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  • Family and Society
  • Burial and the Cemetery

Archaeological diggings of cemeteries


Rabbi David Sperling

Sivan 14, 5779
Science archeology has expedition which they dig burials, how is it from point of view of Halacha ? is it forbidden? what about to build on cemeteries?
Shalom, Thank you for your question. The question of archaeology at burial sites, and moving remains in order to build roads etc, has been widely researched and written about in recent years, as this has become a “hot” issue in Israel. Let me refer you to a very good summary of the issues by Rav Yitzchok Breitowitz at In general, all such actions require treating the remains with honor and respect. The technical law differs according to whether the graves are Jewish or not; what is the need involved in the dig or removal of the dead; how the remains are treated upon being removed. Each of these issues requires a case by cases study. But in general we can say that while it is not always forbidden to open such graves – it is certainly not always allowed. Blessings.
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