Siman 374שע״ד
1 א

טומאת כהן למת מצוה לנשיא ולרבו ועל איזה מת מתאבלין. ובו י"א סעיפים:
מצוה להטמאות למת מצוה אפילו הוא כהן גדול ונזיר והולך לשחוט את פסחו ולמול את בנו ומצא מת מצוה הרי זה מיטמא לו:

It is a religious obligation to defile oneself for a corpse [whose burial is] a religious duty,2Heb. מת מצוה Glos. s.v. Meth Miẓwah and cf. infra. even if one is a High priest or3Lit. ‘and.’ a Nazirite and he was going to slaughter his Paschal lamb or3Lit. ‘and.’ to circumcise his son and [on the way] he found a corpse [whose burial is] a religious duty, — [the law is that] he defiles himself for him.4Ber. 19b; Naz. 48b and Tosaf. ibid. 47a s.v. וכן משוח according to which the Kohen may move the corpse from the sun to the shade in order that it should not spread stench — R. A. Eger. Cf. supra § 364, 3.

2 ב

אינו נקרא מת מצוה לענין זה אלא אם כן מצא ראשו ורובו ואם מצא ראשו ורובו חוץ מאבר אחד חוזר ליטמא בשביל אותו אבר:

He is designated a corpse [whose burial is] a religious duty with respect to this matter [of defilement], only if he found his head and the larger portion [of his body].5 supra § 364, 3 end and cf. supra § 353, 7; infra § 375, 7. If, however, he found his head and the larger portion [of his body] save one limb, he may [later] return to defile himself for that limb [when he finds it].6Y.Naz. VII, 1(55d). In this respect the limb is treated with more stringency than in the case of a near-of-kin for whom the Kohen defiles himself only if the corpse is whole but not for limbs or when the body is defective. supra § 373, 9.

3 ג

איזהו מת מצוה שמצאו בדרך או בעיר של עובדי כוכבים ואין לו קוברים וממקום שמצאו אינו יכול לקרות ישראל שיענהו ויבא ליטפל בו ולקוברו אסו' לו לזוז משם ולהניח את המת אפי' לילך לעיר להביא קוברי' אלא יטמא עצמו ויקברנו אבל אם היו ישראל קרובים למקום המת שהמוצא את המת קורא אותם והם עונים לו ובאים לקברו אין זה מת מצוה שיטמא עליו הכהן אלא קורא אותם והם קוברים באו בני העיר אם יש לו כל צרכו מושך את ידיו. (ל' רמב"ן בתה"א ורא"ש בהלכות טומאה) : הגה יש אומרים אם אינו מוצא שיקברוהו רק בשכר אינו חייב לשכור משלו אלא מטמא אם ירצה (נ"י פרק האשה רבה בשם ריטב"א) מת הנמצא ולא ידעינן אם עובד כוכבים אם ישראל הוא אזלינן בתר רובא הנמצאים שם אם יש שלא נוכל לומר כל קבוע כמחצה על מחצה (בית יוסף בשם תשוב' הרשב"א):

