One suspends the study of the Torah for the sake of taking out the dead [for burial].1Ket. 17a and Tosaf. ibid. s.v. מבטלין. Here the reference is to dead in general (v. supra § 343, n. 3), and not only to a Meth Miẓwah (v. Glos.). also Meg. 3b, 29a and Ket. ibid. Tosaf. s.v. להוצאת. The suspension of Torah studies is obligatory — ShaK. For one who taught others there is no limit, [i.e.,] even if there are many thousands [present] with him [the dead], one must suspend himself [from studies] for his sake. For one who read [Bible] and studied [Mishna], i.e., one who read [Bible] and studied [Mishna] but has not yet taught students, — if there are sixty myriads [attending the funeral], one need not suspend himself [from studies] for his sake.2Ket. 17a-b and parallel passages. ShaK states that according to this ruling a knowledge of both Bible and Mishna is required. Not so RITBA (cited by B.Yos.) where it is implied that a knowledge of either one is sufficient. The number sixty myriads is explained by the Gemara (ibid.) as follows: ‘The taking away of the Torah (on account of a scholar’s death) must correspond to its giving. As its giving was in the presence of sixty myriads (600,000), so also its taking away must be in the presence of sixty myriads.’ For one who has not read [Bible] nor studied [Mishna], — as long as there is someone looking after [his burial needs], one need not suspend himself [from studies] for his sake,3She’iltoth, Ḥayye Sarah § 14; ibid. Vay-yeḥi § 34 quoted in Rashi and Tosaf. Ket. ibid. Thus also Tur on the authority of BeHaG. The suspension of Torah studies in order to escort the dead and bring the bride into the bridal canopy, applies only if one actually witnesses these taking place. Sem(H). XI, 7; Y.Ḥag. I, 7(76c); Ha‘amek She’elah to She’iltoth ibid. On the greater importance of practice over study, cf. the following sources: Sifre, ‘Ekeb s. 41; Meg. 29a; Ket. 17a and Tosaf. s.v. ;להוצאת המת Kid. 40b and Tosaf. s.v. תלמוד; B.K. 17a and Tosaf. והאמר Y.Pes. III, 7(30b); Y.Ḥag. ibid. provided that [at least] ten people are [present] there.4Tur on the authority of R. Notrai Gaon. Thus also N and ShaK, since the line of comforters, the Kaddish prayer, recital of Ẓidduk Haddin etc. require ten males to be present. Some say that today, [even] without knowing [one's scholastic ability] we suspend [studies], for there is no man from among Israel nowadays, who is not [versed] in Bible or Mishna.5B.Yos. on the authority of RITBA, Ket. II, cited in the name of SeMaG — G. This ruling of Isserles applied to the period during which he flourished. [With respect to] a woman, some say that her status6Lit. ‘her law.’ is like one who read [Bible] and studied [Mishna];7Tur on the authority of Asheri. The reason being that although she is not enjoined to study Torah, yet she takes care of the education of her children etc. and attends to all her duties. and some say that her status6Lit. ‘her law.’ is like one who has not read [Bible] nor studied [Mishna]. And thus is the accepted practice regarding a woman and a child, — to adopt the lenient view.8N in T.H. She is treated as one who has not read Bible nor studied Mishna. Hence, if there is someone looking after her needs, one is not required to suspend his studies on her account. One does not suspend the study of the Torah for the sake of attending to [the burial needs of] the dead, when there is someone [else] who will attend to his need[s] sufficiently; but one occupies himself with [the study of] the Torah and is not required to go out and see whether all his [burial] need[s] are [attended to] or not; but as long as there is some one who will perform the [necessary] work [with respect to the corpse], his study of the Torah has priority.9Y.Pes. and Hag. ibid. Cf. also Tur a.l. and Ket. and Tosaf. ibid. This refers only to the time when the corpse is awaiting to be escorted for burial, in which case, even if the dead was a teacher, one does not interrupt his studies on his account. We suspend studies only at the time of the funeral procession (v. infra par. 2) — ShaK contra BaḤ. School children are not suspended [from their studies] at all.10Y.Pes. III, 7(30b). Cur. edd. of Y. do not have אין מבטלין תינוקות של בית רבן להוצא׳ המת as recorded by W.G. however, Torathan Shel Rishonim in Y. ibid. where such a version of Y. is cited by Sem. of R. Meir of Rothenberg, s. 46 Cf. also Asheri and Mord. to M.K. Shab. 119b: ‘Children are not made to suspend (their studies) even for the building of the Temple.’ This refers even to the time of the funeral procession — ShaK.
When does this apply, [viz.,] that we suspend the study of the Torah to escort him [for burial]? — [Only] during the time he is brought out [for burial]; but as long as he still] lies awaiting burial, we do not suspend for his sake the study of the Torah, only that if there are [burial] associations in the city, of which each one [association] attends to [the burial needs] on its [particular] day, [then] the one [association] for whom [this] is not its [particular] day, is permitted both study and other types of work. During the time [the corpse] is brought out [for burial] we suspend [ourselves] from all types of work and come to escort him, even if he did not read [Bible] nor study [Mishna], for [the law is that] we make a distinction in the case of one who did not read [Bible] nor study [Mishna] only regarding suspension of the study of the Torah, but in the case of other occupations, even if one did not read [Bible] nor study [Mishna] all are suspended [from work], and come to escort him. If, however, there are no [burial] associations in the city, all workmen are required to be suspended [from work] and to attend to him until he is buried, but they are required to be suspended from the study of the Torah only at the time of the funeral escort as we have stated.11Ket. 17a, Tosaf. s.v. להוצאת; M.K. 27b, Tosaf. s.v. אסורין supra § 343, 1.
One who sees a corpse and does not escort him transgresses thereby, 'Whoso mocketh the poor12e., the dead. [blasphemeth his Maker],13Prov. XVII, 5. This ruling is found in Ber. 18a. Cf. Derek Ereẓ Zuta § and should be placed under a ban;14M.K. ibid. supra § 343 and notes. and one should escort him at least four cubits.15R. Jonah and Asheri to Ber. ibid. This applies only if there are sufficient people present at the funeral escort. Otherwise, one must escort the corpse to the grave.
Even where one is not required to escort the dead he is dutibound to rise before him.16Derived from Y.Bik. III, 3(65c): ‘Those who stand before a corpse, do not (really) stand before the corpse, but (rather) before those who attend to his burial needs.’ It follows therefrom that one should rise before anyone who performs a religious duty (v. Kid. 33a) — TaZ. Thus also Bert. Mishna Bik. III, 3.
A coffin which passes [on its way] from place to place, — if the remains have retained the shape of the body they must escort him as at the time the corpse was brought out [for burial).17M.K. 25a. supra § 345, 8.