Questions tagged [mourning-aveilus]

A halachic period of mourning after the passing of a close relative. There are many laws and customs relating to this period and those observing it.

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Placing stones on a grave

My office is situated right next to a Jewish cemetery. A coworker, noticing the yarmulke on my head, asked me why he sometimes sees stones placed on some of the gravestones. I told him that as far as ...
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24 votes
3 answers
428 views

Must EMTs and others rend Kriyah each time they see a patient die?

I was looking at Yoreh De'ah 340:5 (יו"ד סימן ש"מ ס"ק ה) and Moed Katan 25b (כה עמוד ב), which require Kriyah (garment-rending) for all who are there at the time of death. It would seem to me that an ...
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18 votes
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Proper recitation of Hamakom Yenachem

Is the proper phrase to console a mourner always the plural המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים or should it be changed depending on whom it is said to (singluar, feminine, etc.)?
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14 votes
1 answer
417 views

Do we say "shabbat shalom" on Tisha b'Av that falls on Shabbat?

Yesterday I said "shabbat shalom" to someone and he said we don't do that on Tisha b'Av that falls on Shabbat. I thought that Shabbat trumps the day (and that's why we move the other observances). ...
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13 votes
1 answer
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When and why did we stop wearing sackcloth?

When and why did we stop wearing sackcloth in times of mourning and other times of distress (e.g., when fasting for rain)? (I presume sackcloth was quite uncomfortable.) Sackcloth is mentioned in ...
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13 votes
2 answers
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Why do we not say selichot on Tisha B'Av?

Every fast day on the Jewish calendar has its set of selichot that are said. The one exception to this is Tisha B'Av. This seems counter-intuitive to me because Tisha B'Av is the day when we mourn the ...
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13 votes
3 answers
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Studying Holocaust Responsa on Tish'ah BeAv

One of the restrictions practiced on Tish'ah BeAv is the study of Torah, because Torah study "gladdens the heart". Several exceptions have been formally codified, which are of a nature germane to the ...
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12 votes
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How can a person visualize the Churban Bais HaMikdash?

It is now thousands of years since the Churban Bais HaMikdash. Many Jews feel very comfortable in their surroundings. How can a person help themselves visualize and understand the great loss of the ...
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12 votes
3 answers
4k views

Meat on Rosh Chodesh of 9 days

Why is The reasoning that Sefardim do eat on Rosh Chodesh and Ashkinazim do not? Sefardim Is It Permissible To Have Left Over Meat From Shabbat During The 9 Days Ashkenazim EATING MEAT AND ...
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Mundane activities on Tisha B'Av

Tisha B'Av should be spent focusing on the destruction of Jerusalem and Beit haMikdash; but is it permissible to do daily chores as well? For example, this year, Tisha B'Av is postponed one day ...
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12 votes
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What does it mean for a mourner to "have a chiuv"?

I have noticed that in many synagogues, before davening, the gabbai customarily asks if anybody "has a chiuv". If there is anybody with a chiuv, he is asked to daven from the amud. The people who ...
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11 votes
5 answers
412 views

Learning laws of aveilut when your parents are alive?

Is it appropriate to learn the laws of aveilut when both your parents are alive? Or is there a superstition that it could be dangerous to them?
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11 votes
4 answers
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Why do we comfort a mourner with Hamakom Yenachem Eschem?

Why, when comforting a mourner at the completion of a Shiva visit, do we refer to G-d as Hamakom? We say Hamakom Yanachem Eschem - why not Hashem Yenachem or Elokim Yenachem?
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11 votes
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When there are four aveilim (mourners), Is it better to have one minyan of 40 people or 4 minyonim of ten each?

Today I was in a shul where there were four parallel mincha services because four mourners wanted to lead the services. I thought there was a principle of ברב עם הדרת מלך? What sources are there that ...
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11 votes
1 answer
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How obligated is one to say Kaddish for a deceased relative?

People often talk about an obligation -- Chiyuv -- to recite Kaddish at every opportunity for some time after the death of a relative. (Which relatives are obligated and for how long does not seem ...
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11 votes
1 answer
239 views

How to comfort someone who has lost his non-Jewish parent

I came across a (Facebook) post the other day in which an acquaintance announced he had lost his non-Jewish father. The individual is not a convert; his mother had intermarried. The funeral will not ...
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1 answer
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Saying "HaMakom yenachem..." multiple times

Does one say "HaMakom yenachem..." each time one visits/leaves a shiva house or only once during the shiva period? I recall someone telling me one only says it once, but I cannot find any source for ...
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10 votes
1 answer
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When do Sefardim start mourning in a year that Tisha B'av is postponed until Sunday?

