The One Mitzvah you Can’t Do, Unless….

It is a Jewish custom to purchase one’s burial plot while still alive. The source is Midrash Rabbah Leviticus 5:5 amongst others.

Why? There are a number of reasons given, here are 3:

The Torah commands us el ha’afar tashuv, to earth shall you return, there is a mitzvah to be buried in the ground (Code of Jewish Law, Yorah Deah 348:3; 362:1) We endeavor to fulfil every mitzvah but once a person passes they can no longer fulfil the mitzvoth/ commandments! The only way to fulfil this mitzvah is by purchasing it while you are still alive, may that be for 120 healthy years!

It avoids unnecessary delays and confusion (and the possibility of a relative suggesting cremation, G-d forbid) after a person’s passing.

It reminds us to value our time by realizing that our life on earth is limited.

So go ahead, make sure that you have a proper burial spot and may you live long and healthy!!

Menachem Mendel Bluming

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