The tombstone consecration for a good friend of mine is coming up next week. I am currently seven months pregnant, and I have been told it is generally not the done thing for pregnant women to go to a cemetery. On the other hand, I do want to be there to honor my friend's memory. What do you think?


This is the most common question I am asked. Fascinatingly, though it is a widespread custom for a pregnant woman to avoid going to the cemetery, there is no written source in Jewish law that expressly forbids it. This is an interesting example of a tradition thatWhen you are creating life, it is better to avoid contact with death women took upon themselves without being told. And this tradition is carefully guarded and well known, even more than some outright laws. You will see why.

Jewish mothers have known for thousands of years what modern research is only recently discovering. The unborn child is affected by the spiritual and emotional state of the mother. Her moods, her attitudes, and her surroundings are imprinted on the body and soul of the child.

This is why the cemetery is not the right place for a pregnant woman. When you are creating life, it is better to avoid contact with death. The morbid and deathly energy of a cemetery is starkly in contrast to the process taking place inside a pregnant woman. Her focus should remain on the beginning of life, not the end.

Furthermore, feelings of excessive grief or distress may disturb the otherwise peaceful time in the womb. Sometimes emotional pain is unavoidable in life, but we don't have to seek it out. An expecting mother may be fragile and delicate at the best of times. Attending a funeral or consecration may cause an exaggerated reaction that could have been avoided.

Since this is not a law but a custom, there are some exceptions allowed. If she feels that not going may itself cause even more distress, she should go. Some examples would be the funeral of a close friend or relative, visiting the grave of a parent on the anniversary of passing, and visiting the grave of a holy person to pray for a healthy birth.

In the end, it is up to you

In the end it is up to you to decide what is best. But if you choose not to go, you should not feel at all guilty. Your dear late friend will not be offended. In the world of souls they understand these things. And then in a couple of months, when you feel up to it, you could visit the cemetery yourself to pay your respects.

May G‑d bless you with an easy birth, a healthy child, and only happy times.