Siman 362שס״ב
1 א

לקבור בקרקע ואם קוברין שני מתים יחד. ובו ו' סעיפים:
הנותן מתו בארון ולא קברו בקרקע עובר משום מלין את המת ואם נתנו בארון וקברו בקרקע אינו עובר עליו ומכל מקום יפה לקברו בקרקע ממש אפילו בח"ל:

One who places his dead in a coffin and did not bury it1The coffin. Perisha. in the earth, transgresses thereby a [negative command] because he keeps the dead over night [unburied].2Derived from San. 46b where it is stated that R. Joḥanan said that burial in the earth is referred to by the Torah in the verse, ‘Thou shalt surely bury him’ (Deut. XXI, 23). The emphatic infinitive (קבור תקברנו) denotes burial in the earth. Otherwise, one transgresses the injunction, ‘His body shall not remain all night’ (ibid.). Placing the corpse in a coffin is alluded to in the question that King Shapor asked R. Huna (San. ibid.). It is not obligatory to bury an amputated limb of a living being. However, since it defiles, Kohanim are prohibited against being in the same room with it — P.Tesh. If he placed him in a coffin and buried it1The coffin. Perisha. in the earth, he does not transgress [a negative command] on his account.3Y.M.K. I, 5(80c bot.); Y.San. VI, 12(23d bot.): ‘In former days they buried them (the convicts) in deep pits etc. and they were placed in a coffin’ (v. W.G.), i.e., after the flesh became decomposed they were placed in a coffin. Thus also Asheri. infra § 363, 4. Nevertheless, it is [more]4 BaḤ. appropriate to bury him in the earth proper even [when he is buried] outside tthe Land [of Israel].5Y.Ket. XII, 3(35a top); Y.Kil. IX, 4(32b top); Gen. R. s. 100. In these sources R. Judah, the Prince, prior to his death gave the following instructions: ‘Let my coffin be perforated at the bottom.’ N explains that what he meant was that the bottom of the coffin should be removed so that the body should be in contact with the ground, since burial in the earth is a religious duty and applies not only to the Land of Israel but also when one is buried outside the Land of Israel, for it is written, ‘And to dust thou shalt return’ (Gen. III, 19). Cremation is forbidden according to Jewish Law. Beth Yiẓḥak; Eben Yekarah; ‘Arugoth Habosem; Imre Yosher and others who strongly prohibit cremation. One who left instructions to be cremated after death is regarded as one who dissociates himself from the practices of the Congregation and is considered a heretic. Hence, he has the same status as those for whom one does not observe Aninuth or mourning rites. The ashes of a cremated person are forbidden to be buried in a Jewish cemetery. On the question of cremation cf. also lengthy article by Dr. H. Higger, appended to his Halakoth Wa-Agadoth pp. 161-183.

2 ב

נותנין המת על גביו ופניו למעלה כאדם שהוא ישן:

The corpse [when buried] is placed on its back6Y.Naz. IX, 3(57d): ‘What is considered lying in its usual position? — If the corpse is found with its feet stretched out and its hands on the heart.’ This indicates that the corpse is interred on its back. Cf. also Naz. 65a: ‘Lying, but not in a sitting position; in the usual position, — excludes the head lying between the thighs.’ (this corresponds to the expression קמצוץ i.e., a doubled position, found in Y. ibid). Burial is also permissible on one’s side. Y.Ket. XII, 3(35a) as part of the instructions given by R. Jeremiah: ‘Let them place me on my side.’ (v. Tur. who has the reading על גבי ‘on my back,’ which is emended by Perisha to על סיטרא ‘on my side’ found in cur. edd.). Cf. B.B. 101a-b according to which burial in an upright position is regarded as the burial of asses. If a corpse is placed in an upright or sitting position it is considered disrespectful. It is customary to cover the top of the coffin and not to throw earth directly on the corpse, which would be considered disgraceful — ShaK. however, Tur who quotes Resp. of R. Natronai Gaon regarding different customs of burial depending on dry or moist localities, and cf. also Perisha a.l. and its face is upwards like a person who is asleep.7Cf. Ber. 13b according to which it is forbidden to sleep on the back. however, B.B. 74a where it is stated that the ‘Dead of the Wilderness’ slept on their backs.

3 ג

אין קוברין ב' מתים זה בצד זה אלא אם כן היה דופן הקבר מפסיק ביניהם ולא המת בצד עצמות ולא עצמות בצד המת אבל נקבר האיש עם בתו קטנה והאשה עם בנה קטן ועם בן בנה קטן זה הכלל כל שישן עמו בחייו נקבר עמו במותו:

