Siman 363שס״ג
1 א

איסור פנוי המת והעצמות ממקומן. ובו ז' סעיפים:
אין מפנין המת והעצמות לא מקבר מכובד לקבר מכובד ולא מקבר בזוי לקבר בזוי ולא מבזוי למכובד ואצ"ל ממכובד לבזוי ובתוך שלו אפילו ממכובד לבזוי מותר שערב לאדם שיהא נח אצל אבותיו וכן כדי לקברו בארץ ישראל מותר ואם נתנוהו שם על מנת לפנותו מותר בכל ענין ואם אינו משתמר בזה הקבר שיש לחוש שמא יוציאוהו עובדי כוכבים או שיכנסו בו מים או שהוא קבר הנמצא מצוה לפנותו (יש נוהגין לתת מעפר א"י בקבר) (א"ז) (ויש למנהג זה על מה שיסמוכו) (מדרש תנחומא פ' ויחי):

One should not remove a corpse and bones1Two reasons are advanced for this prohibition: a) The disturbance of removal is hard on the dead — TaZ, ShaK. Cf. I Sam. XXVIII, 15; Job III, 13; b) Removal is considered a disrespectful treatment of the dead — RIDBaZ to Yad, Ebel XIV, 15. One who was buried in a non-Jewish cemetery may be removed to a Jewish one — P.Tesh., G.Mah. from a dignified grave to [another] dignified grave, nor from an undignified grave to [another] undignified grave, nor from an undignified one to a dignified one, and needless to say [that it is forbidden] from a dignified one to an undignified one. And [to remove a corpse] into his own,2To his family grave. even from a dignified [grave] to an undignified one, is permissible,3 M.Abr. to O.Ḥ. § 526, n. 18. for it is pleasant for a man that he rest beside his ancestors.4Y.M.K. II, 4(81b); Sem(H). XIII, 7. M.K. 13a, Tosaf. s.v. אין. And likewise, in order to bury him in the Land of Israel, it is permissible [to remove him].5For it is a means of atonement for the dead and relieves them from judgment. Cf. Y.M.K. I, 5(80c); Y.San. VI, 12(23d); Deut. XXXII, 43: ‘And his land doth make expiation for his people.’ The rendering of this verse is in accord with Ket. 111a. One who expressed his opinion during lifetime that it is not praiseworthy to be removed from outside of Israel for burial in the Land of Israel (cf. Y.Kil. IX, 4(32d); Y.Ket. XII, 3(35b), is permitted to be removed by his children for burial in the Land of Israel, unless he left specific instructions not to be buried in Israel — P.Tesh. If they placed him there [originally] with the intention that he be removed [later], it is permissible under all conditions.6Cf. infra § 364, If he is not safe in this grave, for there is apprehension that heathens may take him out, or that water may enter therein, or that it is a grave that has been found,7A grave in which a corpse was buried without the knowledge or consent of the owner of the ground. In other words, this particular spot was just discovered to be a grave. it is a religious duty to remove him [therefrom].8Hag. Asheri to M.K. Some are wont to place some earth from the Land of Israel in the grave;9Or Zaru‘aG. (and this custom has a basis).10Tanḥ. Vay-yeḥi s. 3 (B. VI) — G.

2 ב

אין מוליכין מת מעיר שיש בה קברות לעיר (אחרת) אלא אם כן מחוצה לארץ לארץ: הגה או שמוליכין אותו למקום קברות אבותיו (כן משמע בא"ז) ואם צוה להוליכו ממקום למקום או שצוה לקברו בביתו ולא בבית הקברות שומעין לו (ג"ז שם) ומותר ליתן סיד עליו כדי לעכל הבשר מהר ולהוליכו למקום אשר צוה (רשב"א סימן שס"ט):

They do not convey a corpse from a city wherein there is a cemetery to another city, unless it is from outside the Land into the Land [of Israel],11Hag. Asheri to M.K. For this is disrespectful to the other dead who are buried in the cemetery from which this corpse is removed — ShaK. Others claim that the reason is on account of disgrace which results to the corpse proper. For according to the first reason, the corpse should not be removed even in the case where it is considered a religious act (e.g., removal to the Land of Israel) — P.Tesh., R. A. Eger. however, A.H. Gloss: Or if they convey him to the place of his ancestral sepulchre.12Thus implied in Or Zaru’aG. Cf. Mak. 11b where it is taught that if a murderer died while in banishment prior to the death of the High Priest (v. Num. XXXV, 9-34), on the latter’s death, they transfer the remains of the murderer to his ancestral sepulchre. This is based upon the verse (ibid.) ‘And after the death of the High Priest the slayer shall return to the land of his possession.’ The words, ‘land of his possession’ refer to burial in one’s ancestral grave. Cf. supra par. 1. Rashi (Gemara ibid.) s.v. תנא and W.G. a.l. And if he left instructions to convey him from one place to [another] place, or [if] he left instructions to bury him at his home and not in the cemetery, he is obeyed.13Or Zaru‘a ibid.G. This means even if he was already buried — G.Mah. It is permitted to place lime upon him, in order to decompose the flesh rapidly,14Cf. Job XIV, 22: ‘But his flesh grieveth for him,’ which is explained in Ber. 18b, ‘The worm is as painful to the dead body as a needle in sound flesh.’ This shows that the dead is aware of the pain of its decaying flesh and has no rest from judgment whilst the decomposition goes on — TaZ. and [then] to convey him to the place [concerning] which he left instructions.15RaShBA Resp. 369 — G. D.M.