Who is regarded as a corpse [whose burial] is a religious duty? — One whom he7The Kohen. found on the road or in a town of heathens, and there is no one [available] to bury him, and from the spot where he7The Kohen. found him he could not call upon an Israelite to answer him7The Kohen. and come to attend to him8The corpse. and bury him, — [the law is that] he7The Kohen. is forbidden to depart therefrom and leave the corpse, even to go to the town [in order] to fetch [people] to attend to the burial rites, but he7The Kohen. should defile himself [for him] and bury him. But if there were Israelites [available] in proximity of the spot of the corpse, [so] that if the one who finds him8The corpse. would call upon them, they would answer him,7The Kohen. and come to bury him, — such a one is not regarded as a corpse [whose burial] is a religious duty for whom the Kohen1 Glos. should defile himself, but he7The Kohen. calls upon them and they bury [him].9Ber. 19b-20a; Yeb. 89b; ‘Er. 17b; Meg. 3b; Zeb. 100a; Naz. 43b; Y.Naz. VII, 1(56a); Y.Ber. III 1(6a); Sem(H). IV, 16. also Ket. 103b, Tosaf. s.v. אותו and Mid. Mishle § A corpse whose burial is a religious duty is applicable only in a case where there are not sufficient people present to carry the bier and to attend to the burial rites — TaZ. If there are heathens available to bury the corpse, he must not defile himself, provided he does not have to pay them for their services (v. infra Gloss) — A.H. [If] the townspeople came, [then the law is that] if his8The corpse. needs are adequately attended to,10Y. and Sem. ibid. Cf. supra § 361, 1. he7The Kohen. withdraws himself.11Cited from N in T.H. and Asheri on Laws of UncleannessG. Gloss: Some say that if he is able to secure people to bury him only [if he hires them] for money, he is not bound to hire [them] with his own [money], but he may defile himself [for the corpse], if he so desires.12N.Yos. to Yeb. X on the authority of RITBAG. [In the case of] a corpse that is found and we do not know whether he is a Gentile or an Israelite,13This refers to a case where the signs of circumcision are no longer recognizable — A.H. we decide14Lit. ‘follow.’ according to the majority of those present there,15 Y.San. V, 1(32c), ‘One who is found slain between Tiberias and Sepphoris is presumed to be a Jew.’ We decide according to the majority of the passers-by who are likely to frequent that spot or the majority of the surrounding cities. If the majority consists of heathens, the Kohen is not dutibound to bury him; if the majority consists of Israelites, the corpse is regarded as one whose burial is a religious duty. We do not decide on grounds of the nearer city, even if the nearness of that city shows evidence for such a decision, but we follow the majority, — for whatever comes out of a mixed multitude is presumed to have come from the majority, i.e., it has the legal status of the majority (כל דפריש מרובא פריש). Ket. 15a a.e. — ShaK. unless16Thus according to reading of ShaK and A.H. we can apply17Lit. ‘say.’ [the principle] that everything which is stationary is regarded as half to half.18B.Yos on the authority of RaShBA Resp.G. Concerning the principle ‘whatever is stationary is regarded as half to half’ (כל קבוע כמחצה על מחצה) cf. Ket. ibid. and parallel passages. The point is this. We decide according to the majority only when the minority is not stationary or fixed (קבוע). Otherwise, it is equal to the majority. Were the case in question as follows: It is known that nine heathens and one Jew were present in the locality where the slain person was found, then we would consider it ‘fixed’ and would not follow the majority of heathens, but we would apply the principle ‘whatever is fixed or stationary is regarded as half to half,’ and because of the uncertainty we would adopt a stringent view. Hence, the Kohen would not defile himself for the slain person. supra § 373, 8 — ShaK.

4 ד

כל הקרובים שהכהן מיטמא להם שהם אביו ואמו ובנו ובתו ואחיו ואחותו מאביו הבתולה ואשתו מתאבלים עליהם ועוד הוסיפו עליהם אחיו מאמו ואחותו מאמו בין בתולה בין נשואה ואחותו נשואה מאביו שמתאבלים עליהם אף על פי שאין כהן מיטמא להם וכשם שהוא מתאבל על אשתו כך היא מתאבלת עליו ודוקא אשתו כשרה ונשואה אבל פסולה או ארוסה לא אבל בנו ובתו ואחיו ואחותו אפילו הם פסולים מתאבל עליהם חוץ מבנו ובתו ואחיו ואחותו משפחה וכותית שאינו מתאבל עליהם:

For all the near-of-kin for whom the Kohen1 Glos. defiles himself, viz., his father, mother, son, daughter, [paternal] brother, paternal virgin sister and wife, — one is dutibound to observe mourning rites.19M.K. 20b. To these they added one's maternal brother and one's maternal sister whether a virgin or married, and one's paternal married sister, — for whom one is dutibound to observe mourning rites, although a Kohen1 Glos. does not defile himself for them.20Ibid. And even as he observes mourning rites for his wife, so too, does she observe mourning rites for him.21The reason being that since a mourner observes mourning rites for all near-of-kin for whom a Kohen defiles himself, it follows that just as a woman defiles herself for her husband, she also observes mourning rites for him — B.Yos. Cf. Mishna Yeb. IV, 10 (41a) and infra par. 6. [This applies] only to one's lawful married wife, but for one's unlawful or betrothed [wife] one does not [observe mourning rites].22 supra § 373, 4 for whom a Kohen defiles himself, and v. Yeb. 29b regarding a betrothed wife with respect to mourning rites. For one's son, daughter, brother or sister, even if they are illegitimate, he observes mourning, save [in the case of] his son, daughter, brother or sister who are [the issue] of a slave or a heathen, for whom one does not observe mourning rites.23Mishna Yeb. II, 5 (22a). If one quarreled with his wife and decided to divorce her, and then immediately following the dispute, she died, the husband is not dutibound to mourn for her — R. A. Eger on the authority of MaHaRShaL. Nowadays, however, since one cannot divorce his wife against her will, but must obtain her consent, this does not apply — P.Tesh. (to E.H. § 90 n. 8) a.o. Hence, if the husband is a Kohen, he defiles himself and observes mourning rites for her. If she was divorced on a condition and subsequently the husband died, she is not dutibound to observe mourning rites for him. However, if she desires to adopt a stringency, she is permitted to weep over him and to follow his bier — E.H. § 145, 9, Gloss.

5 ה

הגר שנתגייר הוא ובניו או עבד שנשתחרר הוא ואמו אין מתאבלין זה על זה (והוא הדין גר שנתגייר עם אמו אין מתאבל עליהם) (סברת הרב מהמרדכי הל' שמחות ממעשה שבא לפני ר"י למאי דקי"ל אבילות יום ראשון דרבנן):

A stranger who became a proselyte along with24Lit. ‘and.’ his sons, or a slave who was emancipated25This refers to a Canaanite slave who was sold to a Jew and enjoyed a semi-Jewish status. He had to observe all religious duties that were binding on women. He was permitted to marry only a woman slave but not a Jewess. If he was set free by his owner, who then gave him a writ of emancipation to that effect, he then became entirely Jewish. along with24Lit. ‘and.’ his mother, do not observe mourning rites for one another.26Derived from Mishna Yeb. XI, 2 (97b). also Gemara ibid., ‘He who has become a proselyte is like a child newly born.’ Hence, all his previous family relationships cease to exist and mourning does not apply. Likewise, [if] a stranger became a proselyte along24Lit. ‘and.’ with his mother, he does not observe mourning rites for them.27e., for his sons or his mother. Deduced by Caro from Mord. Laws of Sem. from an actual case presented before RI in accord with the established principle that mourning observed on the first day is only Rabbinical — G. infra § 399 end and cf. supra § 269, 3.

6 ו

כל מי שמתאבל עליו מתאבל עמו אם מת לו מת ודוקא בעודו בפניו אבל שלא בפניו אין צריך לנהוג אבלות חוץ מאשתו שאע"פ שמתאבל עליה אינו מתאבל עמה אלא על אביה או על אמה משום כבוד חמיו וחמותו אבל על אחיה ואחותה או בנה ובתה מאיש אחר אינו מתאבל עמה ומ"מ אינו יכול לכופה להתקשט אבל יכולה למזוג לו הכוס ולהציע לו המטה ולרחוץ פניו ידיו ורגליו וכן היא אינה מתאבלת עמו אלא כשמתו חמיה או חמותה אבל שאר קרוביו שמתו אינה מתאבלת עמו: הגה וי"א דהאידנא נוהגין להקל באבילות זה של המתאבלים עמו דאין זה אלא משום כבוד המתאבלים ועכשיו נהגו כולם למחול וכן נוהגין האידנא שלא להתאבל כלל עם המתאבלים (טור בשם הרא"ש והוא בפ' א"מ ורמב"ן בת"ה והגמי"י פ"א) וכל המחמיר בזה אינו אלא מן המתמיהים (הגהות מיימוני פ"ב) ומ"מ נהגו שכל קרובי המת הפסולים לו לעדות מראים קצת אבילות בעצמן כל שבוע הראשונה דהיינו עד אחר שבת הראשון שאינם רוחצים ואין משנים קצת בגדיהם כמו בשאר שבת (גדולי אושטריי"ך נהגו כך) ויש מקומות שנהגו עוד להחמיר בענינים אחרים והעיקר כמו שכתבתי וכל זה בשמועה קרובה או שהיה אצל המיתה אבל בשמועה רחוקה אין לאבילות זה מקום כלל (תמצא הכל מבואר בת"ה סימן רנ"א) מי שרוצה להחמיר על עצמו להתאבל על מי שאינו צריך או ללבוש שחורים על קרובו אין מוחין בידו (הרא"ש כלל כ'):

