1

These are the things a mourner is forbidden to do during the first seven days: to work, to bathe, to anoint himself to wear shoes and to engage in marital relations. He is forbidden to study Torah, he is forbidden to offer greetings, he is forbidden to wear a pressed garment, cut his hair, or be present at any festivity. He is also forbidden to put on Tefillin the first day.

א

אֵלוּ דְבָרִים שֶׁהָאָבֵל אָסוּר בָּהֶם כָּל שִׁבְעָה: בִּמְלָאכָה, בִּרְחִיצָה, בְּסִיכָה, בִּנְעִילַת הַסַּנְדָּל, וּבְתַשְׁמִישׁ הַמִּטָה. וְאָסוּר לִקְרוֹת בַּתּוֹרָה, וְאָסוּר בִּשְׁאֵילַת שָׁלוֹם, וְאָסוּר בְּגִהוּץ וּבְתִסְפֹּרֶת וּבְכָל מִינֵי שִׂמְחָה. וְאָסוּר לְהַנִיחַ תְּפִלִּין בַּיּוֹם הָרִאשׁוֹן.

2

What are the rules concerning work? During the first three days1 a mourner must not perform any work, even if he is a poor man who relies on charity. But after the fourth day if the mourner is a poor man, and has nothing to eat, he may work privately at home. A woman may also work privately in her own home to earn enough for her sustenance. But our Sages say:2 "May a curse fall on the mourner's neighbors who made it necessary for him to do work," for it is their duty to provide for the poor, especially during the days of his mourning.

ב

מְלָאכָה כֵּיצַד. כָּל שְׁלשָׁה יָמִים הָרִאשׁוֹנִים, אָסוּר בִּמְלָאכָה, אֲפִלּוּ הוּא עָנִי הַמִּתְפַּרְנֵס מִן הַצְדָקָה. מִיּוֹם הָרְבִיעִי וְאֵילֵךְ, אִם הוּא עָנִי וְאֵין לוֹ מַה יֹאכַל, עוֹשֶׂה בְּצִנְעָא בְּתוֹךְ בֵּיתוֹ. וְכֵן הָאִשָּׁה עוֹשָׂה מְלַאכְתָּהּ בְּתוֹךְ בֵּיתָהּ בְּצִנְעָא כְּדֵי פַּרְנָסָתָהּ. אֲבָל אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים, תָּבוֹא מְאֵרָה לִשְׁכֵנָיו שֶׁהִצְרִיכוּהוּ לְכָךְ, כִּי עֲלֵיהֶם מֻטָּל לְהַשְׁגִּיחַ עַל הֶעָנִי, וּמִכָּל שֶׁכֵּן בִּימֵי אֶבְלוֹ.

3

It is forbidden even to have his work done by others, and even by a non-Jew. If the work is very urgent and he might sustain a loss by not doing it, he should consult a competent Rav.

ג

אֲפִלּוּ לַעֲשׂוֹת מְלַאכְתּוֹ עַל יְדֵי אֲחֵרִים וַאֲפִלּוּ עַל יְדֵי גוֹי, אָסוּר. וְאִם הַמְּלָאכָה דָּבָר נָחוּץ מְאֹד וְיָכוֹל לָבוֹא לִידֵי הֶפְסֵד, יַעֲשֶׂה שְׁאֵלַת חָכָם.

4

Just as he is forbidden to do work, so is he forbidden to transact business. If he possesses merchandise, which unless he sells now he will sustain a loss of the principle, he should consult a competent Rav. If caravans or ships arrived with merchandise, which is now being sold at a low price, and will be unavailable later, or, if he was at the market when he received timely news,3 he may transact business through others.

