A halachic period of mourning after the passing of a close relative. There are many laws and customs relating to this period and those observing it.

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Dancing on Yom Haatzmaus

One is not allowed to dance during the mourning days of s'firas haomer (Mishna B'rura 493:3). According to all major customs, Yom Haatzmaus (Israel's independence day) falls during the mourning days ...
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191 views

9 be-Av on Shabbos

When 9 be-Av falls on Shabbos, it is moved to the following Sunday. Are there any restrictions on Shabbos because of 9 be-Av (maybe tashmish is forbidden)?
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196 views

Mourning Greetings

The Shulchan Aruch in Yoreh Deah Siman 385 outlines the prohibition regarding "Sheilat Shalom" (greeting with peace) to a mourner. Does this prohibition include such terms as "Hello" "Good morning" ...
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535 views

Placing stones on a grave

My office is situated right next to a Jewish cemetery. A coworker, noticing the yarmulke on my head, asked me why he sometimes sees stones placed on some of the gravestones. I told him that as far as ...
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603 views

How to Tear Kriyah

What is the proper procedure for tearing Kriyah (e.g. for Aveilus* or visiting the Kosel)? * May we never have to do so
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200 views

When do Sefardim start mourning in a year that Tisha B'av is postponed until Sunday?

As mentioned here, Sefardim observe the mourning period known to Ashkenazim as "The Nine Days" only during the week that Tisha B'av occurs. Tisha B'av falls out on Shabbat this year (5772), and the ...
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When there are four aveilim (mourners), Is it better to have one minyan of 40 people or 4 minyonim of ten each?

Today I was in a shul where there were four parallel mincha services because four mourners wanted to lead the services. I thought there was a principle of ברב עם הדרת מלך? What sources are there that ...
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656 views

Staying to enjoy the unexpected playing of recorded music during the 3 weeks/9 days

Assuming for a moment that one holds that the prohibition of listening to music during the Three Weeks / Nine Days applies to recorded music, if one were in a store that had music playing on the ...
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Custom for a mourner to be chosen to read the haftora every week

The Chabad rabbi near me has the custom of taking (for himself) both the kaddish recitation after the Torah reading (when applicable) and the reading of the haftorah on Shabbat — specifically ...
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Meat on Rosh Chodesh of 9 days

Why is The reasoning that Sefardim do eat on Rosh Chodesh and Ashkinazim do not? Sefardim http://www.dailyhalacha.com/displayRead.asp?readID=950&txtSearch=meat 9 days Ashkenazim ...
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How long does one say Kaddish for a sibling?

There is discussion here about saying Kaddish for parents and also some discussion on Kaddish for a sister. One place on the Chabad website states that Kaddish should be said for 30 days for a sibling ...
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404 views

Mundane activities on Tisha B'Av

Tisha B'Av should be spent focusing on the destruction of Jerusalem and Beit haMikdash; but is it permissible to do daily chores as well? For example, this year, Tisha B'Av is postponed one day ...
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397 views

What is the best way to visualize the Churban Bais HaMikdash?

It is now thousands of years since the Churban Bais HaMikdash. Many jews feel very comfortable in their surroundings. What is the best way for a person to visiualize the great loss of the Bais ...
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169 views

Why do we not say selichot on Tisha B'Av?

Every fast day on the Jewish calendar has its set of selichot that are said. The one exception to this is Tisha B'Av. This seems counter-intuitive to me because Tisha B'Av is the day when we mourn the ...
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How obligated is one to say Kaddish for a deceased relative?

People often talk about an obligation -- Chiyuv -- to recite Kaddish at every opportunity for some time after the death of a relative. (Which relatives are obligated and for how long does not seem ...
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1k views

Why do mourning practices surrounding suicide differ from Shulchan Aruch?

It used to be that a person who committed suicide was buried in a separate part of the cemetery and the relatives did not sit shiva (see Shulchan Aruch YD 345). We no longer do these things and we ...
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784 views

Taking a Shower during the Nine-Days

What are the parameters for taking a shower during the 9-day period between Rosh Chodesh Av and Tisha Bav? Namely: When is one allowed to? When doing so what water temperature should it be set on? ...
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219 views

Kriyah at the Kosel for Women

Do women tear Kriyah at the kosel?
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Kibus (Laundry) During the Nine Days

The reason brought by Rashi and quoted by poskim such as the Mishna Berurah as to why we do not do laundry during the nine days (or Sefardim, in the week that the Ninth of Av falls out in) is because ...
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Must EMTs and others rend Kriyah each time they see a patient die?

I was looking at Yoreh De'ah 40:5 (יו"ד סימן ש"מ ס"ק ה) and Moed Katan 25b (כה עמוד ב), which require Kriyah (garment-rending) for all who are there at the time of death. It would seem to me that an ...
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Learning laws of aveilut when your parents are alive?

Is it appropriate to learn the laws of aveilut when both your parents are alive? Or is there a superstition that it could be dangerous to them?
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Why are different kaddishes said by different people?

The "Mourners' Kaddish" and the "Rabbis' Kaddish" are said by mourners: either all instances are said by all mourners in the synagogue simultaneously, or each mourner gets a turn at one kaddish, or ...
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Don't pass bread hand to hand: whose hand?