They do not bury two corpses one alongside the other,8In some localities the corpse is buried with head northward and feet southward; in others, the head westward and the feet eastward. Whatever custom is adopted, the position on each cemetery should be the same for all dead — A.H. unless the [intervening] wall of the grave separates between them.9According to the Mishna in B.B. 100b which deals with sepulchral chambers (כוכין), the thickness of the wall between grottos was one cubit (i.e., six handbreadths). Hence, the thickness of the wall of the grotto was half a cubit. Accordingly, some rule (v. R. A. Eger; G.Mah.; Yad Abraham and others) that the intervening wall should be one cubit in thickness. This follows the opinion of the First Tanna in the Mishna ibid. Caro here and in B.Yos. seems to rule in accord with the opinion of R. Simeon b. Gamaliel (ibid. W.G. a.l.) that everything depends upon the quality of the intervening earth or rock. If it is hard, one may make more sepulchral chambers, since less intervening space for the walls would be required. On the other hand, if the earth is soft, more space would be required for the intervening walls. Hence, the number of grottos would be less. P.Tesh. states that the custom to bury the dead close to each other stems from the fact the land available to us for cemeteries is quite limited. TaZ § 364, n. 2. A.H. rules that legally no specific thickness for the intervening wall is required. As long as it is able to stand without caving in. It must be at least six fingerbreadths in thickness. Nor [do they bury] a corpse alongside the bones [of another corpse], or the bones [of a corpse] alongside [another] corpse.10Sem(H). XIII, 8. also Baraithoth Ebel Rabbathi ibid. p. 232, 236. However, a man may be buried with his minor daughter and a woman with her minor son or her son's minor son [in the same grave]. This is the general rule, — whosoever sleeps with him during lifetime may be buried with him when he dies.11Sem(H). ibid. in accord with R. Judah. This ruling refers only to a minor son, but a son or daughter of majority age are not permitted to be interred with the father or mother respectively. The mention of her son’s minor son does not exclude the daughter of his son or the daughter of his daughter — ShaK. A man may be buried next to his wife — Peri ha-Sadeh.

4 ד

אין נותנין ב' ארונות זה על זה ואם נתן כופין העליון שיפנה ואם יש ביניהם עפר ששה טפחים מותר:

They do not place two coffins, one above the other.12In ‘En Yiẓḥak it is stated that if a new cemetery could be bought only on the condition that at some later date the corpses will have to be removed, they may cover the old cemetery with earth so that there will be an intervening layer of earth six handbreadths in thickness and then bury the new dead. Lebushe Mordekai states that this was done in the city of Presburg. This was also done in the city of Cracow — BaḤ. In Beth Yiẓḥak it is reported that in the city of Paris a rock would be placed between the upper and the lower coffins. For only in the case of intervening earth are six handbreadths required, but not in the case of rock. If one placed [them in this position], they may compel [the owner of the] one above that it be removed. If between them [the coffins]13 B.B. 101b: ‘R. Ashi said, if he deepens them.’ there are six handbreadths14Thus Tur. But N in T.H. has ‘three handbreadths.’ however, Ḥiddushe Hagahoth on Tur. Cf. W.G. and R. A. Eger a.l. of earth, it is permissible.15T.H. on the authority of Sem. Baraithoth Ebel Rabbati p. 233.

5 ה

אין קוברין רשע אצל צדיק אפילו רשע חמור אצל רשע קל וכן אין קוברין צדיק וכשר ובינוני אצל חסיד מופלג: (אבל קוברים בעל תשובה אצל צדיק גמור) (ב"ז):

They do not bury a wicked man beside a righteous one;16For it is written, ‘Gather not my soul with sinners’ (Ps. XXVI, 9). If a widow who was left with children from her first husband, remarried and then predeceased her second husband, and there was no issue left from her second marriage, the law is that she should be buried in the plot reserved by the second husband, since the second marriage released her from the first husband’s relationship. Thus Ḥatam Sofer. infra § 403, 5, notes. Ma‘abor Yabok rules (on the basis of Zohar Gen. 21a) that she should be buried next to her first husband even if there was issue from the second marriage as well. In the case of a person who was burnt to death, and it is impossible to identify the person, he should be buried in a Jewish cemetery at a distance of eight cubits from the other graves — Resp. Hare Besamim. even a grossly wicked person [is not buried] alongside a moderately wicked one.17Mishna San. 46a and Gemara ibid. 47a. And likewise they do not bury a righteous person, and so much the more18Thus Tur, ShaK and TaZ. Cur. edd. read, ‘a worthy person.’ an average individual beside an extremely pious one.19Derived from the story regarding the death and burial of R. Huna, related in M.K. 25a. However, they may bury a repentent sinner beside a perfectly righteous person.20Benjamin Ze’ebG. Ber. 34b. But not beside a pious person who stands on a higher plane. M.K. 17a. A Jew who studied under missionaries should be buried at a distance of more than eight cubits from the grave of a worthy person — G. Mah. A male convert who wished to embrace Judaism and had already been circumcised, but had not yet performed the ritual immersion (v. supra § 268, 2), may be interred in a Jewish cemetery, since he had already performed an act (viz., circumcision) to enter the Jewish fold — Minḥath Eliezer. Likewise, in the case of a female convert who had declared that she accepts the Jewish faith (קבלת המצות), but had not yet performed the ritual immersion, may be buried in a Jewish cemetery — ‘Ikare Dinim.

6 ו

שנים שהיו שונאים זה לזה אין לקברם יחד:

Two [people] who were enemies of each other,21Lit. ‘this (one) to this (one).’ should not be buried together.22Sefer Ḥasidim.