ד

כְּשֵׁם שֶׁאָסוּר בִּמְלָאכָה, כָּךְ אָסוּר לוֹ לִשָּׂא וְלִתֵּן בִּסְחוֹרָה. וְאִם יֶשׁ לוֹ סְחוֹרָה שֶׁאִם לֹא יִמְכְּרֶנָה עַכְשָׁו יִהְיֶה לּוֹ הֶפְסֵד מִן הַקֶּרֶן, יַעֲשֶׂה גַּם כֵּן שְׁאֵלַת חָכָם. וְאִם בָּאוּ שַׁיָרוֹת אוֹ סְפִינוֹת שֶׁמּוֹכְרִים עַתָּה בְּזֹל וְאַחַר כָּךְ לֹא יִמְצָא, וְכֵן אִם הוּא בְיָרִיד וְשָׁמַע שְׁמוּעָה קְרוֹבָה, יָכוֹל לִמְכּוֹר וְלִקְנוֹת עַל יְדֵי אֲחֵרִים.

5

He may lend money on interest through an agent to non-Jews who are accustomed to borrow from him. The same applies to selling merchandise to his regular customers, so that they should not become accustomed to trade elsewhere.

ה

מֻתָּר לְהַלְווֹת בְּרִבִּית עַל יְדֵי אֲחֵרִים לְגוֹיִם הָרְגִילִים לִלְווֹת מִמֶּנּוּ. וְהוּא הַדִּין לִמְכּוֹר סְחוֹרָה לָרְגִילִים אֶצְלוֹ, שֶׁלֹּא יַרְגִילוּ אֶת עַצְמָם אֵצֶל אֲחֵרִים.

6

He is permitted to send someone to collect his debts, if he has reason to fear they might become uncollectable later.

ו

מֻתָּר לוֹ לִֹשְׁלוֹחַ לִגְבּוֹת חוֹבוֹתָיו שֶׁיֵּשׂ בָהֶם חֲשָׁשׁ שֶׁמָא יִתְקַלְקָלוּ.

7

Such writing that is permitted on Chol Hamoed is also permitted to a mourner, if it cannot be done by someone else.

ז

כְּתִיבָה הַמֻּתֶּרֶת בְּחֹל הַמּוֹעֵד, מֻתֶּרֶת גַּם לְאָבֵל אִם אִי אֶפְשָׁר לוֹ עַל יְדֵי אַחֵר.

8

If a mourner's field is occupied by a tenant either as a sharecropper, (e.g., a third or a quarter share) or on lease (whereby the tenant gives the owner a fixed amount of the field's produce), or on a rental basis (whereby he pays him an amount of money for rent), they may work the field as usual, during the owner's time of mourning, for since the work is for their own benefit (profit), they need not suffer any loss on the account of the owner's mourning. However, if the mourner has a day laborer working in his field, he is forbidden to let him work, even if the field is in another city, since the work being done is for the benefit of the mourner, and it is done publicly.

ח

אָבֵל, שֶׁשָּׂדֵהוּ בְיַד אֲחֵרִים בַּאֲרִיסוּת (דְּהַיְנוּ לִשְׁלִישׁ אוֹ לִרְבִיעַ), אוֹ בַּחֲכִירוּת (שֶנּוֹתֵן הַמְקַבֵּל לְבַעַל הַשָּׂדֶה סְכוּם קָצוּב מִפֵּרוֹת הַשָּׂדֶה) אוֹ בְקַבְּלָנוּת (שֶׁנּוֹתֵן לוֹ מָעוֹת בִּשְׂכִירוּת), הֲרֵי אֵלוּ עוֹבְדִין כְּדַרְכָּן בִּימֵי הָאֵבֶל שֶׁל בַּעַל הַשָּׂדֶה, דְּכֵיוָן שֶׁהָעֲבוֹדָה זֹאת לְתוֹעֶלֶת שֶׁלָּהֶם, אֵין לָהֶם לְהַפְסִיד בִּשְׁבִיל אֶבְלוֹ. אֲבָל אִם יֵשׁ לָאָבֵל שְׂכִיר יוֹם לַעֲשׂוֹת בְּשָׂדֵהוּ, אָסוּר אֲפִלּוּ אִם הַשָּׂדֶה בְּעִיר אַחֶרֶת, כֵּיוָן שֶׁעֲבוֹדָה זֹאת, הִיא לְתוֹעֶלֶת הָאָבֵל וְהִיא בְפַרְהֶסְיָא (וְעַיֵּן לְעֵיל סָעִיף יג).

