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For whom does one sit Shivah?

by Rabbi Shlomo Chein

  

Library » Life Cycle » Death » Mourning | Subscribe | What is RSS?


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Shivah, a set of rules for mourning (including the mourner's Kaddish), only applies to the passing of an immediate family member. Immediate family members include a (biological) parent, spouse, sibling, or child.1

While the feelings of mourning are not restricted, the specific laws of mourning are. The rules of Shivah are exclusive to the above mentioned relatives, and are not applicable to, nor appropriate for, any other relative or friend.

See also "What are the do's and don'ts for sitting Shivah?"

Footnotes

  • 1. Shulchan Aruch Yoreh De'ah 374:4

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Kaddish
A prayer sanctifying G-d's name which is sprinkled throughout the daily prayers and is recited by the leader of the services. This prayer is also recited by mourners during the first year of mourning, and on the anniversary of the death.