I am part of the Chevra Kadisha in a town with a small Jewish community and so the Metim don’t always have people to sit Shmirah the whole time until the funeral so I try to spend as much time as possible sitting Shmirah.

I feel though it would be more sustainable for me if I could do other things aside from saying Tehillim, which I know is what is usually the guidelines for Shmirah. Does anyone know of any views on this that discuss other activities while sitting Shmirah such as learning Torah?

1 Answer 1


Rambam Hilchot Avel 13:9

וכן אין אומרין בפני המת אלא דברים של מת אבל לעסוק בדברי תורה בפניו או בבית הקברות אסור

In the presence of the corpse, we speak only of matters related to the corpse. To be involved in Torah study in the presence of a corpse or in a cemetery is forbidden.

(Touger translation)

This is based on a statement recorded in the Talmud in Berachot 3b, and is similarly codified in Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 344:16.

  • It also should be noted that eating is problematic as well
    – sam
    Commented Jul 7, 2020 at 1:06
  • Ok thank you very much Commented Jul 7, 2020 at 1:52
  • Interesting. Would this apply in the same room, as the deceased or also the next room as well? Commented May 22, 2022 at 17:25
  • 1
    Would learning silently be included?
    – Double AA
    Commented May 22, 2022 at 17:28

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