9

If the mourner is a sharecropper in the field of another, he himself is forbidden to do the work, but he may employ others to do it, for it is not called the work of the mourner, but rather that of the owner of the field. If others have contracted work for the mourner to do, he is forbidden to do it even by employing others. But if it is work the delay of which will cause him to sustain a [substantial] loss, he may have it done by others.

ט

אִם הָאָבֵל הוּא אָרִיס בְּשָׂדֶה שֶל אַחֵר, אָסוּר לוֹ לַעֲבוֹד בּוֹ בְעַצְמוֹ. אֲבָל עַל יְדֵי אֲחֵרִים, מֻתָּר, מִשּׁוּם דְּאֵין זֹאת נִקְרֵאת מְלֶאכֶת הָאָבֵל אֶלָּא מְלֶאכֶת בַּעַל הַשָּׂדֶה. וְאִם יֵשׁ שְׁאָר דָּבָר שֶׁל אֲחֵרִים בְּיַד הָאָבֵל לַעֲשׂוֹתוֹ, לֹא יַעֲשֶׂה אֲפִלּוּ עַל יְדֵי אֲחֵרִים. אַךְ כְּשֶׁהוּא דָבָר הָאָבֵד, יַעֲשֶׂה עַל יְדֵי אֲחֵרִים.

10

When the animals of a mourner are hired out to another person, the renter is permitted to do work with them, since he rented them before the owner became a mourner, and through renting one acquires certain rights of ownership, and they are considered the property of the renter; but after expiration of the time for which they were rented, he is forbidden to use them.

י

בְּהֵמוֹת שֶׁל הָאָבֵל הַמֻּשְׂכָּרִים לְאַחֵר, מֻתָּר הַשּׂוֹכֵר לַעֲשׂוֹת בָּהֶם מְלָאכָה, כֵּיוָן שֶׁשְּׂכָרָם קֹדֶם שֶׁנַּעֲשָה אָבֵל, וּשְׂכִירוּת קַנְיָא, וְהַוְיָן שֶׁל הַשּׂוֹכֵר. וּלְאַחַר כְּלוֹת יְמֵי הַשְּׂכִירוּת, אָסוּר.

11

A mourner is permitted to accept work to be done after his period of mourning, provided he does not weigh or measure as he would do at other times.

יא

מֻתָּר לָאָבֵל לְקַבֵּל מְלָאכָה לַעֲשׂוֹתָהּ אַחַר יְמֵי אֶבְלוֹ, וּבִלְבַד שֶׁלֹּא יִשְׁקֹל וְלֹא יִמְדֹּד כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁהוּא עוֹשֶׂה בִּשְׁאָר פְּעָמִים.

12

If the mourner had given work to a contractor, since it is on a contractual basis, and the work was received prior to his becoming a mourner, and it is being done privately at the home of the contractor, the contractor is permitted to do it.

יב

הָיְתָה לָאָבֵל אֵיזוֹ מְלָאכָה בְּיַד אַחֵר, כֵּיוָן שֶׁהִיא בְקַבְּלָנוּת וְקִבֵּל אֶת הַמְּלָאכָה קֹדֶם שֶׁנַּעֲשָׂה אָבֵל וְגַם הִיא בְצִנְעָא בְּבֵיתוֹ שֶׁל בַּעַל הַמְּלָאכָה, לָכֵן מֻתָּר לוֹ לַעֲשֹוֹתָה.

13

Construction of a building belonging to a mourner, even if done by a non-Jew on a contractual basis, and in a far-away place where no Jews live, is forbidden. If the work in his field was given to others on a contractual basis, whereby he pays the worker a fixed wage for all the work in the field: ploughing, sowing, harvesting, and similar work, some Poskim permit the work to be done.

