I'd heard something about how some people, when getting up after the week of "sitting shiva" (mourning), take a walk around the outside of their house before going back to "normal" life. Has anyone heard of this practice? Does it have a source?


2 Answers 2


Although this is indeed the custom in many communities [some Chassidic communities circle the house seven times], there is no written source for it. Some explain that it is meant to escort the soul of the deceased to its proper place (Nitei Gavriel 136:16 - see the footnotes for more information). Others maintain that the purpose of this custom is to demonstrate that the mourner is now permitted to rejoin society (Aveilus BaHalachah 29:1).

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    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Mar 23, 2010 at 16:18

Mourning in Halacha, p 277 says:

Some follow a custom of formally terminating the Shiva by having the mourners walk outside together – or around the corner - accompanied by the comforters. Symbolically this is explained as representing the mourner's re-emergence into society from which he had withdrawn during the Shiva week. Others ascribe kabbalistic significance to this practice.

The note says:

While this custom is practiced in many communities, we have not found a written halachic source for this [Ed.]

So no source is known to the editors of a encyclopedic work on mourning and halacha.


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