I was wondering. If I am not mistaken (and if I am please correct) to a Jew a dead body is unclean. How would they deal with dead Bodies and barial? Thanks and God bless.
[quote=Montie Claunch]I was wondering. If I am not mistaken (and if I am please correct) to a Jew a dead body is unclean. How would they deal with dead Bodies and barial? Thanks and God bless.
burying the dead is considered a righteous deed, and it was in fact this good deed that got Tobit in trouble with the civil authority. the custom is to bury the body quickly without embalming usually the next day. there is a ritual cleansing after burial and the period of mourning, as there is after every event that brings one in contact with ritual uncleanness.
Montie, you are correct. A dead body is a source of ritual impurity. But burying the dead is of such importance that the foregoing doesn’t matter, you contract the ritual impurity and bury the dead regardless. See jewfaq.org/death.htm.
When the Temple stood, there were specific rituals/sacrifices that one who came into contact with a dead body would go through. Since the destruction of the Temple, it is assumed that we are all ritually unclean, more or less, as no one can do the proper sacrifices anymore. As someone had said earlier, buring the dead is a mitzvot. One of the greatest ones because it is done without any possibilty that you will receive anything from the dead person for your trouble.
As an aside, the Jewish use of gavestones was originally done in order to give people a head’s up that they were entering an area where they would come in contact with dead bodies. This was especially important after recent battles.