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Shiva etiquette for close relative

 
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amother




OP


Post  Tue, May 14 2019, 9:54 pm
I will be going to be menachem avel a close relative and bH do not have experience with shiva houses. Would really appreciate tips for proper etiquette. Specifically:
- is it ok to give a hug to the mourner when I come in?
- is it appropriate to greet other people at the shiva - there will be relatives and others I haven't seen in a long time?
- do I offer my memories of the niftar or just listen?
- I will be there for a few days. Do I say "hamakom" every time a Shiva hour is over or only at the very end of my visit (or the first time I visit)?

Thanks for your advice.
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allthingsblue




 
 
 


Post  Tue, May 14 2019, 9:57 pm
Don't hug the person. They will be sitting on a low chair, most likely behind a table. Walk up to the person to show your presence; I think halachically you are supposed to wait for the avel to talk. Then take a seat and follow the avel's lead, listen to the conversation and use your seichel to know what to say. Definitely offer memories of the niftar at the appropriate time if the avel seems up to it.

Do not hug other relatives or greet them loudly. It's a shivah house. If you want to catch up with them, do so in another room or even better, go outside (or go out for coffee etc).

I don't think you need to say the pasuk more than once, but either look up the Halacha or ask a rabbi.


Last edited by allthingsblue on Tue, May 14 2019, 9:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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amother




Chartreuse


Post  Tue, May 14 2019, 9:58 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
I will be going to be menachem avel a close relative and bH do not have experience with shiva houses. Would really appreciate tips for proper etiquette. Specifically:
- is it ok to give a hug to the mourner when I come in?
- is it appropriate to greet other people at the shiva - there will be relatives and others I haven't seen in a long time?
- do I offer my memories of the niftar or just listen?
- I will be there for a few days. Do I say "hamakom" every time a Shiva hour is over or only at the very end of my visit (or the first time I visit)?

Thanks for your advice.


First thing to know is it’s forbidden to speak to the aveil before they speak to you first.. After they speak to you, you may then speak.
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batya315




 
 
 


Post  Tue, May 14 2019, 10:39 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
I will be going to be menachem avel a close relative and bH do not have experience with shiva houses. Would really appreciate tips for proper etiquette. Specifically:
- is it ok to give a hug to the mourner when I come in?
- is it appropriate to greet other people at the shiva - there will be relatives and others I haven't seen in a long time?
- do I offer my memories of the niftar or just listen?
- I will be there for a few days. Do I say "hamakom" every time a Shiva hour is over or only at the very end of my visit (or the first time I visit)?

Thanks for your advice.

If you meet relatives, please don't greet them with more than a nod. It's insensitive to catch up with others in front of the mourners, especially since it means detailing everyone's simchahs, new homes and exciting events. If you want to catch up, meet them outside the room where the mourners are sitting.
- As far as memories, take the cues. Generally the mourners are eager to hear memories that highlight the deceased's positive traits. This is about them and about what will make them feel better. Being that you'll be there for several days, it seems like you're really close. I think a son/daughter/sibling-in-law is someone the mourners want to hear from and appreciate when they join the conversation. (But anyone who has to offer something nice should do so)
I was recently at a shivah house. It was obvious that the mourners were exhausted and were not interested in hearing anything. Like I mentioned, take cues from the mourners.
-When I was sitting shivah we were told that it's best to wish hamakom yenachem after each visit, and also to each mourner, for each wish is an aliyah for the neshamah of the deceased.
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amother




Orange


Post  Wed, May 15 2019, 2:03 am
amother [ Chartreuse ] wrote:
First thing to know is it’s forbidden to speak to the aveil before they speak to you first.. After they speak to you, you may then speak.


Some people need to be encouraged to start talking, especially when they're in aveilus...
and this minhag bothered me so much that I discussed it with a Rov (charedi).

The consensus is more that the avel should set the mood of the interaction, rather than an outright ban on speaking first. It is certainly not halocho, not in my circles anyway!
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amother




Brunette


Post  Wed, May 15 2019, 11:24 am
I recently sat shiva. I totally understand that people could see others they haven't seen for a while and its nice for them. But really really tone it down. Catch up on family news outside. And don't laugh or exclaim loudly with others while the mourner is sitting there. It is so so painful to hear ppl doing that, even though you know its normal for others to have those conversations. Just not in front of you. I remember thinking my mother is dead in her grave and you are laughing in my face. I bear no ill will, I know it wasn't on purpose. But still painful.

Also, if no one else is there, don't feel that you must stay to be with them. Its very tiring to sit shiva and when no one is there, it is a welcome break to use the restroom, walk around a bit, take something to eat, and just generally to take a few moments to compose yourself between visits. In general, unless the conversation is flowing, I feel people should try to keep their visits short and heartfelt.

I know it can be an uncomfortable mitzva to do, know that you are doing something meaningful and special. Good luck!
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dankbar




 
 
 


Post  Wed, May 15 2019, 2:03 pm
There was a thread few months ago with all the dos & dont's
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amother




Cyan


Post  Wed, May 15 2019, 2:46 pm
OP, giving a hug to the mourner really depends how closely related you are and how your relationship is. When my sis n law sat shiva for her child, I sat there with her all day. I gave her a hug when I came and went. She actually initiated the hug. We are very close and our family was very involved with the sick child, it was a huge loss for us all.
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amother




Apricot


Post  Fri, May 17 2019, 3:51 am
I sat shive. Honestly, every shive house is different. Be sensitive when you walk in. You will get all the answers right away. It really depends on so many things. Who died. What age, sudden or after an illness..... be there who is sitting shive. Put your worries aside.
I had a relative who said the pasuk each time before he left the house.
I actually got people who came to visit me, to talk to eachother because I couldn't talk anymore.
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Ruchel




 
 
 


Post  Sun, May 19 2019, 12:13 pm
My mother almost left when people did chit chat. don't do chit chat.
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