Between Shiva and Shloshim

Even though the Shiva (first seven days of mourning) has ended, one is considered a mourner for twelve months for a parent, and until the Shloshim (the thirtieth day from burial) for other relatives. During these twenty-three days, the intensity of mourning is reduced. However, some restrictions continue to remain in effect. One should consult a competent rabbi for complete guidance in all of these matters.

Notable restrictions that are lifted:

  1. Mourners are no longer confined to the Shiva home.

  2. One may change out of the clothing worn during Shiva.

  3. One may greet others with customary greetings (“Hello," "How are you," etc.), but others should not greet him in this manner. If they do, he may respond in kind.

  4. One may sit on regular chairs.

  5. One may wear leather shoes.

  6. One may return to work and engage in business.

  7. One may use cosmetics, lotions, oils, perfumes, makeup, and wear jewelry.

  8. One may study Torah.

  9. One may resume marital relations.

  10. One may attend a Brit Milah (circumcision of a child), Pidyon Haben (redemption of the firstborn son), Bar Mitzva, T'noim (engagement), and a Siyum (celebration upon completion of a tractate of Mishna or Talmud), but one should not remain for the meal.

Restrictions that carry over:

  1. One may not wear new, freshly laundered, or ironed clothing. In the case of great need, one may have the clothing worn by someone else for a few moments and then they are permitted to him. This does not apply to shirts, underwear, and socks or stockings, which may be changed as required.

  2. One may still not take a luxurious bath or shower during this period.

  3. If one became dirty or sweaty, he may shower in the usual manner; however, he should do it as quickly as possible.

  4. One may not take a haircut, shave, or cut one's nails. (A woman preparing for the Mikvah may do all her usual preparations.)

  5. One may not listen to music or attend a concert, nor go on pleasure trips and tours. This also includes attending social events such as dinners, parties, and so on. One who is mourning his parents may not do so for the entire year.

  6. One may go into a wedding hall to wish a close relative or friend "Mazal Tov," before the meal is served and while no music is being played. Consult a competent rabbi for guidance.

  7. One should avoid activities that are not in the spirit of mourning. For example, one may not buy a new home, nor redecorate, renovate, or purchase new furniture, and so on, unless one will suffer great financial loss if it is delayed past the Shloshim.

  8. One may not marry during the Shloshim. Nowadays, when preparations for the wedding begin months in advance, and postponing the wedding will result in great financial loss, some permit it during the Shloshim, but not during Shiva. Consult a competent rabbi for complete guidance.

  9. If one's profession is such that he must attend festive events for his income (musician, photographer, caterer, etc.), he may attend them. Some relatives and friends rely on this leniency after Shiva and act as a "waiter" by serving a few dishes so that they may attend a wedding of a relative or close friend. This should only be done when one's lack of attendance will cause the celebrants great pain. In general, consult a competent rabbi for guidance.

The Thirtieth Day

The Shloshim is the thirtieth day from burial. When mourning all relatives except one's parents, the mourning period concludes following the morning service on this day. When mourning parents, the mourning continues for a full twelve months, until the first Yartzeit.

Traditionally, families gather on the eve of the Shloshim to share support, recite prayers and Psalms, and to give charity in the merit of the deceased. Many will also make a Siyum, celebrating the completion of the Mishnayot studied to merit the soul of the deceased, as well as a meal.

When Shloshim is Not Thirty Days

Sometimes Shloshim can be less than thirty days. This happens when a Jewish holiday occurs during Shiva and thus annuls the remaining days of Shiva mourning. One then calculates the Shloshim day as follows:

Passover and Shavuot: Fifteen days after the holiday ends.

Sukkot: Eight days after the holiday ends.

Rosh Hashana: Between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur one observes those days as one does between Shiva and Shloshim, then Yom Kippur annuls the remaining part of Shloshim.

Yom Kippur: Between Yom Kippur and Sukkot one observes those days as one does between Shiva and Shloshim, then Sukkot annuls the remaining part of Shloshim.

Also, if a Jewish holiday occurs between Shiva and Shloshim, it annuls the remaining days of Shloshim, and one conducts himself as if Shloshim is complete.