Dedicating a Cemetery


What is the source for the tradition “when you build a new town the first thing you do is make the cemetery… even before the shochet or yeshiva is set up…”

I know I’ve heard this teaching before and am having trouble locating the source.



  1. I am not sure that I am familiar with such a source. The Rambam rules, Hilchos Tefillah 11, that wherever there are ten people they should build a Beis haKenesses. Rav Moshe Feinstein concurs with the Rambam. The Sedei Chemed also writes that it is a Mitzvah for a community to build a Beis haKenesses but he adds that it no more pressing than the other Mitzvahs that are incumbent upon a community such as buying a Sefer Torah. Interestingly, the Sedei Chemed does not mention the obligation to build a cemetery at all.

    Best wishes from the Team