Sometimes It's Hard To Celebrate The Holidays

Batya Medad ,

לבן ריק
לבן ריק
צילום: ערוץ 7
Batya Medad
New York-born Batya Medad made aliyah with her husband just weeks after their 1970 wedding and has been living in Shiloh since 1981. Political pundit, with a unique perspective, Batya has worked in a variety of professions: teaching, fitness, sales, cooking, public relations, photography and more. She has a B.S. in Journalism, is a licensed English Teacher specializing as a remedial teacher and for a number of years has been studying Tanach (Bible) in Matan. Batya blogs on Shiloh Musings and A Jewish Grandmother. ...

The day before the Eve of Chag Succot, I was notified of two deaths.  One was my uncle, Gershon ben Tzvi Hersh, and my neighbor, Yehudit bat Shmuel.  I first posted this on Shiloh Musings.  Please read this l'ilui nishmatam, so "their souls will be elevated."

Jewish Mourning

In general, nothing is more suited to the human psyche than the Jewish Laws of Mourning.
  • The ripping of the mourners' clothing to remind us that what's important is the human being and not the superficial fashion.
  • The seven day mourning period, shiva, interrupted only by Shabbat.
  • Mourners are supposed to stay in the same clothing the entire week, not dealing with their external look.
  • People are supposed to provide the mourners with food and take care of those who come to comfort.
  • The mourner is removed from mundane worries.
  • Until thirty days after the funeral, the mourner doesn't buy new clothes, listen to music, cut his hair and other restrictions.
  • After the death of a parent, some of these restrictions continue for a year.

Those are the Halachot, Jewish Laws, for most of the time. It's different when the burial is right before a Jewish Holiday. The holiday, unlike Shabbat which provides a break from the mourning, cancels the shiva and shloshim (30 day restrictions.)

This is the day which Hashem has made;

we will rejoice and be glad in it

זה היום עשה ה'; נגילה ונשמחה בו

Many mourners praise the shiva and shloshim, saying that the Halachot and rituals perfectly suit their emotional state. So how can a mourner be deprived of it?

According to Jewish Law, just like the mourner must bathe, change clothes and celebrate Shabbat during the shiva, he must "rejoice" in the Jewish Holidays and allow it to cancel shiva and shloshim.

This takes a very high level of emotional and spiritual "intelligence."

Tomorrow morning my neighbor Yehudit will be buried, and tomorrow night her husband and children will join the rest of Am Yisrael, the Jewish Nation and celebrate Succot. May these words "elevate her soul," l'illui nishmata.