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2Melachim 13:21 - 2 Kings 13:21

Being Buried Next to a Tzaddik

2Melachim 13:21 Some people were burying a man, and just then they saw the troop coming, so they threw the man into Elisha's grave. The man's body rolled over and touched the bones of Elisha, and [the man] came back to life and rose up on his feet.

Our Sages teach us that a tzaddik should not be buried next to an ordinary virtuous person. Obviously, a tzaddik should not be buried next to a person with no virtue. A tzaddik is on a very high level, and should only be buried next to those who are like him. One who has repented, however, may be buried next to a righteous person.

We have seen how important it is not to live next to the wicked. It is even more important not to bury a good person next to someone bad. The earth where righteous person is buried is pure, and it is likened to the mantle covering a Torah scroll. It is a place where the wicked are not worthy to enter.

Thus, when the Yisraelim were battling against Arama and a man died in battle, they would bury him right next to the Prophet Elisha. As soon as the corpse came in contact with the prophet, it would come to life and walk away. This was because G-d did not want just anyone's body to touch such a tzaddik. The earth would therefore not accept the corpse.

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