Monday, September 8, 2008

Visiting the cemetery during Elul


There is a Jewish practice of attending cemeteries before Rosh haShanah, and reciting prayers there. Historically, this has led some Jews to actually pray to the dead for help, but this has been highly controversial and debated by Jewish authorities for many centuries.

The Mishneh Berurah writes, regarding this practice of praying in cemeteries: One should not put his hope in righteous people. Rather, one should ask Gd to have mercy, in the merit of the righteous people buried there. One should give charity before one recites these prayers.

(Code of Jewish Law Orach Chaim 581:4; Mishneh Berurah 581:27)

Have a great day,

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