The Gemara speaks about an honor one could give the deceased -- pouring wine on the grave. I found this strange because there was a pagan ritual of pouring wine into the grave -- there were special funnels built for this purpose, too, which eventually rose to high art as well (they're called "steeles"). I'm surprised that the practice wasn't banned as avoda zara, and more surprised that it appears to have been endorsed. Has anyone commented on this?
Bruce James, Silver Spring, MD USA
The wine that was sprinkled on the grave was not sacrificial in nature, like those in the pagan practices. Rather, it was poured for the practical purpose of leaving a pleasant aroma.