As mentioned here, Sefardim observe the mourning period known to Ashkenazim as "The Nine Days" only during the week that Tisha B'av occurs. Tisha B'av falls out on Shabbat this year (5772), and the ...
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9 votes
2 answers
363 views

Do mourners change their seats in shul today?

The g'mara on Moed Katan 23a says that after shiva, when the mourner stays at home, he can return to shul but does not sit in his usual seat. (According to this g'mara, he returns to his usual seat a ...
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9 votes
1 answer
162 views

Does a child tear Kriyah at the Kosel?

Does a kid under Bar/Bas Mitzva have to tear Kriya when they go to the Kosel?
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9 votes
1 answer
162 views

How did Rabbi Akiva start again after losing 24,000 students?

Where did Rebbi Akiva find the inspiration to pick himself up and teach students again after losing 24,000 students?
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9 votes
1 answer
409 views

Covering the mirrors in the house of a mourner

When learning the laws of mourning in the Gemara and rishonim I don't recall the requirement to cover up the mirrors in the house of a mourner. But it does seem like a quite prevelalant practice. ...
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9 votes
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How to Tear Kriyah

What is the proper procedure for tearing Kriyah (e.g. for Aveilus* or visiting the Kosel)? * May we never have to do so
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9 votes
1 answer
751 views

Don't pass bread hand to hand: whose hand?

Shulchan Aruch (OC 167:18) says (in my own translation): The one who slices the loaf of bread places a slice before each person. The individual then takes the slice with his hand. The one who ...
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9 votes
1 answer
137 views

An ovel attending a wedding on zoom

Is it possible for a Jew who is in mourning (an ovel) to attend a wedding on Zoom? My intial thought process was why not? If one cannot be משתתף (join) with a virtual minyan (quorum of 10 men) as all ...
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9 votes
1 answer
167 views

What exactly is the purpose of Tisha B'av?

So recently I was answering a question about why we don't say selichos on Tisha B'av,and I answered basicaly saying that the purpose on Tisha B'av isn't to ask for forgiveness, rather it is for ...
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9 votes
1 answer
628 views

Can a convert mourn for their Jewish parents?

Consider someone who was born to a Jewish father and non-Jewish mother who then converted to Judaism with his mother. It seems pashut from the Shulchan Aruch that one who converts is considered a "...
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  • 515
8 votes
4 answers
2k views

Taking a Shower during the Nine-Days

What are the parameters for taking a shower during the 9-day period between Rosh Chodesh Av and Tisha Bav? Namely: When is one allowed to? When doing so what water temperature should it be set on? ...
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8 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why do mourning practices surrounding suicide differ from Shulchan Aruch?

It used to be that a person who committed suicide was buried in a separate part of the cemetery and the relatives did not sit shiva (see Shulchan Aruch YD 345). We no longer do these things and we ...
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8 votes
1 answer
223 views

Onen and Meis Mitzvah

If an onen comes across a meis mitzvah (let's assume there is either another person to be involved with the onen's personal meis or there is more time to be involved with his meis later), is the onen ...
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7 votes
1 answer
194 views

Shalom Aleichem in Kiddush Levana to an Aveil

We do not say Shalom Aleichem to a Aveil. What about saying Shalom Aleichem to an Aveil (after the Shiva, during the year of Aveilus) during Kiddush Levana - do you or do you not? (sources please)
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7 votes
1 answer
920 views

Staying to enjoy the unexpected playing of recorded music during the 3 weeks/9 days

Assuming for a moment that one holds that the prohibition of listening to music during the Three Weeks / Nine Days applies to recorded music, if one were in a store that had music playing on the ...
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7 votes
1 answer
2k views

shiduch date haircut during sefira

Are you allowed to get a haircut during the Omer if you are going on a shiduch date?
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7 votes
2 answers
2k views

If someone needs to shave during Sefirah or Three Weeks because of work, should he also shave before Shabbos?

