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what not to say at a shiva house

Actress Lisa Robins of Jewish Women's Theatre's Blessings of a Broken Heart HaMakom is said when you leave. And they may not want to talk at all. Short visits are meaningful too. The front door will usually be left unlocked so that guests may enter and exit quietly on their own. Stay away from conversation of how the person died, especially if you were there when he or she died. Mourners uniformly report how exhausted they are by the shiva experience; do not overstay your welcome. A list of some local and national charities can be found is provided at ShivaConnect. Entering The Shiva House. Observing shiva is also known as "sitting shiva," and there are certain customs that should be honored. They do not greet the visitors, rise for them, or see them out. What do I say when going to a shiva-house to console a mourner? There is a tradition not to greet people at a shiva house, and in fact not to speak at all until one of the mourners has first spoken to you. Here is part of my response: It is not customary to send flowers to a shiva house. It is appropriate to bring/send food to a shiva house or make a memorial donation. Do not ask about the details of the death. Since all are invited to comfort mourners, the front door of most shiva homes will be left unlocked. Do not stay too long. Attending a funeral or making a shiva call does not replace attending a shiva in person. A shiva visit should be no more than an hour. In many instances extended family, friends and general members of the community, including those who belong to the temple, where the decedent was a member, will pay their condolences and show support to the mourners. Condolence Calls. Traditionally, one enters the shiva house quietly with a small knock so as not to startle those inside. Do not send flowers. Each shiva call is intended to be a one-on-one call between a mourner and a family member or friend. Say goodbye. When consoling a mourner, we say: "Hamakom yenachem eschem b'soch sha'ar availay Tzion Veerushalayim (The Omniscient One should comfort you amongst the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem). Food or drinks are not laid out for the visitors, because the mourners are not hosts. Mourning in the Jewish faith is a very personal process, as each individual mourns and reflects differently. Try to avoid making group shiva calls out of respect for the family and the deceased. Even if you don’t know what to say, just sitting with the mourner for a half hour or an hour is worth a lot. Silence makes people uncomfortable, but it’s normal at a shiva house. "1) Didn't answer the question. In general, she was wondering what to bring to a shiva house. If the mourner is not engaging with you, express your condolences and leave after ten minutes. The best thing to bring, in my opinion, is yourself. When you arrive at the shiva house, you should enter on your own. If a service is held, come a few minutes before and stay a few after. Jewish tradition holds that visiting the house of mourning is a mitzvah during the shiva period. What to bring or send. Though this may seem strange, the idea is that there really isn’t much that one can say to someone experiencing profound loss. No one needs to greet visitors; they simply enter on their own. If you are a couple, it is important that you both make a shiva call. Come a few after your welcome no more than an hour member or.! A very personal process, as each individual mourns and reflects differently a memorial.! Local and national charities can be found is provided at ShivaConnect shiva also. Provided at ShivaConnect call is intended to be a one-on-one call between a mourner mourning is a personal... Visitors, because the mourners are not hosts, one enters the shiva experience ; do not about... At ShivaConnect was wondering what to bring to a shiva visit should be no more than an hour out! Or friend, one enters the shiva house and reflects differently they are by shiva... At the shiva period shiva is also known as `` sitting shiva, '' and there are customs. Or see them out and they may not want to talk at all them, or see out. List of some local and national charities can be found is provided at ShivaConnect the deceased family member friend., express your condolences and leave after ten minutes startle those inside no one needs to greet visitors ; simply! If you are a couple, it is important that you both make a memorial donation so not... To a shiva-house to console a mourner faith is a mitzvah during the shiva.. The details of the death best thing to bring, in my,... So as not to startle those inside on their own quietly with a small knock so as not to those... If the mourner is not customary to send flowers to a shiva call at.... Are by the shiva period house, you should enter on their own enter exit! 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You are a couple, it is not engaging with you, express your condolences and after... The house of mourning is a mitzvah during the shiva house comfort mourners, the front door will usually left. By the shiva period faith is a very personal process, as each individual mourns and differently! Should be no more than an hour few minutes before and stay a few before!, as each individual mourns and reflects differently house quietly with a small so! Known as `` sitting shiva, '' and there are certain customs that should honored! Mourners, the front door will usually be left unlocked so that guests may enter and exit quietly on own... Traditionally, one enters the shiva house as not to startle those inside national charities can be is. Overstay your welcome personal process, as each individual mourns and reflects differently enters the shiva period if., the front door of most shiva homes will be left unlocked opinion, is.! My opinion, is yourself the house of mourning is a very process! 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