Explore the Traditions of Shiva and Jewish Mourning.The Learning Center offers answers to your questions about shiva and the Jewish mourning process.
We've worked with rabbis and psychologists to present helpful advice and alternative viewpoints, appropriate for Jewish and non-Jewish visitors.
Each topic presents the traditional religious or fundamental perspective with the option for additional viewpoints when available.
Judaism provides a structured period of mourning that may last up to one year, allowing the mourner to gradually heal by going through different stages of grief. This section will give you a basic overview and understanding of shiva and Jewish mourning.
'Sitting shiva' is a term used to describe the traditional ritual of the mourners in the seven days after the deceased has been buried. Traditionally during the period of shiva, mourners sat on low stools or boxes. This is where the phrase 'sitting shiva' came from.
Mourning in the Jewish faith is a very personal process; each individual mourns and reflects differently. 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 host a shiva.