[Avodah] Tzitzit tucked in

Micha Berger micha at aishdas.org
Mon Feb 11 14:36:05 PST 2013

On Mon, Feb 11, 2013 at 04:13:45PM +0200, Liron Kopinsky wrote:
: In general, we say one should tuck in their Tzitzit in a cemetery to not
: upset the dead, who no longer have the ability to do mitzvot. Would this
: also apply at maarat hamachpela?

I assume your question is really about how to behave when within 4 amos
of a niftar whose petirah preceded the giving of the mitzvah of tzitzis.
Zev is probably right that this wouldn't come up in the real world. Maybe
at Qever Rachel, one gets within 4 amos of the ground above her qever.

I think that the missed opportunity to do a mitzvah in the here-and-now
is there whether or not they had that mitzvah in their lifetimes. One
could argue that it would be more accute, since the soul missed ever
having a chance to do it. Or that it's less accute, like someone who
was "blind from birth" not really knowing what they're missing. (Or
"Flowers for Algernon".) But in either case, you are reminding them of
your opportunity to do a mitzvah that they lack.

Of course, WRT Qever Rachel, she would have been an einah metzuvah ve'osah
even if we were speaking of a woman born after Matan Torah. But I think
we would tuck in tzitzis when visiting a woman's qever even if she were
not buried amongst man.

Which brings us to a parallel case that could more readily come up:
Is there any difference between tucking in tzitzis before Avraham, who
could only have worn them as an eino metzuveh ve'osah, or doing so
before the qever of a woman?

Aside: I do not think the issue is as much upsetting the deceased as
practicing one's empathy (midas rachamim, written here in English to be
clear I don't mean "mercy"). We've discussed what meisim know of
the events of this world beyond the environs of their qever. But do we
think they really forget what mitzvos were between reminders? (Do they
even experience time as we do? Relativity would have us believe that
any time in shamayim would be different in kind than time welded to the
space of olam hazah.)


Micha Berger             "'When Adar enters, we increase our joy'
micha at aishdas.org         'Joy is nothing but Torah.'
http://www.aishdas.org    'And whoever does more, he is praiseworthy.'"
Fax: (270) 514-1507                     - Rav Dovid Lifshitz zt"l

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