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I Will Write It In Their Hearts - Volume 4
A Treasury of Letters from the Lubavitcher Rebbe,
Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson
Selections from Igros Kodesh


Mourning Customs

Translated by: Rabbi Eli Touger

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  The importance of dedicating texts of Chassidus on behalf of relativesTable of contentsSome Yom Kippur customs; why the Tanya does not mention bashfulness when speaking of the good character traits that are naturally found within the Jewish people  

No. 412

This letter was addressed to Rabbi Avraham Eliyahu Axelrod, an active communal Rabbi in Baltimore.
B"H, 29 Tishrei, 5709

Greetings and blessings,

I was informed of the tragedy that occurred with the passing of your mother. May the Omnipresent comfort you among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

As per your request, in addition to what I sent you on Chol HaMoed Sukkos (which I sent with the intent that it be returned), I will also elucidate certain practices that stem from the directives of my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe Shlita.[31]

We do not tear the tallis katan. One should recite the Yizkor prayers in the first year [after the passing of his parent].[32] He should not leave the synagogue, but he should recite [the prayer] in a manner that it is not obvious [that he is reciting it]. He should receive the aliyah of maftir for the entire eleven months [that he recites Kaddish]. He should endeavor to receive an aliyah to the Torah whenever possible. On Shabbos, this applies in both the morning and the afternoon. The prayer E-l Malei Rachamim should not be recited during the first year.

One should endeavor to read publicly from the Torah and recite Mishnayos according to their order.[33] The twenty-fourth chapter [of Taharos] and [the seventh chapter of] Mikvaos[34] [should be studied] after every prayer service during the thirty days of Shloshim mourning. Afterwards, it is sufficient to study the four mishnayos [at the conclusion of the cited chapter of Mikvaos whose letters serve as an acronym for the word] neshamah (“soul”).

The following Kaddeishim should be recited: before prayer [i.e., after the passage beginning Rabbi Yishmael], before Barchu, after the Shemoneh Esreh,[35] after U’va LeTziyon Goel and the Song of the Day, after kavei, after Aleinu, after Tehillim, and after the Mishnayos; before and after the Shemoneh Esreh of the Minchah service, after Aleinu, and after Mishnayos; before Barchu in the evening service, before and after the Shemoneh Esreh, after Aleinu, and after Mishnayos.

May [we merit] speedily in our days the fulfillment of the prophecy:[36] “Those who lie in the dust will arise and sing,” after the coming of Mashiach and the true and complete Redemption.

Rabbi Menachem Schneerson

   

Notes:

  1. (Back to text) [These instructions were conveyed by the Previous Rebbe to the Rebbe in a letter written to him after the passing of the Rebbe’s father in 5704.]

  2. (Back to text) [Note Sefer HaMinhagim, Chabad, p. 59, which states that the custom is not to recite this prayer in the first year after one’s parent’s death.]

  3. (Back to text) [I.e., beginning with the Order of Zera’im and ending with the Order of Taharos.]

  4. (Back to text) [See Siddur Tehillat Hashem, pp. 510 and 512, which states that R. Yisrael of Ruzhin and the Atzei Eden authored by the Rebbe of Komarna recommend the study of these chapters of the Mishnah to elevate the souls of the departed.]

  5. (Back to text) [More precisely, on the days when Tachanun is recited, after the Tachanun prayers.]

  6. (Back to text) [Cf. Yeshayahu 26:19.]


  The importance of dedicating texts of Chassidus on behalf of relativesTable of contentsSome Yom Kippur customs; why the Tanya does not mention bashfulness when speaking of the good character traits that are naturally found within the Jewish people  


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