Jewish dating traditions
The loss is forever, but the psychological, emotional, and spiritual healing that takes place at every stage is necessary and healthy.This article will examine the following topics: Stage one: shiva Sitting shiva Arranging the shiva house After the cemetery Timing of shiva Paying a shiva call Prayer services Leaving a shiva house The three day "shiva" Getting up from shiva Stage two: shloshim Stage three: the one-year period Annual remembrances: yizkor Yahrtzeit Unveiling of tombstone Visiting the cemetery Grief and bereavement After the burial, the immediate mourners return to a home called the "shiva house," to begin a seven day period of intense mourning. This week is called "sitting shiva," and is an emotionally and spiritually healing time where the mourners sit low, dwell together, and friends and loved ones come to comfort them with short visits referred to as "shiva calls." A person sits shiva after having lost a parent, spouse, sibling, or child.Others must take care of any errands or outside commitments for them.To be seen during the day in public would force one to put on a "public face" which is inappropriate during this time.However, once shiva begins, the focus shifts to the mourners.The mourners experience a week of intense grief, and the community is there to love and comfort and provide for their needs.From the time of death until the conclusion of the funeral, the primary focus and concern is on the care of the deceased and the burial preparations.The care for the departed before burial, the eulogy, the actual burial – all are done to honor the one who has died, and not to comfort the mourners.
The workplace draws our thoughts and feelings outward, thus if at all possible, should be avoided.If this is not possible, designate one home as the shiva house, and those who cannot sleep there may leave after dark to go home, and return to the shiva house early in the morning.Mourners should ideally not leave the shiva house at any time.One mourner said her journey through the stages of mourning was like being in a cocoon.At first she felt numb and not perceptively alive, yet gradually she emerged as a butterfly ready again to fly.