Shulchan Aruch (OC 167:18) says (in my own translation): The one who slices the loaf of bread places a slice before each person. The individual then takes the slice with his hand. The one who ...
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When and why did we stop wearing sackcloth?

When and why did we stop wearing sackcloth in times of mourning and other times of distress (e.g., when fasting for rain)? (I presume sackcloth was quite uncomfortable.) Sackcloth is mentioned in ...
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371 views

Can a convert mourn for their Jewish parents?

Consider someone who was born to a Jewish father and non-Jewish mother who then converted to Judaism with his mother. It seems pashut from the Shulchan Aruch that one who converts is considered a ...
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398 views

When do the restrictions of 3 weeks start when 17 Tammuz is on Shabbos?

When do the restrictions of 3 weeks start when 17 Tammuz is on Shabbos (e.g. this year)? Do they start motzei shabbos (already 18 Tammuz), since the 17 Tammuz is technically on shabbos or do they ...
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If someone needs to shave during Sefirah or Three Weeks because of work, should he also shave before Shabbos?

If someone needs to shave during Sefirah or Three Weeks because of work, should he also shave before Shabbos? It seems strange to shave for M-F, but to go into Shabbos with stubble. On the other ...
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153 views

Prohibition to wear black for mourning?

I've heard a rumor floating around to the effect that Jews should not wear all black as an expression of mourning. Is there anything to that? If so, is there anything inherently wrong with it, is it a ...
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119 views

Special Grace After Meals in a House of Mourning

The Shulchan Aruch in Yoreh De'ah 379 outlines a special version of Bentching to be recited in a House of Mourning. I have been in several houses of mourning and have never seen this done. Has anyone ...
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214 views

Tearing keriyah for ladies mourning in public

Is it considered to be "un-tznius" (immodest) for ladies to tear keriyah (rip their clothes in mourning) in public?
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68 views

Can a mourner/avel learn Torah on Shabbat?

If I'm not mistaken a mourner in the 1st 7 days, during the Shiva cannot study Torah (except for mourning-related Torah study) as it brings joy to a person. Firstly is this Halacha or a Minhag? ...
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116 views

Should an adoptee mourn his Jewish biological parents?

I was adopted at birth from a Jewish biological mother into a Jewish adoptive family. Should I observe mourning for my birth mother when she dies, and otherwise honor her as a parent? Thank you.
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When and why would one don sackcloth?

There are various instances in tanach of someone donning sackcloth. I would like to know whether any commentators have compiled an outline as to when and why someone would don sackcloth (is it only ...
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136 views

Aveilus for an adoptive parent

Are there any dinim of aveilus for a child that was adopted when his adoptive parents pass away? Are there any poskim that spoke about this?
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101 views

Can one switch chazzanim at non-traditional places in the service to accommodate a mourner who came late?

Can one switch chazzanim at non-traditional places in the service to accomodate a mourner who came late? For example, Reuven is asked to lead the prayers (say mincha). He says “Ashrei”, “Kaddish” and ...
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What if there's a Minyan of Aveilim?

It is my understanding that when one is in the year of mourning following the death of certain relatives, he is not allowed to lead ["daven from the amud"] certain prayers (such as those on Shabbos, ...
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Wishes to a mourner in addition to “Hamokom Yenachem Eschem”

I have heard some people say in Yiddish after "Hamokom Yenachem Eschem B'Soch Shaar Aveilei Tzion V'Yerushalayim" ("May God comfort you alongside the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem"), "Zulst Mer Nisht ...
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806 views

Shave/Haircuts during the 3 weeks

What are the reasons why a person may be able shave and/or haircut (two biiiits!- sorry, just had to) during the three weeks? Please use sources.
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Use of a commoner's talis to read the Torah on

Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 153:21: אין לקנות מעילים שנשתמש בהם הדיוט לתשמיש קדושה One must not purchase for holy use garments that a commoner used. "Holy use" here includes use as the ...
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Restrictions of sefirah during Nisan?

It seems that, since mourning is prohibited during the month of Nisan, one could not observe the restrictions of sefirah until the end of Rosh Chodesh Iyar, since one is also not permitted to mourn on ...
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103 views

Ripping garments when hearing Hashem's name?

I've heard in a kabbalah shiur on web yeshiva, if someone says Hashem's name as it's written, either b'shogeg or b'meizid, the person or people that heard must rip their garments as they do when a ...
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615 views

Movies and music during the 3 weeks according to Rav Soloveitchik

The Rav compares the 3 weeks to the twelve months of mourning, and following that comparison he permits shaving during the 3 weeks (but not the 9 days) but forbids large social gatherings. What does ...
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Is it always a good idea to say an extra Shema' if you missed one?

According to Double AA's answer on a related question, "it can't hurt" to say an extra Shema' later if you missed the Zeman (set time) for it. While it may be true to a certain extent that saying ...
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Feelings of mourning during Sefirat Haomer

Between Passover until Shavout, the Torah tells us to count seven weeks. The Rabbis added to this saying that because 24,000 students of Rabbi Akiva died during these seven weeks, we spend the ...