I interpret the shiva as also being a time for the mourner to psychologically process the loss of the deceased.

If a mourner only learns about the deceased's passing more than 30 days after the death, they are exempt from shiva; all they need to do is mourn for about 1h and say a prayer (YD 402:1).

Why is that? This seems insufficient.


1 Answer 1


While processing the loss is an important thing to do and is something that often happens during Shiva, it is not the point of Shiva. Shiva is for the deceased's honor (see YD 345), that we stop and mourn their loss. One who hears about a deceased relative from a while ago is welcome to accept condolences as long as he needs even without the prohibitions of Shiva (just like someone who loses a relative during Chol haMoed), but his obligation to publicly honor the deceased is minimal.

  • This doesn't mention the practice of shiva after sheloshim for a parent חו“ש. If one learns of a parent's death after the sheloshim, one should still sit shiva. This is the custom which my grandfather ז“ל held by, as he was in Israel at the time and trans-Atlantic phonecalls were prohibitively expensive. He thus did not sit shiva until he returned to the US and got the news, more than a month later (as I recall). Feb 16, 2017 at 4:14
  • I think you are mistaken. You do the year stuff if it's within a year and you still tear keriya on a parent even years later (relevant for baalei teahuva) but a shmua rechoka never gets Shiva. This is explicit in shulchan Arukh YD 402
    – Double AA
    Feb 16, 2017 at 4:17
  • @NoachMiFrankfurt It's an explicit Gemara Pesachim 4a that shmua rechoka for even both parents only needs an hour.
    – Double AA
    Feb 16, 2017 at 13:58

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