Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Recently, a 2-month-old baby passed away ל"ע, and the family indicated that there would be no shiva.

Under what circumstances is there no shiva for a baby that lives passed 30 days?

share|improve this question
See this article and this article. – Fred Nov 24 '13 at 23:10
up vote 6 down vote accepted

My understanding is that 30 days was considered a rule of thumb for whether we call this a healthy baby that could have lived, but then died; vs. a sign that this pregnancy was never truly viable.

Traditionally (for instance Chochmas Adam 161:6), the understanding was that an "eight-month-gestation" baby was born with severe defects and thus never got Shiva, even if it survived 30 days; whereas if we were positive that this baby was a healthy, viable, "nine-month" baby that was killed ל"ע by a gunshot or something within 30 days, there still would be shiva.

I would assume -- and obviously, a serious posek would have to be consulted on each case -- that if a baby was born with severe, severe defects that everyone would agree was not viable, but the heroic measures of today's medical technology managed to keep it alive for a few weeks (managing its breathing, temperature, electrolytic balance, and the like), we would call that akin to the traditional case of an "eight-month baby" and not observe shiva. But don't ask me exactly where we draw the line.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.