Audio Lectures

The Delayed Burial Controversy – 1772

Posted November 26, 2012

In 1772, the Duke of Mecklenburg issued an edict requiring the Jews to wait three days after death prior to burial in order to prevent the premature burial of a live person. The Jewish community approached Rabbi Yaakov Emden and Moses Mendelssohn. Emden and Mendelssohn disagreed about the role of medical evidence in a halakhic ruling and the definition and delineation of halakhic tradition. Their dispute reflects two approaches to Orthodoxy that defined traditional Judaism at the end of the eighteenth century and are prevalent until today.
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