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Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

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< Q11.6.9 TOC Q11.6.11 >

Question 11.6.10:
Death and Burial: Can pregnant women attend a funeral?


Jewish Law does not forbid pregnant women from attending a funeral or visiting a cemetery. However, many Jews believe pregnant women should not visit the cemetery due to superstition or, more specifically, belief in the evil eye (ayin hara). The basic premise of the evil eye: if we are happy, then evil spirits will harm us to change us from happy to unhappy. People who believe in the evil eye will avoid "tempting the evil eye." The exception would be one of the seven relatives who one is obligated to mourn (father, mother, sister, brother, son, daughter, spouse). A pregnant woman would traditionally remain outside the fence/gates of the cemetery.

The decision of whether or not a pregnant woman should attend a funeral always depends upon the ability of that woman and her loved ones to accept the reality that sometimes "bad things happen to good people." If they believe that the evil eye is not responsible for these bad things happening and that bad things just sometimes happen, than they can attend. However, that if they believe in the evil eye and are fearful the visit will lead to something bad, than they should not attend.

The FAQ is a collection of documents that is an attempt to answer questions that are continually asked on the soc.culture.jewish family of newsgroups. It was written by cooperating laypeople from the various Judaic movements. You should not make any assumption as to accuracy and/or authoritativeness of the answers provided herein. In all cases, it is always best to consult a competent authority--your local rabbi is a good place to start.

[Got Questions?]Hopefully, the FAQ will provide the answer to your questions. If it doesn't, please drop Email to The FAQ maintainer will endeavor to direct your query to an appropriate individual that can answer it. If you would like to be part of the group to which the maintainer directs questions, please drop a note to the FAQ maintainer at

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© (c) 1993-2002 Daniel P. Faigin <>