When I have visited someone during the shiva week, I notice that they wear a torn shirt. I know that the shirt is usually torn at the funeral home or cemetery prior to burial. I assume that the mourner is wearing that same shirt all week, but, I'm not certain.

If the original shirt became soiled, sweaty or smelly, can the mourner take another shirt, tear that one and wear it during the week of shiva? If so, are there any stipulations for the type of shirt he uses (e.g. has to be woprn; can't be freshly laundered, etc.) Does he need to make a new bracha "Dayan Ha'emet" prior to the new tearing?


1 Answer 1


See here which implies that the garments may be changed.

If one must change clothes because they became visibly soiled, one should not change into new clothing or clothing that has been freshly laundered. Those who mourn for their parents must rend the garments they changed into, unless the garments were worn only on the Sabbath. There is an opinion that the prohibition of changing clothes does not apply to underwear, whose purpose is to absorb perspiration.

  • 2
    Note new/laundered clothing is forbidden throughout Shloshim (not unique to Shiva)
    – Double AA
    Aug 9, 2016 at 21:41
  • @DoubleAA I did not know that. Thanks for the info.
    – DanF
    Aug 10, 2016 at 14:27

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