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 Hilchos Kriyas Shema 72 (page 211)
 מתחילת סימן עב עד תחילת סימן עג

Holding a Funeral Before Reciting the Morning Kriyas Shema
The Prohibition of Leaving a Deceased Unburied Overnight
How Far Must One Accompany a Funeral?

Holding a funeral before reciting the morning Shema
It is forbidden to hold a funeral close to the time for reciting Shema, whether by day or by night, unless the burial can be completed prior to the onset of zman kriyas Shema. Likewise, a funeral should not be held in the morning before the chevra kadisha and most members of the community daven Shacharis.  If the funeral was started at the incorrect time, it should be completed even if zman kriyas Shema will pass. The attendees who are not involved in carrying the coffin should pause and recite kriyas Shema on time.
( סעיף ב, ס"ק ד, ו ו־ח, וביה"ל ד"ה אין)

The prohibition of leaving a deceased unburied overnight
The Torah requires a dead body to be buried on the day of its passing, as it says "he shall be buried on that day." Not burying on the same day is a violation of the lav "do not leave the corpse overnight." According to some poskim, the issur is violated even if the burial takes place on the night immediately following the day of death. There is an opinion that holds that the issur is violated every moment the body is not buried. According to some contemporary poskim, it is proper to be stringent like the later opinion unless the funeral is being held up for the honor of the deceased.
( ס"ק ו; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 5)
How far must one accompany a funeral?
Accompanying the body of a deceased person to its final resting place is considered a great kindness. According to some poskim, the mitzva is fulfilled after walking four amos, but it is preferable to walk for a full mil (a distance close to a mile). According to other poskim, the mitzva is to accompany the body until the interment. There is an ancient custom not to leave a funeral until the entire funeral party has passed by on the way to the interment, and preferably to wait until they are out of sight.
( ס"ק ג; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 2)


  • It is forbidden to study Torah, daven or recite berachos within four amos of a dead person or grave. It is likewise forbidden to wear exposed tzitzis or tefillin in the vicinity of a dead body.
  • It is permissible to daven on behalf of the deceased and to cite Torah passages in his honor (e.g. during a eulogy) in his presence. It is likewise permitted to recite Tehillim or other prayers in the vicinity of the graves of tzadikim.
  • The rules of aninus do not apply on Shabbos unless the relative is somehow involved in the funeral preparations on Shabbos.

  • Until what age may a mother sleep with her son?

  • Maintaining a pure mind when reciting kriyas Shema

  • When is it forbidden to think Torah thoughts?



PLEASE NOTE:  The information in this email is for learning purposes only. Please review the Mishna Berura and Biurim U'Musafim before making a halachic decision. Hebrew words are occasionally transliterated to enable a smoother reading of the text. Common Ashkenazi pronunciation is generally used in these cases.