3 ג

אין מלקטין עצמות לא מתוך הארון ולא מתוך הקבר לצד זה לקבור שם מת אחר או לצורך המקום:

One may not collect bones from a16Lit. ‘inside.’ coffin, nor [may one gather the bones] from a16Lit. ‘inside.’ grave to one17Lit. ‘this.’ side [in order] to bury therein another corpse, nor for the need of the place.18N in T.H. on the authority of Sem. Not found in cur. edd. Sem(H). Baraithoth Ebel Rabbathi § II, p. 23 N (ibid.) writes that this is based upon the verse, ‘Remove not the ancient landmarks’ (Prov. XXII, 28), for the grave becomes the possession of the dead person buried therein. however, Sifre, Shofetim s. 188 where the prohibition is derived from, ‘Thou shalt not remove thy neighbour’s landmark which they of old have set etc.’ (Deut. XIX, 14). According to Or Sameaḥ (to Yad, Ebel XIV, 15) the latter verse is sourse of the prohibition. Where it is customary to remove bones, it is done only after decomposition of the flesh, for the purpose of permanent burial. Y.M.K. I, 5(80c); Y.San. VI, 12(23d) and infra par. 4.

4 ד

מקום שנוהגין לקבור במהמורות (פי' בשוחות עמוקות מן במהמורות בל יקומו) בלא ארון עד שיתעכל הבשר ואחר כך מלקטין העצמות וקוברין אותן בארון מותר:

[In] a locality where it is customary to bury [the dead first] in depressions, (i.e., deep pits, — derived from, 'into deep pits that they rise not up again',)19Ps. CXL, 11. Cf. Ibn Ezra, Me’iri (ed. Mekiẓe Nirdamim, Jerusalem 1936) and Meẓudath David a.l. infra § 403, n. 1. without a coffin, until the flesh is decomposed, and afterwards one collects the bones and buries them in a coffin, it is permitted.20 supra § 362, n. 3. One must be careful not to mix bones of two corpses. infra § 403, 8.

5 ה

ארון שפינוהו אסור בהנאה אם הוא של אבן ושל חרס ישבר ושל עץ ישרף:

[If] one cleared a coffin [of its corpse] it is forbidden for profitable use. If it [was made] of stone21N in T.H. has, ‘if of stone it should be buried.’ or of earthenware, it should be broken; [if] of wood, it should be burnt.22Sem(H). XIII, 9; Y.Meg. III, 1(73d). Everything that is buried with the dead is forbidden to be employed for profitable use. supra § 349.

6 ו

המוצא נסרים בבית הקברות לא יזיזם ממקומם:

One who finds boards on the cemetery, should not move them from their place.23Sem. ibid. For we apprehend lest this was a coffin that was cleared and is prohibited for profitable use. This applies also to one who finds broken pieces of earthenware — Perisha. He is not required to burn the boards, since he is not certain that they were part of a coffin — A.H.

7 ז

אסור לפתוח הקבר אחר שנסתם הגולל אפילו אם עוררים היורשים לפתחו כדי לבדוק אם הביא שתי שערות:

It is forbidden to open the grave after it was closed [by] the Golel,24e., earth had already been put on the coffin. Otherwise, it may be opened. On Golel v. Glos. even if the heirs protest to open it in order to examine [the corpse] whether he has grown25Lit. ‘brought.’ two hairs.26The signs of maturity. This ruling is found in Sem(H). IV, Cf. B.B. 154a and 155a where it is related that a certain person who sold his father’s estate, died, and the heirs insisted that the deceased was a minor at the time of death, who was legally ineligible to sell any of the father’s estate. Consequently, they claimed that the estate should be returned to the surviving heirs. When they asked to have the body exhumed, they were told that it was not permitted because a) one would thereby dishonour the dead, and b) the signs of maturity undergo a change after death. If a deserted wife (עגונה) claims that she has signs for identifying her husband, the law is that in this case we do open the grave in order to establish whether it was her husband or not — A.H. Likewise, if they forgot to include the shrouds, the grave may be opened — A.H. The general principle is that a) anything that is required for the dead proper which was omitted during burial (e.g., shrouds), or b) in the case where a religious act would thereby be performed (e.g., the case of a deserted wife), or c) where there is a loss of money involved (e.g., supra in the case of the person who sold his father’s estate, were the buyers to insist to have the body exhumed in order to verify whether the seller was a minor or not, so as to avoid a possible loss for themselves), the grave may be opened. For only if the surviving heirs insist to open the grave is it forbidden. Not so, however, if the buyers request this — A.H. On this entire chapter v. excellent digest of Resp. literature in Sh.M.B. IV, p. 265-9.