יג

מְלֶאכֶת בִּנְיָן שֶׁל הָאָבֵל, אֲפִלּוּ עַל יְדֵי גוֹי וּבְקַבְּלָנוּת וּבְמָקוֹם רָחוֹק שֶׁאֵין יִשְׂרְאֵלִים דָּרִים שָׁם, אָסוּר. וּמְלֶאכֶת שָׂדֵהוּ בְיַד אֲחֵרִים בְּקַבְּלָנוּת, דְּהַיְנוּ שֶׁהוּא נוֹתֵן לַפּוֹעֵל שָׂכָר קָצוּב בְּעַד כָּל עֲבוֹדוֹת הַשָׂדֶה, חֲרִישָׁה וּזְרִיעָה וּקְצִירָה וְכַדּוֹמֶה, יֵשׁ מַתִּירִין וְיֵשׁ אוֹסְרִין.

14

Domestic chores are not considered forbidden work for a mourner. Thus, a woman is permitted, during the period of her mourning, to bake, cook, and do all household chores that she finds necessary. But that which is not necessary is forbidden to do. Also, a domestic servant who is in mourning, even though she is a paid servant she is permitted to do all the housework. But she is not permitted to do work that is not necessary for the house, but only to earn extra money, and certainly she may not leave the house just as any other mourner is forbidden to do so.

יד

מְלָאכוֹת הַבַּיִת, אֵין בָּהֶן מִשּׁוּם מְלָאכָה לָאָבֵל, וּמֻתָּר לְאִשָּׁה בִימֵי אֶבְלָהּ לֶאֱפוֹת וּלְבַשֵּׁל וְלַעֲשׂוֹת כָּל צָרְכֵי הַבַּיִת מַה שֶּׁצָּרִיךְ לָהּ. אֲבָל מַה שֶּׁאֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לָהּ, אָסוּר. וְכֵן מְשָׁרֶתֶת שֶׁאֵרַע לָהּ אֵבֶל, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהִיא מְשָׁרֶתֶת בְּשָֹכָר, מֻתָּר לָהּ לַעֲשׂוֹת כָּל צָרְכֵי הַבָּיִת. אֲבָל לֹא תַעֲשֶׂה מַה שֶּׁאֵינוֹ צָרְכֵי הַבַּיִת אֶלָּא לְהַרְוִיחַ, וְכָל שֶׁכֵּן שֶלֹּא תֵצֵא מִן הַבַּיִת, כְּמוֹ שְׁאָר אָבֵל.

15

If two people are partners in a store, and one of them became a mourner, they must close their store, so that the partner does not do work in public. But he may do work in the privacy of his home, even in such matters in which both partners have an interest. If the mourner is a distinguished person, and the business bears his name, as he has a share in it, the partner is forbidden to conduct the business even in his own home. In the event a great loss would be sustained if the the mourner's partner, too, would not open the store, they should consult a competent Rav as to whether it may be opened after three days.

טו

שְׁנֵי שֻׁתָּפִים חֶנְוָנִים שֶׁאֵרַע אֵבֶל לְאֶחָד מֵהֶם, נוֹעֲלִים חֲנוּתָם, שֶׁלֹּא יַעֲשֶׂה הַשֻׁתָּף בְפַרְהֶסְיָא. אֲבָל יָכוֹל לַעֲשׂוֹת בְּצִנְעָא בְּתוֹךְ בֵּיתוֹ אֲפִלּוּ בְעֵסֶק הַשֻּׁתָּפוּת. וְאִם הָאָבֵל הוּא אָדָם חָשׁוּב וְהַשֻׁתָּפוּת נִקְרֵאת עַל שְׁמוֹ שֶׁיֵשׁ לָאָבֵל חֵלֶק בּוֹ, אָסוּר לַשֵּׁנִי לַעֲשׂוֹת אֲפִלּוּ בְתוֹךְ בֵּיתוֹ. וּבִמְקוֹם שֶׁיֵשׁ הֶפְסֵד גָּדוֹל אִם גַּם הַשֻׁתָּף שֶׁל הָאָבֵל לֹא יִפְתַח הֶחָנוּת, יַעֲשׂו שְׁאֵלַת חָכָם אִם לְהַתִּיר לְאַחַר שְׁלֹשָׁה יָמִים (וְעַיֵּן בְּהַגָּהוֹת הג' מהרב"פ זצ"ל ובחכ"א קוֹנט' מַצֶבֶת מֹשֶׁה סִימָן ד' ובברכ"י).