Funerals & cemeteries
28 September, 2008
Is there any halacha or custom not to go to a funeral or cemetery while one is pregnant?
It is customary for a pregnant woman not to go to a cemetery. (We are not sure of the source for this.) If the cemetery is close by and can be visited at will, it would be best to go when not pregnant. However, women may enter a cemetery while pregnant if they take care not to come within a few feet of the grave. In some cases, there is leniency for a woman to come right up to the grave, when it is important for her to do so.
There is no halachic prohibition to attend a funeral while pregnant. There is simply a custom of some not to do so so that the pregnant woman not to go to the cemetery or be in a room (ohel) with a corpse.
There is discussion about whether the pregnant wife of a kohen should be prohibited from entering a cemetery or being in a room with a corpse, since she may be pregnant with a male kohen to whom those restrictions would apply. Most halachic authorities rule leniently, and allow her to do so where that is consistent with the local custom.
This internet service does not preclude, override or replace the psak of any rabbinical authority. It is the responsibility of the questioner to inform us of any previous consultation or ruling. As even slight variation in circumstances may have Halachic consequences, views expressed concerning one case may not be applied to other, seemingly similar cases. All health and health-related information contained within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for consulting with your health care professional. The advice is intended to offer a basis for individuals to discuss their medical condition with their health care provider but not individual advice. Although every effort is made to ensure that the material within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is accurate and timely, it is provided for the convenience of the Web site user but should not be considered official. Advice for actual medical practice should be obtained from a licensed health care professional.
For further questions or comments:
The Nishmat Women's Health and Halacha Site is a public service of Nishmat, The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women. This project and others like it are made possible by contributions from people like you. If you have benefited from the service, and wish to enable us to help others, click here to donate.
Users of Internet filtering services: This site discusses sensitive subjects that some services filter without visual indication. A page that appears 100% complete might actually be missing critical Jewish-law or medical information. To ensure that you view the pages accurately, ask the filtering service to whitelist all pages under yoatzot.org.