נושאי המטה פטורים מקריאת שמע ומתפלה. ובו ג' סעיפים:
נושאי המטה וחלופיהן וחלופי חלופיהן בין אותם שהם לפני המטה בין אותם של אחריה מאחר שלמטה צורך בהם פטורים (מקריאת שמע) ושאר המלוין את המת שאין למטה צורך בהם חייבים (ועיין בא"ח סימן ע"ב):
They who carry the bier and they who relieve them and they who relieve these, both they who go before and they who follow the bier, — [the law is that] they who are needful for the bier are exempt (from reciting the Shema),1 Glos. Derived from Ber. 17a. The ruling here is in accord with Yad, Kri’ath Shema IV, 4; Maim. Mishna comment. Ber. ibid.; Tosaf. ibid. s.v. הכי גריס; Alfasi and Asheri. According to these commentators the reading of the Mishnah is: את שלמטה צורך בהם פטורים ואת שאין למטה צורך בהם חייבים Thus also text in Y. a.l. Rashi, however, has the following reading: את שלפני המטה צורך בהם פטורים ואת שלאחר המטה צורך בהם חייבים according to which the obligation to carry the bier rests only upon those who go before the bier. Hence, only the are exempt, but not those who follow the bier, even if they are needful for the bier. Caro adopts Maim. interpretation. Be’er Hagolah states that the source of Caro’s ruling is the Tur. However, the latter’s interpretation is not quite the same as that of Maim. Eshel Abraham to O.Ḥ. § 72, 1 where this ruling is also found. Caro’s ruling is applicable only in a city where there are special groups arranged to carry the bier, and since everyone wishes to take part in this religious duty, all are therefore exempt from reading the Shema, even those who stand at a distance, on the principle that ‘One who is engaged in a religious duty is exempt from performing another religious duty’ (Suk. 25a). But if there are no special groups arranged to carry the bier, only those who are in proximity of the bier are exempt, since they participate in carrying the bier, but not those who are at a distance — M.Abr. and Mishna Ber. ibid. and the others who follow the corpse, who are not needful for the bier, are not exempt.2 O.Ḥ. § 72 — G. Although escorting the dead (הלוית המת) is a religious duty which falls into the category of ‘deeds of love’ (גמילות חסדים) which is Biblical and should alone suffice to exempt one from the reading of the Shema, yet, since those who merely escort the dead are not regarded as being busily engaged or troubled (טרודים), they can manage to read the first verse of the Shema in a standing position with the proper intention, and the rest of the Shema while walking. In any case they are exempt from reciting the Tefillah. Cf. O.Ḥ. § 106.
אין מוציאין את המת סמוך לק"ש כל שאין שהות להוציאו לקברו קודם שיגיע זמן קריאת שמע ואם התחילו להוציאו אין מפסיקין כדי לקרות: הגה ויש להמתין מלקברו עד שיוכלו לשער שכבר התפללו רוב הקהל ואין חילוק בזה בין ק"ש של שחרית לק"ש של ערבית ויש מקילין בשל ערבית הואיל וזמנה כל הלילה (מבואר בא"ח סימן ע"ב):
The corpse is not brought out [for burial] close to [the prescribed period] for the reading of the Shema3According to one opinion this means half an hour prior to the prescribed period for reading the Shema. The expression ‘close to’ employed here is similar to the expression ‘close to Minḥah’ found in Pes. 99b. Hence, in the morning, since the time for reading the Shema in the first instance (לכתחילה) is ‘when one sees his friend at a distance of four cubits and recognizes him,’ until the ‘sparklings of the rising sun’ appear (Ber. 9b; O.Ḥ. § 58, 1; § 89, 1), a corpse may be taken out for burial at least half an hour before this period. Otherwise, we apprehend that there will be insufficient time to complete the burial and read the Shema in time — Disciples of R. Jonah (Ber. 19a). In Y.Ber. III, 2(6b) one hour is mentioned, which is explained (v. R. Jonah ibid.) to mean, as long as there is sufficient time to complete the burial before the prescribed period arrives. Hence, ‘close to’ does not refer to the half hour period. In Y. ibid. the following question is raised: Since we learn in the following Mishna (Ber. ibid.): ‘When they have buried the dead and returned, if they can begin (the Shema) and complete it before reaching the (mourners’) line, they begin it; but if they can not, they do not begin it,’ it follows that the Shema is never read during the time that the corpse is borne for the purpose of burial (for as we have seen one must take the corpse out for burial prior to the prescribed time for reading the Shema). Consequently, we may ask, why does the Mishnah make a distinction with respect to the Shema at the time the corpse is carried out for burial? In order to remove this apparent difficulty, Y. ibid. explains that it applies only to a case where they thought that there was ample time to complete the burial before the prescribed time for reading the Shema arrived, and they erred. In Ber. ibid. it is stated that it refers to a distinguished person who may be taken out for burial even close to the prescribed period for the reading of the Shema. The custom today is to take out the corpse for burial after the morning Service at the Synagogue is over, so that many people will be able to attend the burial — B.Hillel. Cf. G. anon. whenever there is no time to bring him out [and] to bury him before the time for the reading of the Shema arrives; but if they had [already] commenced to bring him out, they do not desist4 supra n. 3. in order to read [the Shema].5Ber. 19a; Y.Ber. III, 2(6b); Y.San. II, 2(20a); Sem(H). X, 4; Yad, Ebel IV, 6. Gloss: One must wait with the burial until it may be estimated that the majority of the community had recited the Tefillah; and there is no distinction in this [respect] between the reading of the morning or the evening Shema. Some are lenient regarding the evening [Shema] since its [prescribed] time extends throughout the night.6O.Ḥ. § 72 — G.
