Berakhot 18a:13ברכות י״ח א:יג
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18aי״ח א

ואין מברכין עליו ואין מזמנין עליו ופטור מקריאת שמע ומן התפלה ומן התפילין ומכל מצות האמורות בתורה ובשבת מיסב ואוכל בשר ושותה יין ומברך ומזמן ומברכין עליו ומזמנין עליו וחייב בכל המצות האמורות בתורה רבן שמעון בן גמליאל אומר מתוך שנתחייב באלו נתחייב בכולן

And there is no need for others to recite a blessing beforehand on his behalf, nor do others invite him to join in Grace after Meals, as he cannot be a member of the quorum of three required to recite the formula. He is exempt from the recitation of Shema, from the Amida prayer and from phylacteries, and from all mitzvot mentioned in the Torah. On Shabbat, however, he reclines at the meal as per his custom, and eats meat and drinks wine, and recites blessings and recites the formula to invite the participants in the meal to join together in the Grace after Meals, and others may recite blessings on his behalf and invite him to join in Grace after Meals, and he is obligated in all mitzvot mentioned in the Torah. Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel says: Just as he is obligated on Shabbat to fulfill these mitzvot associated with Shabbat meals, he is obligated to fulfill all mitzvot.

ואמר רבי יוחנן מאי בינייהו תשמיש המטה איכא בינייהו

Rabbi Yoḥanan said: What is the practical difference between the apparently identical statements of Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel and the first tanna? The practical difference between them is with regard to conjugal relations. The first tanna holds that although there is no mourning on Shabbat, since refraining from addressing his wife’s conjugal rights would not be a public display of mourning, conjugal relations are prohibited. Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel holds that since there is no mourning on Shabbat, he must fulfill the mitzva of addressing his wife’s conjugal rights.

קתני מיהת פטור מקריאת שמע ומן התפלה ומן התפילין ומכל מצות האמורות בתורה אמר רב פפא תרגמא אמחזיר פניו ואוכל רב אשי אמר כיון שמוטל עליו לקוברו כמוטל לפניו דמי שנאמר ויקם אברהם מעל פני מתו ונאמר ואקברה מתי מלפני כל זמן שמוטל עליו לקוברו כמוטל לפניו דמי

In any event, the baraita teaches that one is exempt from the recitation of Shema, from the Amida prayer and from phylacteries, and from all mitzvot mentioned in the Torah. This is an apparent contradiction of our mishna which states that one is exempt only when the deceased is laid before him. To resolve this contradiction, Rav Pappa said: Explain the baraita as applicable only to the particular case when one turns his face away and eats, with the deceased laid out before him. In the other cases, when he is in a different room, he is obligated in all mitzvot. Rav Ashi says: The phrase: The deceased is laid out before him, is not to be taken literally, but rather, since it is incumbent upon him to bury the deceased, and he is not yet buried, it is as if he is laid out before him, as it is stated: “And Abraham rose up from before his dead” (Genesis 23:3), and when Abraham speaks with the Hittites, it is stated: “So that I may bury my dead from before me” (Genesis 23:4). As long as it is incumbent upon him to bury him, it is as he is laid out before him.

מתו אין אבל משמרו לא

From the mishna one can infer that when his deceased relative is laid out before him, yes, he is exempt from mitzvot. But, if it is not his relative and he is only watching over the deceased, no, he is not exempt.

והתניא המשמר את המת אף על פי שאינו מתו פטור מקריאת שמע ומן התפלה ומן התפילין ומכל מצות האמורות בתורה משמרו אף על פי שאינו מתו מתו אף על פי שאינו משמרו

The Gemara challenges: Wasn’t it taught in a baraita: One who watches over the deceased, even if it is not his deceased relative, is exempt from the recitation of Shema, from prayer and from phylacteries, and from all mitzvot mentioned in the Torah? The Gemara responds that these two sources should not be understood as contradictory, but as complementary. In both the cases, he is exempt; where one watches over the deceased, but it is not his deceased relative, as well as the case where it is his deceased relative, but he is not watching over the deceased.

מתו ומשמרו אין אבל מהלך בבית הקברות לא והתניא לא יהלך אדם בבית הקברות ותפילין בראשו וספר תורה בזרועו וקורא ואם עושה כן עובר משום לועג לרש חרף עושהו

The Gemara further challenges: We concluded that, in both cases, if it is his deceased relative or if he was watching over the unrelated deceased, he is exempt from mitzvot. However, one walking in a cemetery is not exempt. Wasn’t it taught explicitly in a baraita: One may not walk in a cemetery with phylacteries on his head and a Torah scroll in his arm and read from it? If one does so he commits a transgression due to the verse: “He who mocks the poor blasphemes his Creator” (Proverbs 17:5). As the deceased is incapable of fulfilling mitzvot, fulfilling a mitzva in his presence is seen as mocking him.

התם תוך ארבע [אמות] הוא דאסור חוץ לארבע אמות חייב דאמר מר מת תופס ארבע אמות לקריאת שמע הכא חוץ לארבע אמות נמי פטור:

The Gemara answers: There, when one walks in a cemetery, within four cubits of a grave, that is prohibited. However, beyond four cubits from a grave, one is obligated in prayer and phylacteries. As the Master said: The deceased occupies four cubits with regard to the exemption from the recitation of Shema. One who walks within four cubits of the deceased is exempt. Here, however, in the case where it is either his deceased relative or he is watching over an unrelated deceased, beyond four cubits he is also exempt.

