Sitting Shiva

'Sitting shiva' is a term used to describe the action of Jewish mourners participating in the traditional rituals of observing a shiva. During the period of shiva, mourners sometimes sit on low stools or boxes while they receive condolence calls. This is where the phrase “sitting shiva” comes from, and it is a practice that symbolizes the mourner being “brought low” following the loss of a loved one. For seven days, the family members of the deceased gather in one location – typically their own home or the home of the deceased – and mourns the loss in a variety of ways. This section will help guide you during this difficult time and inform those unfamiliar with the customs and traditions of Jewish mourning.

Mourner Observances

Whether you are sitting shiva or visiting a shiva home, you will encounter various types of observances...

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Preparing the House for Shiva

There are many traditional rituals and customs of Jewish mourning and sitting shiva...

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Here is a collection of books that might help or educate during this difficult time...

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Mourner's Kaddish

The Kaddish is a prayer that is commonly referred to as the "Mourner's Prayer" ...

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