According to Rabbinic Law, a mourner should observe some of the mourning practices for 30 days. Which source did our Sages use as a support for the concept of 30 days? Deuteronomy 21:13 states: "And she shall cry for her father and mother for a month." Implied is that a mourner will feel discomfort for a month.


מִדִבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים שֶׁיִּהְיֶה הָאָבֵל נוֹהֵג בְּמִקְצָת דִּבְרֵי אֲבֵלוּת כָּל שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם. וּמִנַּיִן סָמְכוּ חֲכָמִים לִשְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כא יג) "וּבָכְתָה אֶת אָבִיהָ וְאֶת אִמָּהּ יֶרַח יָמִים". מִכְלַל שֶׁהָאָבֵל מִצְטַעֵר כָּל שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם:


These are the practices forbidden to a mourner for the entire 30-day period. He is forbidden to cut his hair, to wear freshly ironed clothing, to marry, to enter a celebration of friends, and to go on a business trip to another city; five matters in all.


וְאֵלּוּ דְּבָרִים שֶׁהָאָבֵל אָסוּר בָּהֶן כָּל שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם. אָסוּר בְּתִסְפֹּרֶת. וּבְגִהוּץ. וּבְנִשּׂוּאִין. וּבְשִׂמְחַת מֵרֵעוּת. וְלֵילֵךְ בִּסְחוֹרָה מִמְּדִינָה לִמְדִינָה. הַכּל חֲמִשָּׁה דְּבָרִים:


What does the prohibition against cutting one's hair involve? Just as it is forbidden to cut any of the hair of one's body, to shave one's mustache, or to cut one's nails with a utensil through the seven days of mourning; so too, he is forbidden throughout these 30 days.

To whom does the above apply? To a man. A woman, by contrast, is permitted to remove hair after seven days although a man must wait 30. For one's father or mother, a man is obligated to let his hair grow until it becomes noticeably long or until his colleagues rebuke him for not attending to his appearance.


בְּתִסְפֹּרֶת כֵּיצַד. כְּשֵׁם שֶׁאָסוּר לְסַפֵּר כָּל שְׂעַר גּוּפוֹ. אוֹ לְגַלֵּחַ שְׂפָמוֹ. אוֹ לָקֹץ צִפָּרְנָיו בִּכְלִי כָּל שִׁבְעָה. כָּךְ אָסוּר כָּל שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּאִישׁ. אֲבָל בְּאִשָּׁה מֻתֶּרֶת בִּנְטִילַת שֵׂעָר לְאַחַר שִׁבְעָה וְהָאִישׁ עַד שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם. וְעַל אָבִיו וְעַל אִמּוֹ חַיָּב לְגַדֵּל שְׂעָרוֹ עַד שֶׁיִּשְׁלַח פֶּרַע אוֹ עַד שֶׁיִּגְעֲרוּ בּוֹ חֲבֵרָיו:


Similarly, a mourner is forbidden to wear new white clothes that have been ironed for 30 days. This applies to both a man and a woman. If they are colored and ironed, it is permitted. Similarly, if they are not new although they are white and ironed, it is permitted. There is no prohibition against wearing linen clothes that were ironed.

After 30 days, one may wear ironed clothes, even if one is in mourning for one's father or mother.


וְכֵן אָסוּר לִלְבּשׁ כֵּלִים לְבָנִים חֲדָשִׁים וּמְגֹהָצִין כָּל שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם. אֶחָד הָאִישׁ וְאֶחָד הָאִשָּׁה. הָיוּ צְבוּעִין וּמְגֹהָצִין מֻתָּרִין. וְכֵן אִם לֹא הָיוּ חֲדָשִׁים אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵן לְבָנִים וּמְגֹהָצִין מֻתָּרִין. וּכְלֵי פִּשְׁתָּן אֵין בָּהֶן מִשּׁוּם גִּהוּץ. וּלְאַחַר שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם מֻתָּר בְּגִהוּץ אֲפִלּוּ עַל אָבִיו וְעַל אִמּוֹ:


What does the prohibition against marriage involve? It is forbidden to marry a woman throughout these 30 days. It is, however, permitted to consecrate her even on the day of the death of one's relative.

