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Visiting Graves On Erev Rosh HaShanah

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

The Daily Halacha Moment - Visiting Graves On Erev Rosh HaShanah 🕍


‎״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)

“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)

Question:

Is there a custom to visit Graves of tzadikim on Erev Rosh HaShanah and pray for one to have a favorable judgment?


Answer:

Many people have the custom to visit a cemetery on erev Rosh HaShanah to pray that the merit of tzaddikim and relatives should be a zechut on their behalf. One should be careful not to pray directly to the niftar; rather, one should pray that the merit of the niftar should help our prayers be accepted by Hashem.[1] Kohanim, however, may not visit a cemetery on erev Rosh HaShanah to pray, even at the gravesite of a tzaddik. [2]


Adapted From R' Yonatan Nacsons "Laws Of The Holidays"

Sources:

[1]. Yabia Omer, vol. 4, Y.D. 35:7; Halichot Olam, vol. 2, p. 224; Chazon Ovadia, Yamim Nora’im, p. 52; Torat HaMoadim, Yamim Nora’im, p. 28; Yalkut Yosef, Yamim Nora’im, p. 136. However, Yalkut Yosef stresses that one who is busy learning Torah should not visit a cemetery, and should instead continue learning. See also Igrot Moshe, O.C., vol. 5, 43:6 and Minchat Yitzchak 8:53.

[2]. See Yechaveh Daat 4:58, which discusses this topic at length. See also Chazon Ovadia, Yamim Nora’im, p. 52 and ibid., Avelut, vol. 2, p. 12. See also Yalkut Yosef, Avelut, p. 257 and ibid., Yamin Nora’im, p. 136, 7.


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