Ask the Rabbi - Customs and Practices

Bnei Noach Burials

Q: Does the Rambam imply that Noahides should be buried together with Jews?

Q: In the Mishneh Torah “Kings and Their Wars” 10:12, the Rambam says, the sages commanded us to visit sick idol worshippers, to bury their dead together with the Jewish dead and support their poor along with the Jewish poor for the sake of maintaining peaceful relations. For it says, “G-d is good to all, and His mercies extend over all His works” (Tehillim 145:9), and “[The Torah’s] ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths, peaceful” (Mishlei 3:17). The Rambam’s statement begs the question: should a righteous gentile be buried in a Jewish cemetery today if they so desire? 

A: The straightforward meaning of the Rambam is that the Jews are obligated to bury Noahide dead just as we are obligated to bury Jewish dead, but not that they must be buried together. At Har Hamenuchot (the Givat Shaul Cemetery) in Jerusalem there are special sections for non-Jews.

Rabbi Oury Cherki

Rav Oury Cherki was born in Algeria in 1959 and grew up in France, and he made Aliyah in 1972. He studied at Merkaz Harav Yeshiva, which was founded by Rav Avraham Yitzchak Kook. He performed his military service in the artillery branch of the IDF. He studied with Rav Tzvi Yehuda Kook, Rav Yehuda Leon Ashkenazi (Manitou), Rav Shlomo Binyamin and Achlag. Rav Cherki heads the Israeli department of Machon Meir, and he is the Director of Brit Olam - the Noahide World Center. He teaches in many places throughout Israel. Rav Cherki is the spiritual leader of the "Beth Yehuda" community in Kiryat Moshe (Jerusalem). He has written many books on Jewish thought and philosophy.

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