Whomever he mourns for he [also] mourns with28One must share in the mourning rites of a relation at whose death he would have to observe mourning. if he suffers a breavement.29E.g., if his father’s father dies, he mourns with his father. Similarly, if his son’s son dies. [This applies] only whilst he is in his presence,30Since the reason for this type of mourning is out of respect to the mourning relative, it must therefore be observed only in the latter’s presence. but when not in his presence, he is not bound to observe mourning rites save [in the case of] his wife, although he mourns for her, — [the law is that] he mourns with her only for her father or her mother [in the case of their death] out of respect to his father-in-law and his mother-in-law; but for her brother and her sister or her son and her daughter [who are the issue] of another man, he does not mourn with her.31M.K. 20b. Nevertheless, he may not compel his [mourning] wife to adorn herself, but she may mix his wine for him and make his bed and wash his face, hands and feet.32Ibid. So too, she mourns with him only when her father-in-law or her mother-in-law died, but [for] all his other near-of-kin who died, she does not mourn with him.33 ibid. where only her father-in-law and mother-in-law are mentioned. Cf. Tosaf. ibid. s.v. אלא. Thus also Yad, Ebel II, 4-5. However, according to Y.M.K. III, 5(83a) and Sem(H). XI, 8, she mourns with him for his other relatives too. N in T.H. and Asheri adopt the latter view. W.G. Gloss: Some say that nowadays we adopt a lenient view regarding this [type] of mourning with respect to those who mourn with him, for this is only out of respect to those who observe mourning rites, but now it is the common practice to forego [this honour], and thus is the accepted practice nowadays, [viz.,] not to mourn at all with those who observe mourning rites.34Tur on the authority of Asheri to M.K. III; N in T.H. and Hag. Maim. Yad ibid.G. He who adopts a stringent view in this [matter] is one of those who make people wonder [at their strange conduct].35Hag. Maim. ibid.G. Although one who wishes to adopt a stringent view to observe mourning for one for whom he is not bound to mourn, may do so (v. Gloss a.l. end), this is applicable only to formal mourning, but if, as in the present case, it is done only in the mourner’s presence, it is regarded as a mockery — ShaK. Nevertheless, it is the accepted practice that all the near-of-kin of the dead person who are disqualified to offer testimony in his36The corpse’s. behalf,37 Ḥ.M. § 33 regarding those who are considered disqualified to offer testimony. exhibit some [signs] of mourning [by placing] themselves [under this stringency] the first entire week, i.e., until after the first Sabbath [in] that they do not wash [themselves] nor change some of their clothes38The reading seems to be faulty here. D.M. has, ‘For all those who are disqualified to offer testimony on behalf of the corpse must change their places (in the Synagogue) and not change their clothes — D.Merb. We follow, however, the accepted custom — ShaK. as on other Sabbaths.39The distinguished scholars of Austria adopted this practice — G. There are, however, localities where the accepted usage is to adopt additional stringencies in other matters [pertaining to this type of mourning], but40Lit. ‘and.’ the fundamental principle is as I have written [above].41To adopt the lenient view. All this [pertains] to near tidings42Received within the thirty days. or to one who was present at the [time of] death, but in [the case of] distant tidings43Received after thirty days. On ‘near’ and ‘distant’ tidings, v. infra § 402. this type of mourning is entirely out of place.44This is fully explained in T. ha-Deshen s. 251 — G. One who desires to place himself under a stringency, [viz.,] to observe mourning rites for one for whom he is not dutibound [to mourn],45e., even in the case of a good friend who dies. An example is the case of King David who ate the mourner’s meal in mourning for Abner (II Sam. III, 35) — D.M. or to put on dark clothes [in mourning]46For a period of twelve months — D.M. for his near-of-kin, is not reproved [for doing so].47Asheri Rule 20 — G. However, if one should neglect the study of the Torah on account of this stringency, he may be reproved — R. A. Eger.

7 ז

אין מתאבלין עם הקרובים שמתאבלים עליהם אלא כשמתאבלים על הקורבה דשאר כגון בנו ואחיו שמתאבל על בן ובת שלהם אבל על קורבה דקדושין שלהם כגון שמתה אשת בנו או אשת אחיו או בעל בתו או בעל אחותו אינו מתאבל עליהם:

One mourns with [his] near-of-kin who mourn for them48Their near-of-kin. only when they mourn for a [blood] and flesh relationship, e.g., [in the case of] one's son and brother who mourn for a son and daughter of theirs; but for a relationship [only] through [their] marriage, e.g., if the wife of one's son died or the wife of one's brother or the husband of one's daughter or the husband of one's sister, — one does not observe mourning rites.49For just as one’s near-of-kin do not observe mourning rites for such relations, so do we not mourn with them. supra par. 6 and Yad, Ebel II, 5.

8 ח

תינוק כל שלשים יום ויום שלשים בכלל אין מתאבלים עליו אפילו גמרו שערו וצפרניו ומשם ואילך מתאבל עליו אלא אם כן נודע שהוא בן ח' ואי קים ליה ביה שכלו לו חדשיו כגון שבעל ופירש ונולד חי לט' חדשים גמורי' אפי' מת ביום שנולד מתאבלים עליו (ספק בן ט' לראשון (או) בן ז' לאחרון שניהם מתאבלים עליו) (מרדכי הלכות אבלות והגהות מיימוני פ"א וב"י בשם התוספות):

For an infant throughout the entire thirty days [after birth]50Shab. 135b in accord with R. Simeon b. Gamaliel who derives this from the verse, ‘And those that are to be redeemed of them from a month old shalt thou redeem’ (Num. XVIII, 16). This shows that since he is redeemed only after the thirty days are completely over, it follows that only then is the infant regarded as a viable birth, but not before. including the thirtieth day51Bek. 29a in accord with R. Ashi. An infant who died on the thirty-first day after birth prior to the twenty-four hours from the hour of birth, is mourned for — P.Tesh. [who died], one does not observe mourning rites, even if its hair and nails were fully developed;52The case in question is where we are not certain whether the months of pregnancy were complete, although the infant’s hair and nails were fully developed contra Hag. Asheri and BaḤ who maintain that this ruling is applicable only in the case of an infant whose hair and nails were not fully developed — ShaK. and thenceforth one mourns for it unless it was known that it was [born after] eight months [of pregnancy].53In which case one does not mourn for it, for it is doubtful whether the infant will live. Cf. Yad, Ebel I, 7-8; ibid. Yibbum Wa-Ḥalizah I, 5 and Maggid Mish. a.l. also W.G. to O.Ḥ. § 331, 3. But if one knows for certain that its months [of pregnancy] were complete,54Shab. 136a; Nid. 42b. supra § 340, 30 regarding the rending of garments in such a case. e.g., [in the case] where [the husband] performed sexual intercourse and then separated himself [from her],55Hag. Maim., Ebel I, 7 on the authority of Rashi. and [the infant] was born alive after nine complete months [of pregnancy],56Even if some of the months of the nine months’ period consist of twenty-nine days, we mourn for the infant — P.Tesh. even if it died on the day it was born, one observes mourning rites for it. If it is not known whether it [was born after] nine months [of pregnancy] by the former [husband]57From whom she was divorced and did not wait the required three months before her remarriage. Three months were required in order to determine whether she was with child from her first husband. or seven months [of pregnancy] by the latter [husband],58Yeb. 36b, Tosaf. s.v. הא end. This ruling is applicable only if during the first three months after her marriage to the second husband she was in our presence, but we did not notice whether she was with child or not. Hence, we cannot apply the principle of following the majority of births which take place after nine months of pregnancy. Consequently, the majority is impaired and therefore both the first and the second husband are required to mourn for the child. But in a case where she was in our presence only after the three months’ period of her remarriage elapsed, we presume that she became pregnant by the first husband who alone is then required to mourn for the infant, since this birth belongs to the majority of births that take place after nine months of pregnancy. However, in the case of inheritance, we say that this child does not inherit the first husband after the latter’s death, for ‘in monetary matters we do not follow the status of the majority’ (אין הולכין בממון אחר הרוב) — P.Tesh. both [husbands] observe mourning rites59Although mourning is only Rabbinical, nevertheless in a doubtful case such as this, we adopt a stringent view, for it would be disrespectful not to mourn for the infant at all — TaZ. But if the question of disrespect does not enter, e.g., where one of the husbands died, in which case, it would be said that he was the real father, we adopt a lenient view and the other husband observes no mourning rites for the infant, for mourning is only Rabbinical — P.Tesh. In the event that both fathers died, the son must mourn for both — Ibid. for it.60Mord. Laws of Mourning; Hag. Maim. Yad, Ebel I and B.Yos on the authority of Tosaf.G.

9 ט

יש מי שאומר דתאומים שמת א' מהם תוך שלשים יום והשני חי ומת אחר ל' יום אין מתאבלין עליו:

There is an authority who says that twins of whom one died within thirty days [after birth] and the other [continued to] live after thirty days, one does not observe mourning rites for [the one who died].61Thus according to the corrected version of TaZ and ShaK who show that the source of this ruling (O.Z.) substantiates their emendation of Caro’s text. Cur. edd. are faulty and imply that the words, ‘one does not observe mourning for him’ refer to the second one, even if he dies after thirty days, on the principle that since the first was a non-viable birth, the second one should also be considered thus. This explanation is rejected by TaZ and ShaK according to whom, if the second one dies after thirty days we are dutibound to mourn for him alone and we do not say that since the second one is a viable birth then the first should also be considered viable. Hag. Asheri M.K. III end s.v. תאומים on the authority of O. Z. and Naz. 13a, Tosaf. s.v. והפילה.

10 י

על רבו שלמדו חכמה נוהג דיני אנינות אלא שמברך ומזמן ומתאבל עליו בחליצת סנדל וכל דיני אבלות יום אחד: (וכתב הב"י בשם רבי שמחה שצריך לשנות מקומו בב"ה מיהו במקצת היום סגי):

For his teacher who taught him wisdom, he observes the laws of Aninuth,62 Glos. Derived from Y.Ber. III, 1(6a) where mention is made of different customs adopted by certain scholars with respect to eating meat and drinking wine after the death of their teacher. Some accepted the observance of mourning rites, yet ate meat and drank wine. One scholar, it is recorded, ate only lentils. Cf. supra § 242, 27; 341, 1 Gloss. only that he may recite the benediction [before] and say grace [after meals],63 supra § 341, 1. and he mourns for him by removing his sandals [or shoes], and [he observes] all the laws of mourning for one day [only].64Cf. supra § 242, 25 where it is stated that part of the first day is sufficient. M.K. 20b. Caro writes on the authority of R. Simḥa that he is required to change his [customary] place in the Synagogue.65 M.K. 22b and cf. supra § 344, 18. However, [if one does this only] during part of the day [it] suffices.

11 יא

נשיא אף על פי שהכל מיטמאין לו אין מתאבלין עליו: הגה י"א דאין מתאבלין על בן הראשון או בן הבכור שמת לאדם (כל בו וריב"ש וב"י הביאו מי שנהג כך והם כתבו שהוא טעות) והמנהג הוא מנהג טעות אלא חייבים להתאבל עליהם ומ"מ נשתרבב המנהג בעירנו שאין אב ואם הולכין אחר בניהם הראשון לבית הקברות יש אומרים בשעת הדבר אין מתאבלין משום ביעתותא (תשובת מהרי"ל סימן נ') ושמעתי קצת נהגו כן:

[With respect to] a Nasi,66 Glos. despite the fact that all people may defile themselves for him, — [the law is that] one does not mourn for him.67Y.Naz. VII, 1(56a); Y.Ber. III, 1(6a); N in T.H.; RaBaD. As far as defilement is concerned, he is regarded as a corpse whose burial is a religious duty, but mourning is not mentioned regarding him. however, supra § 340, 7 and cf. W.G. ibid. n. 39. Gloss: Some say that one does not mourn for his first son68Who is not a firstborn. or [even] his firstborn son, who died.69Kol Bo, RIBaSh and B.Yos. cite the authority for this custom, but they write that the ruling is erroneous — G. However, this custom is erroneous, but one is dutibound to mourn for them. Nevertheless, the custom has spread in our city that a father and mother do not follow [the funeral procession of] their first son [on its way] to the cemetery. Some say that during the time a plague [rages] one does not observe mourning rites out of fear,70MaHaRIL Resp. s. 3 — G. On account of the spreading epidemic. and I have heard that some have adopted this practice.