Audio Roundup Special: Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh

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by Joel Rich

Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Hilchot Aveilut 1 (335-339)

Gruss Kollel aveilut shiurim. Bikur cholim visits: who and who not, when and what to do. Also covered: changing names and doctor rules (who, charging, Talmudic cures), goses, risky procedures, eol issues, and pouring out water.

Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Hilchot Aveilut (340:1-7)

Topics include: Kriah rules (Shaat chimum – original and today); Why we don’t have aveilut for second degree relatives any more (Presumed mechila), tearing kria when in presence of death (no longer done), aveilut practices on converted out/intermarried or talmid chachim and defining adam kasher.

Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Hilchot Aveilut 3 (340:8-22)

Kriah (tearing) rules: Rabo, Rabo muvhak, where, how far down, layers, which clothes, changing clothes (pre and post tear), parents vs others, time delay (hearing and/or tearing) and resewing

Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Hilchot Aveilut 4 (340:22-39)

Kria (tearing) rules, multiple cuts for multiple deaths, children (chinuch or agmas nefesh), cutting on shabbat/yom tov/chol hamoed (simcha or mlacha), borrowed clothing, mgadeif, Jerusalem, mikdash and burnt sefer torah

Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Hilchot Aveilut 5 (341:1)

Aninut (meito mutal) rules; eating/drinking (how/what), doing mitzvot (it’s complex), and shabbat/yom tov/other special days.

Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Hilchot Aveilut 6 (341:2-6)

Onein and aveilut status: when meit is in another city (are you going there?) when body is given over and delayed burial, making up mitzvot which one was patur from; chuppah issues and when do you have to tell of a loss.

Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Hilchot Aveilut 7 (344-345)

The hesped’s purpose is to cause crying and describe the individual (you can exaggerate a bit). We hold it’s for kavod hameit which has implications for paying/waiving (aveilut/kiddush too?) Don’t talk during divrei torah (chol?) near (how near) the meit (even just reading could be an issue).

How do we treat suicides and other versions of OTD?

Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Hilchot Aveilut 8 (348-357)

Topics include: deceased says don’t bury me (I won’t pay) {ignore}, burial as kapara or bizayon antidote, hazmana by tachrichin, autopsy (nivul v isssur hana), issur of body attachments and items on the bier, burial and tahara practices (chul vs. israel vs. Jerusalem) and a bal talin (waiting to bury) in various cases and places.

Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Hilchot Aveilut 9 (361-363)

Topics include: why don’t we follow the rule that work and talmud torah should be ceased by all to go to a funeral? (maybe we must see body), chevra kadisha proprietary rights and charges, when must we be mlaveh the meit, why stand, casket v direct burial/chul vs. EY, bury feet facing gate or israel, (techiyat hameitim), body placement, distance between burials (tefach), new Jerusalem crypts, reinterment and disinterment (for what reasons?) and autopsies.

Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Hilchot Aveilut 10 (364-370)

Topics include: issur hana of kever (dirt, matzeva, walking on, hazmana) meit  mitzvah, how bury harug/nafal meit) yoledet, moving kever for rabim (very current issue), burying non-Jews, kiddush/davening/tzitzit in proximity to graves (is it kavod hameit?), no kalut rosh and tumat meit spreading rules.

Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Hilchot Aveilut 11 (372-374:4)


Focus on kohanim/tuma death and burial issues including: when can kavod habriyot be invoked? Status of non-Jewish corpses, hutra or dchuya for relatives/meit mitzva (for which situations and how long) and does waiver exist if the full body isn’t being buried?

Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Hilchot Aveilut 12 (374:5-375:8)

Mourning issues including: with relatives (no longer done), when not required (eg adoption), to what extent? Babies not thirty days old, rabo muvhak, plague conditions and when to begin mourning (going to cemetery, gadol habayit, coming to house, not attending the funeral, planned reburial, give up on burial and mayim shein lahem (or yeish lahem) sof.

Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Hilchot Aveilut 13 (374:8-376:4)

Topics include: gadol habayit issues, davening practice at a shiva house, graveside issues (kaddish, plucking grass, washing, tziduk hadin, shoveling), kaddish and chazan practices during the year of aveilut and a practical run through of the funeral service.

Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Hilchot Aveilut 14 (376:4-380:10)

Kadish pre-burial (shabbat, not going with body), general kaddish rules (including don’t be weird? {don’t say if both parents alive}), women saying kaddish (R Henkin and RA Soloveichick), parent waiving or spurning kaddish, seuda havraa (is it a prohibition on the avel not to eat from his own or for the neighbors to feed?) what should be fed and how (no party) birchat hamazon text/zimun and working (aveil/others for him, defining davar haavad, lawsuits).

Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Hilchot Aveilut 15 (380:11-384)

Aveilut isues including: work done for an avel, impact on partnership, lots of workarounds, housework, business trips, pleasure trips, showering, makeup, leather shoes, mikvah, tashmish, talmud torah, getting an aliyah, being a chazan and learning hilchot aveilut during shiva.

Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Hilchot Aveilut 16 (385-390)


Aveilut practices including: sheilat shalom, shalach manot, shabbat company, kfiat hamita (today?), atifa (hat?), sitting/sleeping on the ground, mirrors, seven-day candle, beit avel (no greeting or learning Torah), laundry, showers, hair cut/shaving, fresh/new clothes and nail cutting.

Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Hilchot Aveilut 18 (393-398)

What simcha (eating and/or being there) is allowed to an aveil, (7,30, year?). Havdalah, kiddush levana, beit hamishteh, simchat mreiut, mitzvah? Specific applications include wedding, bar mitzvah, brit, sheva brachot kiddish et al. Also discussed: remarriage and listening to music.

Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-Hilchot Aveilut 19 (399-403)

Yomtov, yomtov sheini, Friday pm, motzai shabbat and purim, all have aveilut timing and type of aveilut issues discussed here. Also covered: shmua krova vs. shmua rechoka and yahrtzeit timing issues.

About Joel Rich

Joel Rich is a frequent wannabee cyberspace lecturer on various Torah topics. A Yerushalmi formerly temporarily living in West Orange, NJ, his former employer and the Social Security administration support his Torah listening habits. He is a recovering consulting actuary.

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