Recently a friend told me that it is not proper to eat out in restaurants when one is an Aveil. I have been searching for a source that prohibits this. Does anyone know of a source prohibiting eating in a restaurant when one is an Aveil?


1 Answer 1


I couldn't locate any source that specifically addresses eating in a restaurant. But I am excerpting some items from this article:

A mourner is defined in halacha as someone mourning during the 12-month mourning period for parents or the 30-day mourning period for the other five relatives (spouse, brother, sister, son, daughter). After 30 days, one is no longer a mourner for anyone but one's parents.

Then, the site explains the problem of eating meals outside:

A mourner may not attend a public meal for any purpose. For example, if the mourner attends a lecture or Torah class at which food is being served, he or she may not eat the food. This only applies to sit-down meals; snacking is permitted.

OK, so the question is if going to a restaurant is considered a "public meal". When I look at the examples listed further on that web page, he lists weddings, bar mitzvah, Torah lectures. The commonality is that this is a sit-down meal designated for a group of people who are considered a unit eating the same (mostly) food.

A restaurant doesn't seem to fit that definition. They are a business and people order from a menu and eat at different times. However, an office party catered by the same restaurant sounds like it would fit the above definition of a "public meal". That's my own analysis.

What does seem clearer from the above quote is that it seems restricted to a sit-down meal. If you go to Starbucks and drink a coffee at the table there, I don't think that's considered a "meal".

  • 3
    1. You have just made up a definition based on a couple of examples from some internet article. You really need to find an authoritative definition of a "public meal" 2. Your conclusion from the definition that you made up doesn't even make any sense. How does a family going to a restaurant not meet your definition precisely?
    – Daniel
    Commented May 30, 2016 at 22:50

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