When a man's wife dies, if he already fulfilled the mitzvah of procreation, and he has someone to attend to him and he does not have young children, he may not remarry until three festivals pass. If, however, a person has not fulfilled the mitzvah of procreation, or fulfilled the mitzvah and has young children, or does not have someone to attend to him, he is permitted to consecrate and marry immediately. It is, however, forbidden for him to enter into relations with his wife until 30 days have passed. Similarly, a woman who was in mourning should not enter into relations until 30 days have passed.


בְּנִשּׂוּאִין כֵּיצַד. אָסוּר לִשָּׂא אִשָּׁה כָּל שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם. וּמֻתָּר לְאָרְשָׂהּ אֲפִלּוּ בְּיוֹם הַמִּיתָה. וּמִי שֶׁמֵּתָה אִשְׁתּוֹ אִם כְּבָר קִיֵּם מִצְוַת פְּרִיָּה וּרְבִיָּה וְיֵשׁ לוֹ מִי שֶׁיְּשַׁמְּשֶׁנּוּ וְאֵין לוֹ בָּנִים קְטַנִּים הֲרֵי זֶה אָסוּר לִשָּׂא אִשָּׁה אַחֶרֶת עַד שֶׁיַּעַבְרוּ עָלָיו שְׁלֹשָׁה רְגָלִים. אֲבָל מִי שֶׁלֹּא קִיֵּם מִצְוַת פְּרִיָּה וּרְבִיָּה אוֹ שֶׁקִּיֵּם וְיֵשׁ לוֹ בָּנִים קְטַנִּים אוֹ שֶׁאֵין לוֹ מִי שֶׁיְּשַׁמְּשֶׁנּוּ הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר לְאָרְשָׂהּ וְלִכְנֹס מִיָּד. וְאָסוּר לוֹ לָבוֹא עָלֶיהָ עַד שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם. וְכֵן הָאִשָּׁה שֶׁהָיְתָה אֲבֵלָה לֹא תִּבָּעֵל עַד שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם:

Mishneh Torah (Moznaim)

Featuring a modern English translation and a commentary that presents a digest of the centuries of Torah scholarship which have been devoted to the study of the Mishneh Torah by Maimonides.


A friendly get-together which a person is obligated to requite immediately may be held immediately after the seven days of mourning. If, however, he is not obligated to requite such a gathering, he is forbidden to enter one until 30 days pass.


שִׂמְחַת מֵרֵעוּת שֶׁהָיָה חַיָּב לִפְרֹעַ אוֹתָהּ מִיָּד. מֻתָּר לַעֲשׂוֹתָהּ מִיָּד לְאַחַר שִׁבְעָה. אֲבָל אִם אֵינוֹ חַיָּב לְפָרְעָהּ אָסוּר לְהִכָּנֵס לָהּ עַד שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם:


When does the above apply? When one is mourning for other deceased persons. When mourning for one's father or mother, by contrast, under all circumstances, one is forbidden to enter a friendly gathering for twelve months.


בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בִּשְׁאָר כָּל מֵתִים. אֲבָל עַל אָבִיו וְעַל אִמּוֹ בֵּין כָּךְ וּבֵין כָּךְ לֹא יִכָּנֵס לְשִׂמְחַת מֵרֵעוּת עַד י''ב חֹדֶשׁ:


When mourning for all other deceased persons, one is permitted to go on a business trip immediately after 30 days pass. When mourning for one's father or mother, by contrast, one should not go until his colleagues rebuke him and tell him: "Come with us."


עַל כָּל הַמֵּתִים כֻּלָּן מֻתָּר לֵילֵךְ בִּסְחוֹרָה לְאַחַר שְׁלֹשִׁים. עַל אָבִיו וְעַל אִמּוֹ עַד שֶׁיִּגְעֲרוּ בּוֹ חֲבֵרָיו וְיֹאמְרוּ לוֹ לֵךְ עִמָּנוּ:


When mourning for all other deceased persons, if one desires, one may reduce his business activities. If he does not desire, he need not reduce them. When mourning for one's father or mother, by contrast, one should reduce one's business activities.


עַל כָּל הַמֵּתִים כֻּלָּן רָצָה מְמַעֵט בְּעִסְקוֹ רָצָה אֵינוֹ מְמַעֵט. עַל אָבִיו וְעַל אִמּוֹ מְמַעֵט בְּעִסְקוֹ:


When a person is journeying from place to place, he should minimize his commercial activity if possible. If not, he should purchase the articles he needs for his journey and articles which are necessary to maintain his existence.


