A built grave is forbidden for profitable use, but natural1Lit. ‘world.’ earth of a grave is not forbidden.2San. 47b regarding the earth of Rab’s grave. This is derived (ibid.) from, ‘And he cast the dust thereof (i.e., of the Ashera) upon the graves of the common people’ (II Kings XXIII, 6) whence we learn that the graves of the common people are compared to idols. And just as idols are not prohibited when they are attached, as it is written, ‘Ye shall utterly destroy all the places wherein the nations that ye are to dispossess served their gods, upon the high mountains’ (Deut. XII, 2), i.e., their gods which are upon the high mountains (are forbidden for use), but not the mountains which themselves are their gods, — so too, whatever belongs to the dead, i.e., attached, is not prohibited. However, a built grave is not considered attached to the soil, and as in the case of detached idols, is prohibited (v. supra § 145, 3). Meg. 29a and infra § 363, 1, according to which even natural soil of burial grounds is forbidden for profitable use and consequently contradicts the present ruling. B.Hillel therefore, explains that in our case (Gemara San. ibid.) where it is reported that Samuel permitted people to take earth from Rab’s grave and apply it as a remedy on the first day of an attack of fever, we deal with natural soil taken from a grave and applied as a remedy only, which is permissible; whereas in the other passage (Gemara Meg. ibid.) the natural soil was not used for a remedial purpose, and consequently, is forbidden for profitable use, not because legally this is so, but rather because this is considered disrespectful treatment of the dead. Cf. also Mord. Meg. ibid. Gloss: Some say3Hag. Asheri M.K. that the earth which they removed4Lit. ‘they took.’ from the grave and then placed it back upon him [the dead person], which is [then] regarded as an object [originally] loose that one subsequently attached is forbidden for profitable use.5Tur on the authority of R. Isaiah — G. What is natural soil? — One who hews a grotto in a rock that was never detached (Tur). The sides of the grave and the bottom are certainly not forbidden. The example of the grotto is cited in order to emphasize that even the earth above it is not prohibited but is regarded as natural soil — ShaK. A.H. elucidates the ruling here as follows: An object originally loose and subsequently attached (תלוש ולבסוף חברו) is forbidden only if it was removed from one place and attached in another place, as in the case of idols. For this reason a built grave is forbidden for use. Not so, however, in the case of earth which was dug out for burial purposes and then put back into the same grave. In the latter case it should be considered ‘natural soil’ contra R. Isaiah and in agreement with those authorities who permit (v. infra Isserles). Furthermore, some prohibit to sit on the stone that is placed upon the grave as a monument;6Tur on the authority of R. Isaiah. Thus also Hag. Asheri in the name of Or Zaru‘a M.K. III — G. This is considered ‘an object originally loose and subsequently attached,’ and refers as stated here, only to the stone placed on the grave proper. But the tombstone that is placed at the side of the grave is permissible for use. A.H. It is forbidden to sell a broken tombstone or to lean on a tombstone or to tread upon graves — ShaK. Two reasons are advanced for this prohibition, a) it is forbidden for profitable use, b) it is disrespectful to the dead — P.Tesh. Cf. also G.Mah. and some differ with [this ruling] and permit.7Twr on the authority of Asheri — G. supra n. 5. Cf. B.B. 101a, RaShBaM s.v. קמיתדשי according to which temporary treading upon graves in order to reach another place on the cemetery, is permitted. Old tombstones may be used for other dead, but are forbidden for profitable use. supra n. 6. The implements wherewith they dig [graves] and bury [the dead] are permitted for profitable use, and one is permitted to make use of them only with the knowledge of the communal manager as in all other [cases of public] charity.8RaShBA Resp. 97 — G. supra § 349. This [ruling viz.,] that a built grave is prohibited [for profitable use] forever, [applies only when one built it for the sake of a dead person and [also] placed him9The dead person. therein,10In accord with San. 48a that both designation and the material act are required. even [if done] with the intention to remove him9The dead person. [later];11In accord with the interpretation of N to San. ibid. s.v. אע’ג דפנייה i.e., the prohibition remains in force even if the corpse was later removed therefrom. supra § 363, and even if one placed therein a prematureborn child; but if one built it for his9The dead person. sake and did not place him9The dead person. therein, it is permitted [for profitable use]. Likewise, if he placed him9The dead person. therein with the intention to remove him [later], but did not designate it [for the dead] from the beginning, it is permitted [for profitable use] after he removed him9The dead person. [therefrom].12San. ibid. However13Lit. ‘but.’ if he placed him therein with the intention that he remain14Lit. ‘be.’ there forever, it is prohibited [for profitable use] even after he removed him [therefrom; and] even [if] he did not build it for his9The dead person. sake.15San. ibid. The very fact that his intention is to place the corpse therein forever constitutes ‘designation’ which coincides with ‘the material act’ of placing the corpse therein — A.H. And if he did not build it for his9The dead person. sake, and he9The dead person. was placed therein and he added a single row of stones, i.e., a layer, viz., a row of [stones] in the wall structure for his9The dead person. sake, the entire [structure] is prohibited [for profitable use]16Since it is unknown which row was added. even after he removed him, and even if he buried him therein with the intention to remove him [later].15San. ibid. The very fact that his intention is to place the corpse therein forever constitutes ‘designation’ which coincides with ‘the material act’ of placing the corpse therein — A.H. If he recognizes the row of stones that he added for his9The dead person. sake, he removes it and it alone is prohibited, but the rest of the grave is permissible [for profitable use].15San. ibid. The very fact that his intention is to place the corpse therein forever constitutes ‘designation’ which coincides with ‘the material act’ of placing the corpse therein — A.H.