Jewish Law

Burial Customs: What is the source of burying soeone in inexpensive burial shrouds.

14.06.15

Question

What is the source of burying someone in  (inexpensive) burial shrouds?

Answer

The Talmud in Ketubot 8b says that the burial was more difficult for the family than the passing of the relative. Out of embarrassment for having low quality shrouds people would abandon the deceased until Rabbi Gamliel (a great sage, head of a Yeshiva and the Nassi)  conducted himself below his status and was buried in (simple) linen shrouds. Afterwards the people began burying the deceased in linen shrouds. Rabbi Papa said that today we even use canvas shrouds that cost a zuz. 

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