a jewish funeral service, what is the gathering afterwards called?
The gathering is called a SHIVA. The purpose of the shiva is a condolence
call to relieve the mourner of the intolerable burden of intense lonliness.
The length of shiva varies but usually lasts for 7 days. During that time,
visitors pay their condolence call to the bereaved. The shiva is typically
held at the home of the bereaved or the nearest relative of the bereaved.
call can be made day or night. If possible, the visit should be delayed
until the 3rd day after interment.
Visitors customarily do not pay condolence visits on the Sabbath or holidays,
as these are days when one should not mourn publicly. There should be
no greeting of welcome or
farewell during shiva. It is not customary to speak until the mourner
The visitor should allow the mourner to talk and the visitor should not
dominate the conversation.
During shiva, the mourner typically practices the following:
1.) sits on a low stool; 2.) remains indoors; 3.) wears non-leather shoes;
does not work; 5.) does not study the Torah; 6.) abstains from marital
relations; 7.) personal grooming is limited; 8.) does not attend parties;
9.) cannot get married.
At the end of shiva, mourners and visitors often walk together a short
distance to symbolize re-entry with society.
This information was obtained from the book The Jewish Way in Death
by Maurice Lamm. For additional information about Jewish customs, please
contact a local synagogue, Jewish Center or Rabbi.