At a funeral, children and grandchildren do not follow the bier of either a father or a mother.
A mourner puts on the tefillin of Rabbeinu Tam [as usual] during [the initial seven-day period of mourning known as] the Shivah.
During this period, a mourner may study the inner dimensions of the Torah [i.e., Chassidus].
One endeavors to daven early on the seventh day of the Shivah. At the conclusion of the last prayer service held before the mourner rises from the Shivah, all the other people present leave the room momentarily, then return to say the customary words of consolation [which callers at the house had addressed to the mourner throughout the Shivah], viz., hamakom yenacheim eschem besoch shaar aveli tziyun veyerushalayim ("May the Almighty comfort you together with all those who lament over Zion and Jerusalem!"). In a tone of reprimand, they then order the mourner to rise from his Shivah. When he has risen, those present say, hamakom yigdor portzos imo yisrael("May the Almighty rebuild the battered walls of His people Israel"). They then wish the mourner long life. Finally, a plain stone (which is not an implement or a vessel) is used [as a hammer] to drive a nail into the place where he had sat.
The charity donated before or after prayers should preferably be given in small coins, which the Alter Rebbe refers to as kaskasim ("scales"). The amount should be varied each time, so that [the repetition of] the amount should not constitute a vow which would oblige [the individual to continue accordingly]. The coins accumulated should be distributed to various charities on the eve of [the following] Rosh Chodesh.
At [each of the three daily] prayer services, five candles are lit [in front of the mourner leading the congregation].
[A mourner may lead the services on Chanukah, except for the reading of Hallel. On Rosh Chodesh, however, and likewise on any day on which Mussaf is said, he does not lead the services, even at Minchah or Maariv.]
A mourner endeavors to undertake the public Reading of the Torah in shul on Monday and Thursday mornings and at Minchah on Shabbos.
[At the conclusion of Shacharis,] Mishnayos should be studied after the daily reading of Tehillim. Ch. 24 of the Mishnayos of Tractate Keilim and ch. 7 of Tractate Mikvaos should be studied after Maariv, Shacharis and Minchah during the entire [first] eleven months of mourning and on the day of the yahrzeit.
During [this] period of mourning, only one Mishnah is studied aloud. It is [only this] conclusion of the chapters of Mishnayos [i.e., Mikvaos 7:7] that should follow the prayer services.
It once happened that after the Reading of the Torah on a Monday or Thursday, during the year of mourning for his mother, the Rebbe Rashab rose from his place in order to go to the bimah to recite the Kaddish that follows the Reading. In the meantime someone else started to recite it, as he had not noticed the Rebbe approaching. As soon as he noticed him, he stopped and moved away. The Rebbe motioned that he should stay, said the Kaddish, and then told this person to say the Kaddish as well.
"[During the recitation of Hoshaanos on Sukkos] in the year of mourning, one does not circle the bimah with the Four Species. The Rebbe Rashab did do so, but this custom was appropriate for a Nasi and not for others. I remember someone else doing so and objection was raised."
At Hakkafos on Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah, one does not circle [the bimah while holding a Sefer Torah] alone but together with someone else.
It is customary to endeavor to complete the study of the entire Talmud, or at least the Six Orders of the Mishnah, during the year of mourning.
- (Back to text) [In keeping with Talmudic tradition, the subject of this section is here referred to euphemistically as Semachos (pl. of simchah; lit., "joyous occasions").]
- (Back to text) [In keeping with another tradition of Rabbinic writings, the words "mourner" and "mourning" in the Hebrew original of this text are often followed by the parenthetical Aramaic phrase, rachmana litzlan ("heaven forfend"), abbreviated reis lamed.]
- (Back to text) Nesiv HaChayim (by author of Shaar HaKollel) 247:5, in the name of R. Hillel of Paritch. Other authorities cite R. Shalom Sharabi likewise.
- (Back to text) Nesiv HaChayim, sec. 258, in the name of R. Hillel of Paritch.
- (Back to text) From a talk of the Rebbe Shlita, 19th Iyar, 5712.
- (Back to text) [Iggeres HaKodesh, Epistle 3.]
- (Back to text) From the above-quoted talk of the Rebbe Shlita.
- (Back to text) See footnote 733, below.
- (Back to text) [The relevant sources appear in footnotes 649 and 650, above.]
- (Back to text) A directive of the Previous Rebbe.
- (Back to text) Introduction of the Rebbe Shlita to Kuntreis 64.
- (Back to text) From the Notes of the Rebbe Shlita.
- (Back to text) From a talk of the Rebbe Shlita on Chol HaMoed Sukkos, 5725.