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Shtick Yeshivish People Say At Shivas POV

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Published on Mar 6, 2012

How not to behave at Shiva.

Shiva (Hebrew: שבעה‎) (literally "seven") is the week-long mourning period in Judaism for first-degree relatives: father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, and spouse. The ritual is referred to as "sitting shiva." Immediately after burial, first-degree relatives assume the halakhic status of "avel" (Hebrew: אבל ; "mourner"). This state lasts for seven days, during which family members traditionally gather in one home (preferably the home of the deceased) and receive visitors. At the funeral, mourners traditionally rend an outer garment, a ritual known as keriah. This garment is worn throughout shiva.

It is considered a great mitzvah (literally "commandment" but usually interpreted as "good deed") of kindness and compassion to pay a home visit (make or pay a shiva call) to the mourners, a practice known as Nichum Aveilim. Traditionally, no greetings are exchanged and visitors wait for the mourners to initiate conversation, or remain silent if the mourners do not do so, out of respect for their bereavement. Once engaged in conversation by the mourners, it is appropriate for visitors to talk about the deceased, sharing stories of his or her life. Some mourners use the shiva as a distraction from their loss, other mourners prefer to openly experience their grief together with friends and family.

Upon leaving an Ashkenazic shiva house, visitors recite a traditional blessing: "May God comfort you among the other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem" (המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים, transliterated HaMakom yenachem etchem betoch sha'ar aveylei Tziyon viYerushalayim). At a Sephardic shiva house, visitors say: "May Heaven comfort you" (מן השמים תנוחמו - min haShamayim tenuchamu).

It is considered a mitzvah for visitors to bring prepared food for the mourners. The mourner is not allowed to serve food to the visitors and it is family and friends who take care of the guests and everyday issues.

Special Thanks to Yummy Schachter for all your original content, lines and getting the boys together to make this happen.

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