במקום שיש כתפים מיוחדים לשאת את המטה אסורי' בנעילת הסנדל שמא יפסיק סנדלו של אחד מהם ונמצא מתעכב מהמצוה: הגה יש מקומות שנהגו שהאבלים יוצאים ראשון מן הבית והקרובים והמטה אחריהם והרחוקים נותנין המת על המטה ולוקחים האבלים והקרובים המטה על כתפיהם ואחר כך שאר העם (כל בו) יש אומרים כשמגיעים עם המת לקברות מעמידים אותו כל ד' אמות קודם שנקבר (שם וב"ז) וכן נהגו האידנא להעמידו ב' ג' פעמים קודם שאומרים עליו צדוק הדין ובימים שאין אומרים צדוק הדין אין צריכים להעמיד אותו (מ"כ בשם מהרי"ל):
In a locality where there are appointed pall-bearers7Lit. ‘shoulderers.’ Yad, Ebel XIV, 1 considers carrying the corpse on one’s shoulder as a Rabbinical precept. Where, however, this is impossible the corpse may be borne by a hearse. D.Hasade. The driver should be Jewish. Cf. Gen. R. § 100; Gen. L, 1 to carry the bier, they [the pall-bearers] are forbidden to put on sandals8But must walk barefooted. lest [a thong]9Not found in text. However, cf. Yad, Ebel IV, 3 who adds: ‘a thong of etc.’ of one's sandal break10Cur. edd. should be corrected to תפסק. Cf. source of this ruling infra. On the Niph‘al of the verb פסק in this sense, cf. Kel. XXVI, 4. with the result that he is prevented11By being tripped up on account of the broken thong. This was applicable only in Talmudic times when they had special pall-bearers and no one else participated, but nowadays, since everyone takes part, they are not required to go barefooted — B.Yos. TaZ writes that the custom in some communities to have special pall-bearers should be abolished. Otherwise, the same law should apply today. Nek. Hak. disagrees with TaZ, and makes the following distinction: Our text speak’s of one’s sandal (סנדלו) in which case the breaking of a thong will preclude him from participating as a pall-bearer, and for this very reason one is not permitted to go out with sandals on the Sabbth, for since a sandal fits loosely on one’s foot, there is apprehension lest it fall off and the individual might carry it on the Sabbath, which is forbidden; but in the case of a shoe, which fits well, and there is no apprehension lest it fall off, it is permissible to be worn on the Sabbath (Cf. O.H. § 301, 4). Consequently, shoes (מנעלים) may be worn by the pall-bearers, even if the latter are the only ones appointed to discharge this duty. from [observing] the religious act.12Of carrying out the corpse for burial. Y.Naz. VII, 1(56a); Y.Ber. III, 1(6a). Cf. Gen. R. § 96. (Albeck ed.) where we find the following reading: ויערבבו את המצוה) ‘and they will disturb (the performance) of the precept (of carrying out the bier for burial).’ Hilkoth ha-Yerushalmi by S. Lieberman, p. 29, n. 8. and also T.A. II, p. 481, n. 462. Gloss: There are localities where it is customary that the [immediate] mourners leave the house first13Tosef. Pes. III in accord with the reading of N in T.H. Cf. Tosef(Ẓ). ibid. II(III), 16; B.Yos. infra § 359 end. and [then] the relatives and the bier after them, and the strangers14Kol Bo adds, ‘and those who wash (the corpse).’ Perisha. place the corpse on the bier,15Kol Bo adds, ‘and they bring him out (i.e., the corpse on the bier) until he is out of his home.’ and the [immediate] mourners and the relatives take the bier on their shoulders and afterwards [this is done by] the rest of the people.16Kol Bo — G. Some say that when they arrive with the corpse at the graveyard, they make halts with him [the corpse] every four cubits before he is buried.17Ibid. and Benjamin Ze’eb — G. Thus is the common practice today,—to make halts with him two or three times before they recite Ẓidduk Haddin for him; and on days when Ẓidduk Haddin is not recited it is unnecessary to make halts with him.18I found this stated on the authority of MaHaRIL — G.