בּוֹדֵק הֵימֶנּוּ וּלְהַלָּן עֶשְׂרִים אַמָּה מָצָא אֶחָד בְּסוֹף עֶשְׂרִים אַמָּה בּוֹדֵק הֵימֶנּוּ וּלְהַלָּן עֶשְׂרִים אַמָּה שֶׁרַגְלַיִם לַדָּבָר שֶׁאִילּוּ תְּחִילָּה מְצָאוֹ נוֹטְלוֹ וְאֶת תְּפוּסָתוֹ:
One must therefore examine from that spot outward for twenty cubits. If one finds another corpse at the end of twenty cubits, he examines from that spot outward twenty cubits, as there is a basis for anticipating the matter. It is likely that he has stumbled upon an ancient gravesite. He is not permitted to relocate the corpses, despite the fact that if he had found the single corpse by itself at first he could have removed it and its surrounding earth.
גְּמָ׳ אָמַר רַב יְהוּדָה מָצָא פְּרָט לְמָצוּי מֵת פְּרָט לְהָרוּג מוּשְׁכָּב פְּרָט לְיוֹשֵׁב כְּדַרְכּוֹ פְּרָט לְשֶׁרֹאשׁוֹ מוּנָּח בֵּין יַרְכוֹתָיו
GEMARA: Rav Yehuda said the following inferences from the mishna: The phrase: He found, excludes a corpse that already had been found. If it was known that there was one corpse buried in a certain place, the discovery of two previously unknown corpses does not raise the concern that perhaps it is a forgotten graveyard. Similarly, the term corpse [met] excludes a killed [harug] person. Even if there were three corpses found, if there are signs that these people were killed, the area is not assumed to be a graveyard, as they may have been buried where they were found killed. Likewise, the term lying excludes a sitting person, as Jews were not generally buried in a seated position. The phrase: In the usual manner, excludes one whose head was placed between his thighs, as that is not the way Jews are buried.
תָּנֵי עוּלָּא בַּר חֲנִינָא מֵת שֶׁחָסַר אֵין לוֹ תְּפוּסָה וְלֹא שְׁכוּנַת קְבָרוֹת וְכׇל הָנֵי מַאי טַעְמָא לָא אָמְרִינַן דִּילְמָא גּוֹי הוּא:
Ulla bar Ḥanina taught a baraita (Tosefta, Oholot 16:2): A corpse that is lacking a part of his body indispensable to life has no halakha of surrounding earth, i.e., there is no need to remove the nearby earth along with the corpse. Nor does it have the halakha of a graveyard, i.e., it does not join with two other corpses to establish this site as a cemetery. The Gemara asks: And with regard to all these listed above, i.e., a corpse that was buried in a sitting position or with its head between its thighs, what is the reason that they are not considered part of a graveyard? The Gemara answers: We say that perhaps the deceased was a gentile, as Jews are not usually buried in these ways.
מָצָא שְׁנַיִם רֹאשׁוֹ שֶׁל זֶה בְּצַד מַרְגְּלוֹתָיו שֶׁל זֶה וְרֹאשׁוֹ שֶׁל זֶה בְּצַד מַרְגְּלוֹתָיו שֶׁל זֶה אֵין לָהֶן תְּפוּסָה וְלֹא שְׁכוּנַת קְבָרוֹת מָצָא שְׁלֹשָׁה הָאֶחָד יָדוּעַ וּשְׁנַיִם תְּחִילָּה אוֹ שְׁנַיִם תְּחִילָּה וּשְׁנַיִם יְדוּעִים אֵין לָהֶם תְּפוּסָה וְאֵין לָהֶם שְׁכוּנַת קְבָרוֹת
The baraita further states: If one found two corpses, with the head of this one by the feet of that one and the head of that one by the feet of this one, they do not have the halakha of surrounding earth, nor do they have the halakha of a graveyard. This is not the way Jews are buried, as corpses in a Jewish cemetery always face the same direction. If one found three corpses, one of which was previously known, while the other two were found for the first time now, or if one found two for the first time and two that were known, they do not have the halakha of surrounding earth, and they also do not have the halakha of a graveyard. One does not view these corpses as connected.
