POINT BY POINT SUMMARY
Prepared by R. Yakov Blinder
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
Ask A Question on the daf
Previous daf Moed Katan 27
MOED KATAN 26 & 27 - dedicated by Mr. Avi Berger of Queens, N.Y. in memory
of his parents, Pinchas ben Reb Avraham Yitzchak, and Leah bas Michal
1) A MOURNER ON THE ROAD
(a) Beraisa: If a traveler finds out he has become a
mourner, he must cut down on his business. If this is not
possible, he should do business in a manner in which he
is subordinate to his travelling companions.
2) MISCELLANEOUS RULES ABOUT OVERTURNING BEDS
(a) Beraisa: There is a dispute as to when the beds should be
3) BERAISA ABOUT TIDYING UP IN THE MOURNER'S HOUSE
1. R. Eliezer: When the deceased is taken from the
(b) A Beraisa discusses what is done for Shabbos:
2. R. Yehoshua: When the coffin is closed.
1. Friday afternoon the beds are turned upright (see
above, 24a, 4:j [counting from 23b]). But the
mourners do not sit on them until Shabbos.
(c) A Beraisa describes which beds must be overturned.
2. Saturday night the beds are turned over again, even
if the Shiv'ah finishes on Sunday.
1. Not only the mourner's bed, but all beds in the
house must be overturned.
2. If a brother dies, all the surviving brothers must
overturn their beds (although they don't live in the
house of the deceased - Ritva).
3. A couch not used for lying on, but for storage of
items, need not be overturned.
4. A Dargash does not have to be overturned, but should
be stood up on its side (Rashi MS.).
5. Raban Shimon Ben Gamliel: For a Dargash, the
supporting straps (of the mattress) should be
loosened, thus allowing the Dargash to fall by
a. Question: What is a Dargash, anyway?
6. Halachah: R. Yehoshua Ben Levi ruled like Raban
Shimon Ben Gamliel.
b. Ula's explanation: A good-luck couch, that is
just for decoration (Rashi in Sanhedrin), not
c. Question: A Mishnah elsewhere says that a king,
when receiving his mourner's meal, sits on a
Dargash. If a Dargash is usually not sat on,
why should he suddenly sit on it now?
d. Answer: We should not be surprised at this
change of routine, just as it is a change of
routine that other people bring him food to
e. Question: Why shouldn't this kind of bed
f. Answer: It is like a bed made for storage
g. Question: The above Beraisa said that for a
Dargash the supporting straps (of the mattress)
should be loosened. A good-luck bed does not
have any such straps! Ula's explanation of
Dargash is thus rejected.
h. Rabin's explanation: A leather-covered bed or
i. Fact: A bed's straps go over the bed frame; a
Dargash's straps are inserted through holes in
the wooden frame.
7. If a bed has posts extending upwards (e.g., to hold
a canopy) (and thus cannot be overturned) it should
be stood on its side.
8. A Beraisa states that it is not good enough to sleep
somewhere other than the bed (such as a chair, or
even on the floor); the bed must be overturned.
(a) A Beraisa makes two points:
4) MISHNAH - SOME RULES ABOUT MOURNING AND FUNERALS
1. One may sweep and wash the floor and do the dishes
in the mourner's house.
(b) Question: Another Beraisa says that no Berachah is said
on the spices or incense in a mourner's house - implying
that these things are there.
2. Fragrances and incenses are not to be brought into
the mourner's house.
(c) Answer: This second Beraisa is talking about the house
set aside for the consolers, not the actual mourner's
(a) The mourner's meal should not be brought in fancy
containers or platters, but in a simple basket.
5) GEMARA - SEVERAL BERAISOS ABOUT CHANGES MADE IN MOURNING PRACTICES FOR
(b) Birkas Aveilim is not recited on C.H., but the Shurah
ceremony after the burial is held, and consolations
visits are held, but the people should make it short and
are then dismissed. Similarly, the bier should not be
placed in the street for a Hesped on C.H.
