Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Women and death

Tosfos Sanhedrin (20a): Women go before the coffin at a funeral. Since this is a time of suffering there is no concern for producing sexual thoughts. In the Yerushalmi there is a dispute. One view is that this practice is because women are the cause of death while others say that women should follow the coffin because it is degrading for the women to be stared at by the men. 

Bereishis Rabbah (017:08) Why do the women walk in front of the corpse at a funeral?’ Because they brought death into the world, they therefore walk in front of the corpse, as it is written], For he is borne to the grave... and all men draw after him, as there were innumerable before him’ (Job 21:32 f).

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