מַעֲשֶׂה בְּרַבִּי יְשֵׁבָב שֶׁבָּדַק וּמָצָא שְׁנַיִם יְדוּעִין וְאֶחָד תְּחִילָּה וּבִיקֵּשׁ לַעֲשׂוֹתָן שְׁכוּנַת קְבָרוֹת אָמַר לוֹ רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא כׇּל שֶׁיָּגַעְתָּ לָרִיק יָגַעְתָּ לֹא אָמְרוּ שְׁכוּנַת קְבָרוֹת אֶלָּא לִשְׁלֹשָׁה יְדוּעִין אוֹ לִשְׁלֹשָׁה תְּחִילָּה:
The baraita relates: An incident occurred involving Rabbi Yeshevav, who examined and found two known corpses and one corpse discovered for the first time, and he wished to deem the three corpses a graveyard. Rabbi Akiva said to him: All your toil is in vain. They said it is a graveyard only in a case of three known corpses buried in one spot or three corpses found for the first time. However, if some were known and others were discovered for the first time, one does not combine them.
נוֹטְלָן וְאֶת תְּפוּסָתָן הֵיכִי דָּמֵי תְּפוּסָה אָמַר רַב יְהוּדָה אָמַר קְרָא וּנְשָׂאתַנִי מִמִּצְרַיִם טוֹל עִמִּי
§ The mishna taught that he removes them and their surrounding earth. The Gemara asks: What are the circumstances of surrounding earth? Rav Yehuda said: The verse states with regard to Jacob’s instruction to Joseph to transfer his remains to Eretz Yisrael: “You shall carry me out from Egypt” (Genesis 47:30), which indicates: Take some earth out from Egypt with me, i.e., take the earth that is near the corpse.
וְכַמָּה שִׁיעוּר תְּפוּסָה פֵּירֵשׁ רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר (בְּרַבִּי צָדוֹק) נוֹטֵל עָפָר תִּיחוּחַ וְחוֹפֵר בַּבְּתוּלָה שָׁלֹשׁ אֶצְבָּעוֹת
The Gemara further asks: And what is the measure of surrounding earth? Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Tzadok, explained: One takes loose dirt from near the corpse, as it is assumed it has been loosened by the blood and moisture from the corpse, and digs virgin, uncultivated, ground to a depth of three fingerbreadths, in case this earth has absorbed the blood.
מֵיתִיבִי וְכַמָּה שִׁיעוּר תְּפוּסָה פֵּירֵשׁ רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר בְּרַבִּי צָדוֹק נוֹטֵל אֶת הַקֵּיסָמִין וְאֶת הַקְּסָסוֹת
The Gemara raises an objection to this ruling from a different baraita: And what is the measure of surrounding earth? Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Tzadok, explained: One takes wood chips found nearby, which might have been part of the coffin, and lumps of earth that might have absorbed the blood and moisture from a corpse.
וְזוֹרֵק אֶת הַוַּודָּאִין וּמַנִּיחַ אֶת הַסְּפֵיקוֹת וְהַשְּׁאָר מִצְטָרֵף לְרוֹב בִּנְיָנוֹ שֶׁל מֵת וּלְרוֹבַע עֲצָמוֹת לִמְלֹא תַּרְווֹד רָקָב
And he discards that which is certainly not from the corpse, e.g., stones. And he sets aside the items with regard to which it is uncertain if they have a connection with the corpse. And the rest, i.e., anything that is apparently from the corpse, combine to reach the amount of the majority of the structure of a corpse, or of a quarter-kav of bones, or of a full ladle of dust from a corpse. The remains of a corpse impart ritual impurity in a tent only if they meet one of those three qualifications. Anything which is apparently the remains of the corpse is considered dust of a corpse with regard to this halakha. In any event, it is clear that this baraita presents a different definition of surrounding earth.
הוּא דְּאָמַר כִּי הַאי תַּנָּא דְּתַנְיָא וְכַמָּה שִׁיעוּר תְּפוּסָה אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן מִשּׁוּם בֶּן עַזַּאי נוֹטֵל עָפָר תִּיחוּחַ וְחוֹפֵר בַּבְּתוּלָה שָׁלֹשׁ אֶצְבָּעוֹת:
The Gemara answers: With regard to the first statement of Rabbi Elazar, it was he who said in accordance with the opinion of that tanna, ben Azzai, as it is taught in a baraita: And how much is the measure of surrounding earth? Rabbi Yoḥanan says in the name of ben Azzai: One takes loose earth and digs virgin ground to a depth of three fingerbreadths.
§ The mishna taught that one must examine the ground for up to twenty cubits from that spot where a corpse was found.