(c) A woman's bier is never placed in the street for a
Hesped, for it is not respectful to her.
(a) Originally rich people received their mourner's meal in
silver and gold containers, while poor people received
theirs in simiple baskets. This caused the poor to be
embarrassed, and it was instituted that everyone should
receive their mourner's meal in simple baskets.
(b) Originally drinks were served to rich mourners in crystal
glasses, while the poor were served in inferior glasses.
This caused embarrassment to the poor, and it was
instituted that everyone should receive their drinks in
(c) Originally rich people's bodies were exposed to lie in
state, while poor people's bodies were not (because they
were emaciated and not pleasant to look at). This caused
the poor to be embarrassed, and it was instituted that
all bodies should be covered.
(d) Originally rich people's bodies were carried on Dargashes
(see above, 2:c:5), while poor people's bodies were
carried on regular stretchers. This caused the poor to be
embarrassed, and it was instituted that everyone should
be carried on regular stretchers.
6) ELABORATION ON MISHNAH'S CURBING OF FUNERIAL RITES ON C.H.
(e) Originally incense was burned under the bodies of those
who died of intestinal disease only. This caused living
people with intestinal disease embarrassment, and it was
instituted that incense should be burned under all
(f) Originally all articles that came into contact with a
woman who had been a Nidah were immersed in a Mikveh
after her death. This caused embarrassment to living
women who were Nidos, so it was instituted that the
articles of all women should be immersed after their
(g) Originally all articles that came into contact with a man
who had been a Zav were immersed in a Mikveh after his
death. This caused embarrassment to living men who were
Zavim, so it was instituted that the articles of all
people should be immersed after their deaths.
(g) Originally people spent so much money on fancy shrouds
that people sometimes abandoned their loved ones rather
than incur the great expense. Then Raban Gamliel left
instructions to be buried himself in a very simple
shroud, and people followed his example.
1. Rav Papa: Nowadays people even use shrouds of cheap
(a) R. Papa: The avoidance of Hesped on C.H. (4:b) does not
apply to a Torah scholar. It goes without saying that a
Hesped may be made on Chanukah and Purim.
7) DESCRIPTIONS AND RULES FOR GESTURES OF MOURNING.
(b) Even the Torah scholar may not have a Hesped (on C.H.,
etc.), however, except in the presence of the body.
(c) Question: R. Kahana said a Hesped for a Talmid Chacham
although the deceased was not present.
(d) Answer: The day the sad news is received is equivalent to
having the Talmid Chacham's bier present.
(a) Ula's definitions:
8) ETIQUETTE AND RULES FOR MOURNERS AND CONSOLERS
1. To Sofed is to beat the chest in mourning.
(b) A Beraisa states that one should not do Mekales with
sandals but with shoes, because a sandal might slip and
hurt his foot.
2. To Metape'ach is to clap the hands in mourning.
3. To Mekales is to stamp the feet in mourning.
(a) R. Yochanan: Consolers should not hang around too long;
once the mourner nods his head (a sign of consolation)
they should leave.
(b) R. Yochanan: Everyone must stand up for a Nasi, except
for a mourner and a sick person.
(c) R. Yochanan: One should not say, "Sit down" (which in
Hebrew could also mean "stay there") to a mourner or sick
(d) Rav: A mourner may not eat his own food (but only that of
others) on the first day. This is derived from Yechezkel.
(e) Rav: When there is a death in town everyone must refrain
1. R. Hamnuna: If there is a Chevra Kadisha they need
(f) Rav: One may not grieve too much over their departed
(g) A Beraisa (Rabbeinu Chananel) says the same idea, and
derives it from a Pasuk, and elaborates: Three days are
for crying, seven for Hesped, thirty days for refraining
from cutting hair and wearing pressed clothes. It is
inappropriate to do more than that.
(h) At this point the Gemara discusses the rest of the Pasuk
quoted above (8:g).
(i) R. Levi: For the first three days a mourner should feel
as if his life is at risk, for the rest of Shiv'ah less
so, from then on (for twelve months - Tosafos) less so.