Monday, November 24, 2014

Burying objects with the deceased - what is the source of the practice?

Someone just asked me about the appropriateness of burying objects with the deceased. Below is a description of the Lubavitcher Rebbe's wife being buried with a ring. Similarly Rabbi Shlomo Freifeld was buried with some of the wood of his dining room table as a zechus for the tremendous kiruv work he accomplished at his Shabbos table. Does anyone have a source for the practice?

 From Telushkin, Joseph (2014-06-10). Rebbe: The Life and Teachings of Menachem M. Schneerson, the Most Influential Rabbi in Modern History (Kindle Locations 6683-6687). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

Per Chabad custom, no eulogies were delivered. A twenty-member motorcycle police guard escorted the procession from Crown Heights. Also accompanying the Rebbetzin was a ring given to her by her sister Sheina, who was murdered in Treblinka; the Rebbe instructed that the ring be interred with her. The last line on the Rebbetzin’s matzevah (monument), after various honorifics about Chaya Mushka and her parents, mentions her sister, “the righteous Rebbetzin Sheina.


  1. Are you sure there is a source? Perhaps they thought in the above cases that it would be meritorious even though there is no source for such a practice.

  2. I think you meant rhat r friefeld's aron / coffin was probably made using his dining room table. Rebbes and others (the chatam sofer, for one, comes to mind) are buried with a coffin / aron made from their learning table (shtender).

    Often, chevras and others bury shemot (used Jewish books, etc) in the ground with a body. There seems to be a rule that its done a certain way, so i guess that has halachic backing. And its done outside the aron, but all this should be checked by several chevras. (And how do they do it in Israel, where there is no aron?)

  3. @Mimedinat haYam - no I meant what I said. A piece was buried with him

  4. Prof Sperber does bring down cases where a table or shtender was used for a coffin or burying seforim. See Minhagei Yisroel 4:50-51(does touch on your issue) plus 7:391-3.

    When Rabbi Shmuel Brazil's first wife was niftar he buried a copy of his recently published sefer with her.

  5. I believe I heard Rav Moshe Mordechain Shulsinger say in one of his hespedim for Rav Shach that some of Rav Yechezkel Abramsky's ksavim were buried with him, and that Rav Shach requested that the "chevel hayadua" be buried with him. Whether or not that happened, I don't know...

  6. what is "chevel hayadua" ?

  7. Pinny Lipschutz mentions it here.

    It is widely believed that it was sent to him by the "kat hayadua."


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