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Visiting Graves On Erev Rosh HaShanah

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

The Daily Halacha Moment - Visiting Graves On Erev Rosh HaShanah ๐Ÿ•


โ€Žืดื›ืœ ื”ืฉื•ื ื” ื”ืœื›ื•ืช ื‘ื›ืœ ื™ื•ื - ืžื•ื‘ื˜ื— ืœื• ืฉื”ื•ื ื‘ืŸ ื”ืขื•ืœื ื”ื‘ืืด (ื ื™ื“ื” ืขื’ ืขืดื, ืžื’ื™ืœื” ื›ื—:)

โ€œAnyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-comeโ€ (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 Noraโ€™im, p. 52; Torat HaMoadim, Yamim Noraโ€™im, p. 28; Yalkut Yosef, Yamim Noraโ€™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 Noraโ€™im, p. 52 and ibid., Avelut, vol. 2, p. 12. See also Yalkut Yosef, Avelut, p. 257 and ibid., Yamin Noraโ€™im, p. 136, 7.


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