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BERACHOS 18 (1 Elul) - Dedicated l'Iluy Nishmas Esther Chaya Rayzel (Friedman) bas Gershon Eliezer (Yahrzeit: 30 Av, Yom Kevurah: 1 Elul) by her daughter and son-in-law, Jeri and Eli Turkel of Raanana, Israel. Esther Friedman was a woman of valor who was devoted to her family and gave of herself unstintingly, inspiring all those around her.


1. A person should not learn Torah or wear Tefilin within four Amos of a Mes.
2. One who sees a funeral procession must accompany the Mes at least four Amos.
3. There is a dispute about whether the dead are aware of what occurs to the living.
4. The Gemara records stories about spirits who were involved in things that occurred to the living.
5. Rebbi Yonasan: The dead talk to each other.


1. This is derived from the verse, "He scorns a poor person and makes him a disgrace." One who performs Mitzvos near a Mes shames the dead person (the "poor"), as he no longer can do Mitzvos.
2. One who does so is considered as if he accompanied Hashem, as the verse states, "One accompanies Hashem if he bestows favor on the poor."
3. When Rebbi Yonasan let his Tzitzis droop over the graves in the cemetery, Rebbi Chiya rebuked him because the dead are insulted. Rebbi Yonasan replied that he did not think that the dead knew what occurred in this world. Rebbi Chiya said that the righteous are aware of what occurs.
4. The Gemara says that it is possible that the spirit of a person who just died informs the other spirits of what is occurring in the world, but they do not know by themselves what is happening in the world.
5. Hashem told Moshe Rabeinu that when he dies he should tell the Avos that He (Hashem) fulfilled His oath to give Eretz Yisrael to their descendants.

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