הַהוֹלֵךְ מִמָּקוֹם לְמָקוֹם אִם יָכוֹל לְמַעֵט בְּעִסְקוֹ יְמַעֵט וְאִם לָאו יִקְנֶה צָרְכֵי הַדֶּרֶךְ וּדְבָרִים שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהֶן חַיֵּי נֶפֶשׁ:


When a person's husband, wife, father, or mother was crucified in a city, it is forbidden for him to dwell in that city until the flesh of the corpse decomposes. If it is a major metropolis like Antioch, one may dwell in the other portion of the city, where one's relatives are not crucified.


מִי שֶׁהָיָה בַּעְלָהּ צָלוּב בָּעִיר אוֹ אִשְׁתּוֹ צְלוּבָה אוֹ אָבִיו וְאִמּוֹ. אָסוּר לוֹ לִשְׁכֹּן בְּאוֹתָהּ הָעִיר עַד שֶׁיִּכְלֶה הַבָּשָׂר. וְאִם הָיְתָה עִיר גְּדוֹלָה כְּאַנְטוֹכְיָא יֵשׁ לוֹ לִשְׁכֹּן בַּצַּד הָאַחֵר שֶׁאֵינָן צְלוּבִין בּוֹ:


Even a portion of the seventh day is considered as the entire day and is counted both as part of the seven days of acute mourning and the 30 days of mourning. Therefore it is permissible to launder, to wash, and to perform other activities on the seventh day. Similarly, even a portion of the thirtieth day is considered as the entire day and it is permitted to cut one's hair and iron one's clothes on that day.


יוֹם שְׁבִיעִי מִקְצָתוֹ כְּכֻלּוֹ וְהוּא עוֹלֶה לְכָאן וּלְכָאן. וּלְפִיכָךְ מֻתָּר לְכַבֵּס וְלִרְחֹץ וְלַעֲשׂוֹת שְׁאָר הַדְּבָרִים בְּיוֹם שְׁבִיעִי. וְכֵן יוֹם שְׁלֹשִׁים מִקְצָתוֹ כְּכֻלּוֹ וּמֻתָּר לְסַפֵּר וּלְגַהֵץ בְּיוֹם שְׁלֹשִׁים:


The following laws apply when one suffers several losses for which he is required to mourn one after the other. If his hair grows overly long, he may trim it with a razor, but not with scissors. He may wash his clothes in water, but not with soap or using sand. He may wash his entire body in cold water, but not in hot water.

Similarly, when one suffers repeated losses for which he must mourn after arriving from an overseas journey, being released from captivity or prison, being released from a ban of ostracism under which he had been placed, being absolved from a vow which he had taken, or emerging from a state of ritual impurity to one of purity, he may cut his hair in the midst of the period of mourning. The rationale is that one period of mourning followed the other and the people did not have the opportunity to care for themselves.


מִי שֶׁתְּכָפוּהוּ אֲבָלָיו וְהִכְבִּיד שְׂעָרוֹ מֵקֵל בְּתַעַר לֹא בְּמִסְפָּרַיִם. וּמְכַבֵּס כְּסוּתוֹ בְּמַיִם אֲבָל לֹא בְּנֶתֶר וְלֹא בְּחוֹל. וְרוֹחֵץ כָּל גּוּפוֹ בְּצוֹנֵן אֲבָל לֹא בְּחַמִּין. וְכֵן מִי שֶׁתְּכָפוּהוּ אֲבָלָיו וּבָא מִמְּדִינַת הַיָּם וּמִבֵּית הַשִּׁבְיָה. אוֹ שֶׁיָּצָא מִבֵּית הָאֲסוּרִים. אוֹ שֶׁהָיָה מְנֻדֶּה וְהֻתַּר. אוֹ שֶׁהָיָה מֻדָּר וְנִשְׁאַל עַל נִדְרוֹ וְהֻתַּר. וְכָל הַיּוֹצֵא מִטֻּמְאָה לְטָהֳרָה. הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ מְגַלְּחִין בִּימֵי אֶבְלָם הוֹאִיל וּתְכָפָם אֵבֶל אַחַר אֵבֶל וְלֹא מָצְאוּ פְּנַאי: