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Jewish Attachment Parenting > Torah Thoughts > Halachot of Shloshim?


Title: Halachot of Shloshim?
Description: What exactly am I supposed to be doing?


ruthla - March 31, 2011 02:48 PM (GMT)
I lost my father last Wednesday. I got up from Shiva yesterday, and I'm still feeling rather dazed and confused and unsure about what I can and can't do. (The low-grade fever isn't helping the disorientation either.)

I know I can't cut my own hair, and I know that my kids are allowed haircuts, but am I personally allowed to cut my son's hair?

Am I allowed to trim my pubic hair? (I can't ask my rabbi that!!)

What about music? Normally, during sefiras ha'omer, I listen to recorded music (such as the radio) but not live music. Should that be different now? I just can't imagine pesach cleaning without music in the background!

And my budget for music has been $0 in the past several years: we have the radio, youtube, and Pandora. DD1 did just win a $15 iTunes gift card- could that be used to download acapella music into my computer? Other than the Maccabeats, I don't know much about acapella music that's actually "good".

When exactly do the restrictions of shloshim end? I know it's less than 30 days because of Pesach, but when exactly? The night of bedichat chametz? The seder itself? Will there be any practical difference before the end of Pesach, or before lag b'omer?

Chavelamomela - March 31, 2011 03:30 PM (GMT)
My understanding of the halachos of mourning (which also apply to some degree during Sefira and the 3 weeks) is that WRT haircutting, it's the hair on your head (and for a man, his beard hair) that is a sign of mourning, but a woman is permitted to shave her legs, pits, etc. as those are not signs of mourning.

And you would be restricted from cutting your OWN hair (on your head) but you're permitted to give someone else a haircut.

Yehudis - March 31, 2011 03:41 PM (GMT)
So sorry to hear about your loss.

I think you should ask your Rav all the questions about music, etc. because there might be different opinions. And if there is something that you're not comfortable asking your Rav, can you ask the Rebbetzin?

ruthla - March 31, 2011 05:00 PM (GMT)
There really isn't a rebbetzin to ask. The rabbi isn't married, and "The Rebbetzin" is his mother- she must be about 90 and isn't exactly approachable for these kinds of questions.

emunahbutterfly - March 31, 2011 06:13 PM (GMT)
Ruthla i am so sorry for your loss.

Zephyr - March 31, 2011 07:49 PM (GMT)
:hug2


May HaShem comfort you among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

LearningFromExperience - March 31, 2011 08:16 PM (GMT)
Ruth, my condolences. May you be comforted among the mourners of Zion.

I will ask dh (a rabbi) your questions in detail and get back to you tomorrow, b"eh.

ruthla - April 4, 2011 01:09 PM (GMT)
Have you had a chance to ask him yet?

Also, am I allowedd to mend the sweatshirt I ripped during shiva?

LearningFromExperience - April 4, 2011 02:49 PM (GMT)
I did - he said he has to look up a couple of the questions.

LearningFromExperience - April 4, 2011 07:24 PM (GMT)
From dh, who is a Rabbi in his spare time:

If a close relative has passed away the prohibitions of shloshim (the first 30 days) are as follows:
* One may not get a haircut (any body hair) nor trim nails (biting is ok).
* One may not wear freshly laundered clothing. Clothing washed only in water is ok (ie no soap).
* One should not wash their entire body in hot water (parts of the body are ok, just not the whole body at the same time). A married woman way wash her entire body in hot water.
* One should not wear makeup during shloshim. A married woman may wear makeup.
* One may not go to a party (or festive meal or social gathering). Many include hearing live music in this prohibition.
* One should sit in a different seat than usual in shul.

If a parent has passed away the prohibitions of the first 12 months (from death) are as follows:
* One may not get a haircut for three months, or until his friends tell him he needs one (the earlier of the two).
* One may not go to a party (or festive meal or social gathering). Many include hearing live music in this prohibition.
* One should not wear new clothing.
* One should sit in a different seat than usual in shul.

With respect to your specific questions:
* One may give a haircut but not get a haircut. You may cut your sons hair.

* With respect to music, I personally hold that the problem is not music, but a party. That is, according to me for the first 12 months one may listen to music, but not go to a party (even if there is no music at the party). However I appear to be a minority in this. Most Rabbi's would hold that music is not allowed, but one may go to a party without music. In this case music is usually interpreted to mean live music as that is a festive environment, but recorded music is generally permitted, although some would disallow this as well.

* Shloshim ends at the earlier of 30 days and a "holiday". In your case shloshim would end as Pesach comes in. However, you may wash your clothing on erev pesach, but not wear them until peasch starts. Moreover you may bathe after noon on erev pesach.

* With respect to mending the garment that you tore kreia on, you may mend it unevenly (ie so that it is still noticeable that it was torn) immediately. The complete rules are as follows:
> For a male:
- If the deceased relative was not a parent:
* Sefardim hold that it can be repaired unevenly after 7 days, and properly mended after 30 days. [Note: 30 and 7 days are not interrupted by holidays for this halacha]
* Ashkenazim hold that it can be properly mended after 30 days.
- For a parent it may be mended unevenly after 30 days, it may never by properly mended.
> For a female:
- The garment may be mended unevenly immediately (out of modesty for the woman)
- If the deceased relative was not a parent it may be mended properly after 30 days
- If the deceased relative was a parent it may never be mended properly.

R' Yossi

ruthla - April 4, 2011 08:43 PM (GMT)
I was confused about that "mend it immediately for a woman out of modesty" thing because this is a sweatshirt that I only wear with a shirt or blouse underneath. So would the leniency of "women can fix it early due to tznius" really apply?

It sounds like, according to Rav LFE's DH, I can freely turn to Pandora.com or youtube and play music while cleaning for Pesach. I've been stringent on this, and not listened to music, and the end result is that I haven't been able to get into "Pesach cleaning mode" at all. (I've got my "to do" list prepared, but no actual phsyical cleaning yet!) It's also kind of freaky when I'm driving alone and its' too quiet in the car.

LearningFromExperience - April 5, 2011 07:39 AM (GMT)
DH says: "This halacha applies even if the particular garment will not actually expose the woman any further. "

So yes, you can mend it (unevenly) if you want to.

About trimming body hair - unlike what was written above which is true for public mourning like Sefira, during actual Shloshim, women as well as men are not supposed to trim their body hair, even in hidden places.

About the music - dh isn't the only one who holds this way. It really does seem from the sources that the problem is the party, not the music. This would apply to parties of any kind (birthday, Chanuka, even the Purim Seuda). According to this, you would be allowed to listen to recorded music in the car and while cleaning, but you would not be able to have a group of friends over for pizza.

Hope this helps

ruthla - May 3, 2011 06:42 PM (GMT)
Does the "no party" thing apply during the whole year, or was that only for shloshim (which ended with Pesach)?

Is it a problem for me to go to my shul's Lag B'Omer BBQ?

Ima5 - May 3, 2011 08:22 PM (GMT)
I was told that it holds for the whole year.(BTW, i was told, no music OR social gatherings.Some things I was allowed to attend but not allowed to eat)
Condolences....It is a hard year.

gilima - May 4, 2011 01:03 PM (GMT)
yes, it is a hard year.
You really need to ask someone since there are things that you can do in the privacy of your own home but not in public etc; like watching a movie. and I remember being able to take my kids to some event ( I think it was chanuka) and there was a majic show or something, since I was the only one able to take them, I wasn't going for my enjoyment ( I don't love magic showsLOL and it was geared for kids anyway ) and any music that might be playing during or after was not the purpose of the event, not for a "simcha" or concert, live, dancing etc;
I remember not taking them to any music concerts that year.

LearningFromExperience - May 4, 2011 04:38 PM (GMT)
It's for the whole year.

It depends on the nature of the BBQ, and on how strict you want your definition of "party" to be.

Odds are, it's problematic.

ruthla - May 12, 2011 02:37 PM (GMT)
I figure I'll ask my rabbi about the BBQ. He'll be knowledgable both about what's going to happen at the BBQ and what's appropriate for me this year. Last year they had live music. Not that it was any good (the band was a group of local teenagers) but it was still live music. It won't be all that hard to send DS either with his teenaged sisters or with another family.

I have another question about clothing. When I'd asked my rabbi about buying "new" clothes from a thrift store, he said "it's better to have somebody else wear them first." I have three "new" long sleeved t-shirts that I haven't worn yet.

These shirts are too big for my daughters to wear, and too small for my Mom to wear (if she was even willing to wear long sleeves in this weather.) I'd figured my younger daughter could wear them (I'm about an XL and she's about a M, so it woudln't be rediculously big on her) but she's not willing to wear, in public, clothes that are too big to be flattering. Besides, she wants to wear her own "new" shirts.

Is it OK for me to wear these shirts without having somebody I know wear them first? They're already second-hand.

Second question: one of the "new" shirts is a plain white t-shirt. Would I be allowed to tie-dye it and wear it "newly tie dyed"? How about my white nightgowns (that I meant to dye but never did)? Would I be allowed to dye those and wear them to sleep in?

LearningFromExperience - May 12, 2011 04:46 PM (GMT)
If they are already second-hand, then what you're doing is purely symbolic. She doesn't have to wear it in public! Let her put it on in the house for an hour or so.

Nightgowns are like underwear, aren't they? Not an issue.

ruthla - May 12, 2011 06:55 PM (GMT)
What about tie-dying items I already own and have worn? is that OK?

LearningFromExperience - May 12, 2011 08:54 PM (GMT)
As per dh in the other thread (Sefira & Mourning), according to R' Moshe, you're allowed to alter garments. Tie-dying isn't any more festive than altering.

ruthla - May 12, 2011 10:26 PM (GMT)
Thanks!

ruthla - June 30, 2011 09:43 PM (GMT)
I just noticed that one of my two favorite nightgowns is getting threadbare. Does sleepwear count as "underwear" for the purpose of "not buying new clothes while in mourning" or does it count as clothing? I'll try to find a *new to me* nightgown in a thrift store, but if I can't, do I have to wait until next March for a nightgown without holes in it?

LearningFromExperience - July 3, 2011 07:15 AM (GMT)
Nightgowns are still underwear.




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