Explore the Traditions of Shiva and Jewish Mourning.

The Learning Center offers answers to your questions about shiva and the Jewish mourning process.

We have worked with rabbis and psychologists to provide helpful advice and alternative viewpoints, appropriate for Jewish and non-Jewish individuals. In the Learning Center, you will find information on all aspects of shiva and Jewish mourning, including a more comprehensive explanation of shiva, the protocol following a death in the workplace, suggestions on what to bring or send to a shiva, and additional articles about mourning within Judaism.

Each topic in the Learning Center presents the traditional religious or fundamental perspective with the option for additional viewpoints when available.

Understanding Shiva

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.

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Sitting Shiva

'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.

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Visiting a Shiva Home

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 at which the decedent was a member – visit a shiva home.

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Commemorate and Memorialize

Here you will find both traditional and modern ways to commemorate and memorialize loved ones. This section will introduce you to the different ways to preserve their memory both in prayer and in your own home.

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