From the Rav’s Desk: Eating food and drink that entered a cemetery

  1. Question: [Monday, 14th Iyar 5781]

Is it permitted for one to enter food and drink into a cemetery and if it was entered is it permitted for to be eaten afterwards or must it be discarded?


Yes. It is permitted to enter food and drink into a cemetery, and it is certainly permitted to eat it afterwards, after leaving the cemetery. However, inside the cemetery it is forbidden to eat and drink.

Explanation: Although we find an explicit prohibition against eating and drinking in a cemetery, there is no source for prohibiting entering food into it, or eating and drinking food that entered into it, and on the contrary, we find the Talmud discussing making a Eiruv Techumin within a cemetery. Seemingly, the fact that there are some people who think that food and drink that entered a cemetery may not be consumed, is simply due to misconception or due to them attributing to it impurity just as the hands must be washed after leaving the cemetery and just as we avoid bringing food into a bathroom. Whatever the case, there is no room to be stringent and discard the food that entered a cemetery and likely doing so would transgress Bal Tashchis.

Sources: See Y.D. 368:1; Poskim in Nitei Gavriel Aveilus 92:4 footnote 5; See Eiruvin 31a “One may make an Eiruv for a Kohen with Tahor Terumah in a cemetery” thus proving there is no issue of impurity entering the food.

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