About This Text
Composed: Talmudic Israel/Babylon, 750 CE
Semachot “(Joyous Occasions,” a euphemistic name) is one of the minor tractates, or works written in the style of the Mishnah on topics for which there is no specific tractate in the Mishnah or Talmud. It discusses laws relating to death, from the moment of death through burial, cemetery conduct, and mourning. The work was compiled sometime between the third and eighth centuries, and was originally known by the title “Evel Rabbati.” It is quoted often in the relevant sections of later legal codes like the Tur and Shulchan Arukh.