If someone needs to shave during Sefirah or Three Weeks because of work, should he also shave before Shabbos? It seems strange to shave for M-F, but to go into Shabbos with stubble. On the other hand,...
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7 votes
1 answer
96 views

leaving something out of a meal zecher lachurban

As described in משנה ברורה ס׳ תקס ס״ק ה–ו–ז, we omit something from any big meal (not on Shabas or yom tov), noticeably, as a זכר לחרבן. Has anyone seen this done, and, if so, what was omitted? I'm ...
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7 votes
1 answer
1k views

When do the restrictions of 3 weeks start when 17 Tammuz is on Shabbos?

When do the restrictions of 3 weeks start when 17 Tammuz is on Shabbos (e.g. this year)? Do they start motzei shabbos (already 18 Tammuz), since the 17 Tammuz is technically on shabbos or do they ...
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7 votes
2 answers
271 views

Why are different kaddishes said by different people?

The "Mourners' Kaddish" and the "Rabbis' Kaddish" are said by mourners: either all instances are said by all mourners in the synagogue simultaneously, or each mourner gets a turn at one kaddish, or ...
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7 votes
1 answer
811 views

Counting Sheloshim for a chol hamoed death

How long is the shloshim observed for a death which occurs during chol hamoed Pesach? Does one observe a full thirty days started from the funeral or is it shortened because of the chag?
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7 votes
2 answers
760 views

Does one sit shiva for someone he killed?

I understand sitting shiva to be an expression of bereavement. If I (hypothetically) was the victim of constant abuse which lasted for years and I ultimately, in an act of self defense, had to kill my ...
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7 votes
2 answers
2k views

Proper day and time for a Shloshim Seuda

Per Chabad.org: "Traditionally, families gather on the eve of the Shloshim to share support, recite prayers and Psalms, and to give charity in the merit of the deceased. Many will also make a Siyum, ...
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7 votes
0 answers
149 views

Is the mourning for a late relative dependent on the state of their relationship before death?

Are the halochos (laws) about observing mourning rituals for a relative (e.g., shiva, shloshim, etc.), affected in any way by the state of the relationship between the mourner and deceased before his ...
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  • 71
6 votes
3 answers
393 views

What is the halachic source for the minhagim of mourning during Sefira?

What is the earliest halachic source for the minhagim of mourning during sefira? Note that this does not mean the story of R' Akiva, I'm talking about halachic references to prohibitions such as not ...
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6 votes
2 answers
335 views

Does a mourner tear one garment, or every garment he wears for a period of time?

I belong to a liberal community and what I have seen, when somebody is in mourning for a parent, is that they wear a "kriah ribbon" instead of tearing an actual garment, and they wear it at least ...
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6 votes
2 answers
342 views

Special Grace After Meals in a House of Mourning

The Shulchan Aruch in Yoreh De'ah 379 outlines a special version of Bentching to be recited in a House of Mourning. I have been in several houses of mourning and have never seen this done. Has anyone ...
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6 votes
1 answer
111 views

Reciting Boruch Dayan HaEmes on Shabbos

If someone's parent dies, one must recite Boruch Dayan HaEmes. What happens if this occurs on Shabbos? Is the customary Boruch Dayan HaEmes recited or not?
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6 votes
2 answers
203 views

Haircuts on Friday when the 47th of the omer falls on Sunday

The Rema, commenting on the mourning of the first 33 days of the omer, allows haircuts on Friday, lichvod shabbos, when the 33rd falls on Sunday. Does the same reasoning apply when the 47th falls on ...
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6 votes
1 answer
613 views

Gifts for an Aveil

The Halacha is that Mishloach Manos is not sent to an Aveil. Suppose a close relative is in Aveilus, can you send them flowers for their birthday? (Sources please)
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6 votes
1 answer
184 views

Heter to call a mourner to the Torah on a weekday in the first week of his aveilus

A mourner in the first week of his aveilus was unable to pray at home and went to synagogue on a weekday where he was the only Kohen (or Levi). Normally a mourner does not get called up to the Torah....
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6 votes
5 answers
113 views

In Kaddish -- what consolation can we offer G-d?

In the Kaddish, we say that may G-d be praised "beyond any blessing, hymn, praise, and consolation said in this world." I understand how we can bless or praise G-d -- but how exactly (or even ...
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  • 126k
6 votes
2 answers
248 views

Why does Mordechai agree to put on the king's clothing?

From the Megillah, we read that Mordechai put on sack-cloth and ashes upon hearing of Haman's decree. Esther, alarmed to see her cousin in such a state, sends him fine clothes to put on, but he ...
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