Halacha Weekly ~ Parshas Beraishes When One is Saved from Chibut Hakever

Halacha Weekly ~ Parshas Beraishes When One is Saved from Chibut Hakever


Rav Chaim Vital zt’l writes in שער הכוונות in the name of his Rebbe the Ari z’l who in turn heard from a great person who had a kabbalah from his Rabbeim, that one who is buried on Erev Shabbos after the fifth hour of the day does not have to go through חיבוט קבר.  From the fifth hour on already starts תוספת קדושת שבת.

Reb Chaim Vital told the Ari z”l that this is hinted to in the word “הששי”, the only day that has a “ה”, because from the fifth hour on Erev Shabbos it is already considered Shabbos.  This is also why the following passuk is “ויכלו השמים והארץ וכו'”, because as soon as the fifth hour comes it is considered the time of ויכלו. The Ari z”l agreed to this explanation of his talmid.

What is חיבוט קבר? The ברייתא (מסכתות קטנות חיבוט הקבר פ”א הלכה ו-ח) explains in detail that after a person is buried the מלאך המות comes to his grave and hits him.  He asks the dead person what his name is. The response is “I don’t know”. Immediately he is given back his רוח ונשמה and is brought to דין. The מלאך המות is holding a chain; half is made of fire and the other half of iron. He then hits him three times.  The first time all the limbs separate. The second time all the bones separate. The מלאכי השרת gather them together. Then the מלאך המות hits again and everything turns into ashes. This goes on for three days and only gets worse. רבי מאיר אומר קשה דין חיבוט קבר יותר מדינה של גיהנם.

The שו”ת הרדב”ז was asked about someone who was nifter on Thursday and his father wanted to push off the burial until Erev Shabbos close to Shabbos so the nifter should not have to experience חיבוט קבר.  Is this considered a כבוד for the nifter and therefore permissible or not? Also would the person actually be saved from חיבוט קבר in such a case?

The רדב”ז writes that the person would not be saved from חיבוט קבר and therefore it was not permissible to postpone the burial.  And even if it was true that he would be saved from חיבוט קבר, to avoid the punishment is not considered a כבוד to allow pushing off the burial.  It is only permissible to postpone the burial in order to bring proper ארון ותכריכין which is כבוד for the nifter. He then goes on to say that only one who was nifter close to Shabbos and buried close to Shabbos is saved from חיבוט קבר.  However even if he was nifter in the morning and his burial is close to Shabbos he is not saved from חיבוט קבר. 

The ברייתא quoted above ends off מכאן אמרו הדר בארץ ישראל ומת בערב שבת קודם שקיעת החמה ונקבר בשעת תקיעת שופר בערב שבת אינו רואה חיבוט הקבר.  וכל מי שאוהב את הצדקות ואת התוכחות וגמילות חסדים והכנסת אורחים ומתפלל בכוונה, אפילו מת בבבל ומת בערב שבת אינו רואה דין חיבוט הקבר ואף לא דינה של גיהנם”.  The רדב”ז says that we see from the ברייתא there are two ways to be saved from חיבוט קבר. If one was nifter and buried in Eretz Yisroel close to Shabbos.  Or even if he was nifter on Erev Shabbos outside of Eretz Yisroel, as long as he has all the conditions listed above in the ברייתא.

Prepared by R’ Avrohom Yehoshua Ziskind

[1] Sources:אוצר פלאות התורה

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