Is there a prohibition against bringing children to a shiva house? I know that children aren't usually brought and that it's respectful to ask in each case, but does anyone know if there is an actual halachic prohibition against this?

1 Answer 1


This may be a bit of a stretch, but consider Shulchan Arukh YD 391:1

אבל אסור בשמחה; לפיכך לא יקח תנוק בחיקו כל שבעה, שמא יבא לידי שחוק.‏
A mourner is prohibited in "happiness"; therefore he should not take a baby in his bosom all seven days lest he come to playfulness.

This seems like an "actual halacha". The age of the "תנוק baby" is not specified anywhere as far as I can tell, though it seems reasonable based on the reasoning that a toddler that you ordinarily might plop on your lap and play with is included.

This rule is not about entering a Shiva house, but if there is such a custom it likely derives from this rule about holding young children and a general sense of minimizing the happiness which children can create.

  • The OP did not suggest it was a custom. Rather the op was asking a halacha question. It appears that you are giving grounds for a non existent custom.
    – Yoni
    May 14, 2015 at 5:24
  • He described a phenomenon. I presented some relevant information and thoughts on how to understand that phenomenon in light of halacha. No one else has found anything useful to contribute in over two years, I might add.
    – Double AA
    May 14, 2015 at 5:28
  • It would seem, based on the information you provide, that the answer is no, there is no prohibition, unless said child is being held on the lap of the avel.
    – wfb
    May 14, 2015 at 14:11

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .