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Minor Tractate Ebel Rabbati: Synopsis

CHAPTERS I. to III. One who is in agony of death is regarded as alive In all respects. How so? May the inhabitants of a village greet each other if a death occurs in their community? How shall a suicide be buried, and who is considered such? Suicide of a minor. The burial of one judicially executed. That of one separating himself from the congregation, and of those stealing the duties. At what age are poor children to be lamented, and at what age rich ones? The funeral meal. At what age is death considered Kareth (short life)? The days of sickness. The legend about the conversation of the Angel of Death with many of the Amoraim,

CHAPTERS IV. and V. Who are considered relatives of the first and second degrees? The regulations of an Onen (a mourner before the burial of the dead), and the period of Aninuth. Over what relatives priests and. high-priests may defile themselves. The decision of the sages as to the exhumation of a body for the purpose of examination as to age, and the reasons therefor. For what purposes the high-priest may or may not leave Palestine. Who is considered a Meth-Mitzvah (see Commentary, p. 17), and what shall be done with him, and how a Meth-Mitzvah was the incident which caused R. Aqiba to be counted among the wise. What work may and what may not be done by a mourner. What must be observed during the seven, the thirty days, and during the whole year of mourning. The exact periods for weeping, lamenting, not to calender clothes, and not to cut the hair, which must not be exceeded. Whence is it deduced that mourning lasts for seven days? When one mourning succeeds another. The regulations concerning the ban and for how many days it shall continue,

CHAPTERS VI. and VII. What a mourner may read, what clothes he may wash, and if he may- or may not wear shoes. When he may leave his house, and what seat he may occupy when in the prayer-house. What was done with mourners and others having trouble when entering the Temple. Ordinances in detail relating to calendering clothes, cutting the hair, etc., etc., etc., during the thirty days. What happened to Mar Samuel with his brother Pin'has during their mourning. The period after which it is allowed to remarry after the death of one's wife,

CHAPTERS VIII. and IX. The different opinions about the canopy that is to be made for a dead bridal couple, and what eatables may be destroyed in their honor. The execution of Simeon, Ishmael, Aqiba, etc., and the lamentation over them by the sages, in detail. The a fortiori conclusion, drawn from many biblical passages, how a man must avoid to come in contact with evil subjects. About what dead relatives must one rend his garments, and the rending of garments over scholars, chiefs of a college, etc. When the rent may be mended. The size of the rent. If a mourner travels from one place to another. The obligation of lowering the couches and when they may be placed in proper condition. The saving of the garment which was upon the dead,

CHAPTERS X. to XII. From the performance of what religious duties a mourner is exempt. The funeral meal. The standing in line of the consolers. What may and what may not be discussed in the presence of a dead body. The burial of rich and poor people and that of scholars, and what happened to Aqiba when his son died. The difference in the burial and lamentation of a man and a woman. The preference of way of a bridal procession over that of a funeral, and what happened to King Agrippa. The sweeping and the besprinkling of a mourner's house. A recent and remote information. The different societies that were in Jerusalem for attending weddings or funerals, etc. The four sages that came to console R. Ishmael when his sons died, and what they said. When the consolers are permitted to speak consolation. About the burial of the bones of two dead bodies in one grave. The saying of R. Eliezer b. Zadok as to what his father commanded him in regard to his burial, and what Abba Saul said in his will to his son. When a hearse is used. What Hanina b. Teradion did when his son was executed as a robber,

CHAPTERS XIII. and XIV. From what religious duties a gatherer of bones is exempt. The places in which bones and the Scriptures must be placed when being removed. When is it allowed to remove a corpse from one grave to another? If it is allowed to bury two corpses, or one corpse and bones of another corpse, in one grave. If benefit may be derived from a building over a vacant grave or from a vacant coffin. How a cemetery must not be considered vilely. If graves may be changed from one family to another. Is occupancy (Hazakah) considered with graves? The three different kinds of graves. A cemetery which surrounds the city on three sides. The seven standings and sittings after the burial. The ten goblets of wine that the sages have ordered in the house of a mourner. What shall be said in the fourth meal benediction in the house of a mourner?

Sources: Sacred Texts