גופא המשמר את המת אף על פי שאינו מתו פטור מקריאת שמע ומן התפלה ומן התפילין ומכל מצות האמורות בתורה היו שנים זה משמר וזה קורא וזה משמר וזה קורא בן עזאי אומר היו באים בספינה מניחו בזוית זו ומתפללין שניהם בזוית אחרת

The Gemara discusses the matter of the baraita itself. It was taught in the baraita: One who watches over the deceased, even though it is not his dead relative, is exempt from the recitation of Shema, from the Amida prayer and from phylacteries, and from all mitzvot mentioned in the Torah. The baraita continues: If two individuals were watching over the deceased, this one watches and that one recites Shema, and then that one watches and this one recites Shema. Ben Azzai says: If they were traveling with the deceased on a boat, they are permitted to set the deceased down in this corner of the boat and both pray in another corner of the boat.

מאי בינייהו אמר רבינא חוששין לעכברים איכא בינייהו מר סבר חיישינן ומר סבר לא חיישינן:

The Gemara asks: What is the practical difference between these two opinions? Ravina said: The practical difference between them is whether or not one need be concerned about mice even inside the boat. The first Sage holds that we are concerned about mice everywhere, and it is therefore inappropriate to leave the deceased unguarded, even on a boat, lest he be eaten by mice. The other Sage, ben Azzai, maintains that we are not concerned about mice on a boat.

תנו רבנן המוליך עצמות ממקום למקום הרי זה לא יתנם בדסקיא ויתנם על גבי חמור וירכב עליהם מפני שנוהג בהם מנהג בזיון ואם היה מתירא מפני גוים ומפני לסטים מותר וכדרך שאמרו בעצמות כך אמרו בספר תורה

The Gemara discusses other issues concerning the dignity of the deceased. The Sages taught: One who transports bones from place to place may not place them in a saddlebag [disakaya] and place them on the donkey’s back and ride on them, as in doing so he treats the remains disgracefully. However, if he is afraid of gentiles or highwaymen and therefore must move quickly, he is permitted to do so. And just as they said with regard to bones, so they said with regard to a Torah scroll.

אהייא אילימא ארישא פשיטא מי גרע ספר תורה מעצמות אלא אסיפא:

With regard to this last statement, the Gemara asks: To what section of the baraita does the parallel to a Torah scroll refer? If you say that this refers to the first clause of the baraita, this is obvious. Is a Torah scroll less important than bones of the dead? Certainly one may not treat a Torah disgracefully. Rather, this statement must refer to the latter clause of the baraita, that in a dangerous situation, one is permitted to ride on a Torah scroll as well.

אמר רחבה אמר רב יהודה כל הרואה המת ואינו מלוהו עובר משום לעג לרש חרף עשהו ואם הלוהו מה שכרו אמר רב אסי עליו הכתוב אומר מלוה ה׳ חונן דל ומכבדו חנן אביון:

Raḥava said that Rav Yehuda said: One who sees the deceased taken to burial and does not escort him has committed a transgression due to the verse: “He who mocks the poor blasphemes his Creator.” And if he does escort him, what is his reward? Rav Asi said: The verse says about him: “He who gives to the poor gives a loan to the Lord, and the Lord will repay him” (Proverbs 19:17), and: “He who oppresses the poor blasphemes his Creator, but he who is gracious to the poor honors Him” (Proverbs 14:31).

רבי חייא ורבי יונתן הוו שקלי ואזלי בבית הקברות הוה קשדיא תכלתא דרבי יונתן אמר ליה רבי חייא דלייה כדי שלא יאמרו למחר באין אצלנו ועכשיו מחרפין אותנו

The Gemara relates that Rabbi Ḥiyya and Rabbi Yonatan were walking in a cemetery and the sky-blue string of Rabbi Yonatan’s ritual fringes was cast to the ground and dragging across the graves. Rabbi Ḥiyya said to him: Lift it, so the dead will not say: Tomorrow, when their day comes, they will come to be buried with us, and now they are insulting us.

אמר ליה ומי ידעי כולי האי והא כתיב והמתים אינם יודעים מאומה אמר ליה אם קרית לא שנית אם שנית לא שלשת אם שלשת לא פירשו לך כי החיים יודעים שימותו אלו צדיקים שבמיתתן נקראו חיים שנאמר ובניהו בן יהוידע בן איש חי רב פעלים מקבצאל הוא הכה את שני אראל מואב והוא ירד והכה את הארי בתוך הבור ביום השלג

Rabbi Yonatan said to him: Do the dead know so much? Isn’t it stated: “And the dead know nothing” (Ecclesiastes 9:5)? Rabbi Ḥiyya said to him: If you read the verse, you did not read it a second time, and if you read it a second time, you did not read it a third time, and if you read it a third time, they did not explain it to you properly. The meaning of the verse: “For the living know that they will die, and the dead know nothing and have no more reward, for their memory has been forgotten” (Ecclesiastes 9:5): For the living know that they will die, these are the righteous, who even in their death are called living. An allusion to this is as it is stated: “And Benayahu, son of Yehoyada, son of a valiant man of Kabze’el, who had done mighty deeds, he smote the two altar-hearths of Moab; he went down also and slew a lion in the midst of a pit in time of snow” (II Samuel 23:20).