THE IMPORTANCE OF A FUNERAL
INFORMATION FOR MOURNERS
HOW TO CONSOLE

Shiva

Shiva refers to the first seven days of intensive mourning including the day of burial. One hour of the seventh day is regarded as a full day. Mourning customs are not observed on the Sabbath or Festivals. When the burial takes place prior to a Festival and the mourners have observed Shiva for at least one hour before the holiday begins, then the period of Shiva is terminated with the advent of the Festival at sunset. When the burial occurs on a Festival, the Shiva begins on the night the Festival is over. The last day of the Festival is considered the first day of Shiva.

A light (Shiva candle) is kept burning in the house of Shiva during the entire seven days. A child under thirteen years of age is not obligated to observe the mourning rites.

It is customary for mourners to remain at home on weekdays sitting on a low seat, wearing slippers rather than leather shoes, and refraining from transacting any business.

The custom of covering mirrors in the house of Shiva has been interpreted as a symbol of avoiding excessive self-concern and seeing ourselves in the depressed state of a mourner.

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