One of Judaism’s oldest laws states that in times of great happiness and great sorrow, an individual must cease working in order to concentrate on his or her emotional journey. In accordance with this custom, mourners observing shiva do not leave the house to go to their workplace or carry out any work-related tasks during the weeklong period. Normally, they resume their work after the week of mourning has ended.

Death and mourning in the workplace or in a professional setting are difficult, complex times for all involved: employees, coworkers, supervisors and employers. To learn more about notifying your employer, paid time off and other workplace related topics, please visit the Workplace section under Sitting Shiva.