באיזו בגדים קוברין ואין האיש מלביש את האשה. ובו ד' סעיפים:
אין קוברין המת בתכריכים יקרים אפילו לנשיא שבישראל: The corpse is not buried in expensive shrouds even [if it is] for the Nasi2 Glos. of Israel.3Derived from M.K. 27b where it is reported that formerly the expense of taking the dead out for burial was more burden-some on his near-of-kin than his death proper, as a result of which the dead person’s near-of-kin would forsake him. Until Rabban Gamaliel, the Elder, who was Nasi in Israel, ordained, that he be buried in flaxen garments instead of woolen ones of an expensive sort, and this practice was adopted later by everyone, viz., to use for shrouds even rough cloth worth a Zuz. In addition to this measure adopted for the general good, — to be buried in expensive garments smacks of presumptuousness and is a transgression of the law prohibiting to ruin anything wantonly (Deut. XX, 19) — ShaK. Cf. Yad, Ebel IV, 2. However, the flaxen shrouds may be of a finer quality but not of the best — ShaK. Ba’er Heteb a.l. Only the Talith should be of wool. However, it is permissible to bury one in a silken Talith if worn by the individual during lifetime — Yad Sha’ul. A new Talith should not be exchanged for an old one, for it is appropriate to bury the dead in the Talith he prayed during lifetime. This applies not only to the Talith but also to the other burial vestments — Mishmereth Shalom.
נהגו לקבור בבגדים לבנים: The accepted custom is to bury [the dead] in white garments.4In accord with R. Yoshiah and R. Jeremiah in Y.Kil. IX, 4(32b); Y.Ket. XII, 3(35a), contra R. Yannai (quoted on the authority of R. Joḥanan, ibid.) in Shab. 114a and Nid. 20a, who requested to be buried in coloured garments. also Tanḥ. Vayyeḥi (ed. Buber) sec. 6; Gen. R. c. 96 and c. 100; P.R.E. c. 33, RaDaL n. 77. Cf. Yad, Ebel IV, 1, who states that the garments should be white and even the thread used in sewing the garments should be of flax. Sem(H). IX, 23: ‘R. Nathan says, that the very same garment which descends with him to the grave, enters with him in the hereafter, as it is written, “It is changed as clay under the seal and they stand as a garment’” (Job. XXXVIII, 14). Cf. Ket. 111b and Tosaf. s.v. בלבושיהן Y.Kil. and Ket. ibid.; Tanh. Emor, sec. 2; Midrash Samuel, sec, VI, 2 (ed. Buber); San. 38a, Rashi s.v. תתהפך.
האיש אינו כורך ומקשר האשה אבל האשה כורכת ומקשרת האיש: A1Lit. ‘the.’ man does not wrap or tie [burial garments] around a1Lit. ‘the.’ woman, but a1Lit. ‘the.’ woman wraps or ties [burial garments] around a1Lit. ‘the.’ man.5Sem(H). XII, 10. Because of obscene thoughts which is not applicable as much in the case of a woman attending a man — ShaK. supra § 335, 10 and cf. Mas. Gerim(H) I, 4 (p. 69).
מעצימין עיניו של מת ואם נפתח פיו קושרין לחייו ופוקקין נקביו אחר שמדיחין אותו במיני בשמים וגוזזין שערו: הגה וצפרניו ומדיחים אותו היטב בכל מקום שיהא נקי מכל טומאה (בנימין זאב) וטחין ראשו בביצים טרופים בקליפתן שגלגל הוא שחוזר בעולם (כל בו): One closes the eyes of the dead and if his mouth opens6O.Ḥ. § 311, 7 has ‘continue to open.’ one ties up his jaws and stops off the organs of the extremities after they wash him7Tur citing Yad, Ebel IV, 1 adds, ‘and annoint him.’ with various kinds of perfumes8Cf. Mishna Shab. XXIII, 5; Yad, Ebel ibid.; supra § 339, 1 and notes; O.Ḥ. ibid. and cut his hair; Gloss: And [also] his nails. And one washes him thoroughly all over so that he be clean of all impurity.9Benjamin Ze’eb. — G. And one covers his head with eggs beaten [and mixed with oil or wine] together with their shell, for [this resembles] a sphere making a circuit in the world.10Kol Bo — G. It was customary for the corpse to be borne beyond city limits and in order for the grave-diggers to know whether the corpse was Jewish they adopted this sign — Kol Bo. On eggs as a symbol of mourning v. B.B. 16b. Cf. infra § 378, n. 1.