what not to say at a shiva house

A shiva visit should be no more than an hour. Observing shiva is also known as "sitting shiva," and there are certain customs that should be honored. When consoling a mourner, we say: "Hamakom yenachem eschem b'soch sha'ar availay Tzion Veerushalayim (The Omniscient One should comfort you amongst the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem). Say goodbye. Each shiva call is intended to be a one-on-one call between a mourner and a family member or friend. The best thing to bring, in my opinion, is yourself. In general, she was wondering what to bring to a shiva house. Entering The Shiva House. Even if you don’t know what to say, just sitting with the mourner for a half hour or an hour is worth a lot. Mourners uniformly report how exhausted they are by the shiva experience; do not overstay your welcome. Try to avoid making group shiva calls out of respect for the family and the deceased. Stay away from conversation of how the person died, especially if you were there when he or she died. Food or drinks are not laid out for the visitors, because the mourners are not hosts. If you are a couple, it is important that you both make a shiva call. Do not ask about the details of the death. What do I say when going to a shiva-house to console a mourner? What to bring or send. Actress Lisa Robins of Jewish Women's Theatre's Blessings of a Broken Heart "1) Didn't answer the question. Here is part of my response: It is not customary to send flowers to a shiva house. There is a tradition not to greet people at a shiva house, and in fact not to speak at all until one of the mourners has first spoken to you. Do not send flowers. And they may not want to talk at all. When you arrive at the shiva house, you should enter on your own. If the mourner is not engaging with you, express your condolences and leave after ten minutes. A list of some local and national charities can be found is provided at ShivaConnect. HaMakom is said when you leave. It is appropriate to bring/send food to a shiva house or make a memorial donation. Condolence Calls. Short visits are meaningful too. Since all are invited to comfort mourners, the front door of most shiva homes will be left unlocked. Silence makes people uncomfortable, but it’s normal at a shiva house. Do not stay too long. In many instances extended family, friends and general members of the community, including those who belong to the temple, where the decedent was a member, will pay their condolences and show support to the mourners. Mourning in the Jewish faith is a very personal process, as each individual mourns and reflects differently. Attending a funeral or making a shiva call does not replace attending a shiva in person. Traditionally, one enters the shiva house quietly with a small knock so as not to startle those inside. They do not greet the visitors, rise for them, or see them out. 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