidden to benefit from a corpse with the exception of its hair. One may benefit from hair, because it is not his body. Similarly, it is forbidden to benefit from the coffin and the shrouds. There is no prohibition against benefiting from garments prepared to be used as shrouds. Even if one knitted a garment to be used for a corpse, they are not forbidden until they reach the bier which is buried with him. For designation of an article to be used for a corpse does not cause it to be forbidden.

כא

הַמֵּת אָסוּר בַּהֲנָאָה כֻּלּוֹ. חוּץ מִשְּׂעָרוֹ שֶׁהוּא מֻתָּר בַּהֲנָאָה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵינוֹ גּוּפוֹ. וְכֵן אֲרוֹנוֹ וְכָל תַּכְרִיכָיו אֲסוּרִין בַּהֲנָאָה. אֲבָל כֵּלִים הַמּוּכָנִים לְתַכְרִיךְ לֹא נֶאֶסְרוּ בַּהֲנָאָה. אֲפִלּוּ אָרַג בֶּגֶד לְמֵת לֹא נֶאֱסַר עַד שֶׁיַּגִּיעַ בַּמִּטָּה הַנִּקְבֶּרֶת עִמּוֹ. שֶׁאֵין הַהַזְמָנָה אוֹסֶרֶת:

22

It is forbidden to benefit from all the garments thrown upon the deceased on the bier which is buried with him, so that because of them, confusion will not arise with regard to shrouds.

כב

כָּל הַכֵּלִים שֶׁזּוֹרְקִין עַל הַמֵּת עַל הַמִּטָּה הַנִּקְבֶּרֶת עִמּוֹ אֲסוּרִין בַּהֲנָאָה. שֶׁלֹּא יִתְחַלְּפוּ בַּתַּכְרִיכִין:

23

If a person's father or mother were throwing garments on the bier in their extreme aggravation, it is a mitzvah for others to save them. If they reached the bier which is buried with the corpse, we do not save them.

כג

הָיוּ אָבִיו וְאִמּוֹ מְזָרְקִין כֵּלִים בַּחֲמָתָן עַל הַמֵּת. מִצְוָה עַל אֲחֵרִים לְהַצִּילָן. וְאִם הִגִּיעוּ לַמִּטָּה הַנִּקְבֶּרֶת עִמּוֹ אֵין מַצִּילִין אוֹתָן:

24

We teach a person that he should not recklessly destroy property and through it to oblivion. It is better to give it to the poor than to throw it to maggots and worms. Whoever casts many articles on a deceased person violates the commandment against destroying property.

כד

מְלַמְּדִין אֶת הָאָדָם שֶׁלֹּא יְהֵא חַבְּלָן וְלֹא יַפְסִיד אֶת הַכֵּלִים וְיַשְׁלִיכֵם לְחַבָּלָה. מוּטָב לְתִתָּם לַעֲנִיִּים וְאַל יַשְׁלִיכֵם לְרִמָּה וְתוֹלֵעָה. וְכָל הַמַּרְבֶּה כֵּלִים עַל הַמֵּת עוֹבֵר בְּלֹא תַשְׁחִית:

25

When a king dies, we ruin the horse that he would ride upon and the calf that pulls the wagon in which he would sit. We cut off its hooves from below the knee, a place that does not render it trefe.

We convene a yeshivah at his grave for seven days, as II Chronicles 32:33 states: "They honored him in his death." Our Sages interpret this as meaning: they convened a yeshivah at his grave. When a nasi dies, we do not nullify his yeshivah for more than 30 days.

כה

מֶלֶךְ שֶׁמֵּת עוֹקְרִין סוּס שֶׁהָיָה רוֹכֵב עָלָיו. וְעֶגְלָה שֶׁהָיְתָה מוֹשֶׁכֶת בַּקָּרוֹן שֶׁהָיָה יוֹשֵׁב בּוֹ מְנַשֵּׁר פַּרְסוֹתֶיהָ מִן הָאַרְכֻּבָּה וּלְמַטָּה מָקוֹם שֶׁאֵין עוֹשֶׂה אוֹתָהּ טְרֵפָה. וּמוֹשִׁיבִין יְשִׁיבָה עַל קִבְרוֹ שִׁבְעָה יָמִים. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברי הימים ב לב לג) "וְכָבוֹד עָשׂוּ לוֹ בְמוֹתוֹ" זֶה שֶׁהוֹשִׁיבוּ לוֹ יְשִׁיבָה עַל קִבְרוֹ. וְנָשִׂיא שֶׁמֵּת אֵין מְבַטְּלִין יְשִׁיבָתוֹ יֶתֶר עַל שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם:

26

When a king or a nasi dies, one may burn his bed and all his personal utensils. This is not considered as an Amorite or destructive practice. For Jeremiah 34:5 states: "You shall die in peace, and as they made pyres for your ancestors, the earlier kings..., they will make pyres for you."

כו

מֶלֶךְ אוֹ נָשִׂיא שֶׁמֵּת יֵשׁ לָהֶן לִשְׂרֹף מִטָּתוֹ וְכָל כְּלֵי תַּשְׁמִישׁוֹ. וְאֵין בָּזֶה דֶּרֶךְ הָאֱמוֹרִי. וְלֹא מִשּׁוּם הַשְׁחָתָה. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ירמיה לד ה) "בְּשָׁלוֹם תָּמוּת וּבְמִשְׂרְפוֹת אֲבוֹתֶיךָ הָרִאשֹׁנִים" (ירמיה לד ה) "יִשְׂרְפוּ לָךְ": סְלִיקוּ לְהוּ הִלְכוֹת אָבֵל בְּסַ''ד

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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.
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