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What are the rules for the Shabbat during Shivah?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg


Library » Shabbat » A Day of Rest | Subscribe | What is RSS?


The basic rule regarding Shabbat is that while all public displays of mourning are forbidden, inconspicuous laws of mourning remain in effect.1

• Shortly after midday on Friday afternoon, the mourners pray Minchah and arise from their low stools and begin their Shabbat preparations.2

• Normal Shabbat finery is worn.

• The mourner prays with everyone else in the synagogue on Shabbat. He does not lead the services, but he does recite the mourner's Kaddish.

While all public displays of mourning are forbidden, non-conspicuous laws of mourning remain in effect
• With regards to changing places in the synagogue, see Does a mourner have to switch places in the synagogue?

• Marital relations are forbidden.

Torah study is prohibited. However, if one regularly attends a Torah class on Shabbat, then this Shabbat should not be an exception.

• The mourner should not receive an Aliyah on Shabbat (unless he is the only Kohen or Levite in the synagogue).

• Preferably, the Saturday night Maariv should be prayed in the mourner's home. Immediately after Shabbat, the mourner recites "Baruch hamavdil bein kodesh l'chol" ("Blessed be He who makes a distinction between the holy [day of Shabbat] and the mundane [weekdays]"), removes his leather shoes and Shabbat clothing, and dons his torn mourner's garments.

See also Is it appropriate to make a Shivah visit on Shabbat?


  • 1. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch chapter 219
  • 2. There is a difference of opinion amongst halachic authorities whether it is permitted to don leather shoes and to remove one's torn mourning garments at this time, or whether one should wait until closer to sunset.


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Life Cycle » Death » Mourning
Shabbat » Forbidden Activities

(pl: Shabbatot). Hebrew word meaning "rest." It is a Biblical commandment to sanctify and rest on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. This commemorates the fact that after creating the world in six days, G-d rested on the seventh.
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
A descendant of Levi, son of Jacob. The Levites were the teachers and spiritual leaders in the Land of Israel. They had various responsibilities in the Holy Temple, including choir and orchestral duties.
Literally means to rise up. Has two popular meanings: 1. Being called up to the Torah scroll and recite the blessings when the Torah is being read. 2. To emigrate to the Holy Land.
Evening prayer service. One of the three prayers a Jew is obligated to pray every day.
Afternoon prayer service. One of the three prayers a Jew is obligated to pray every day.
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.