Yes, it’s appropriate to bring something to a shiva. Depending on your relationship with the family, a gift could range from a simple sympathy card or a food item, to a contribution to the mourner’s charity of choice.
Flowers are also a common gesture to those in mourning, and are often arranged to spell out the deceased’s name or Hebrew initials. If the mourner is Jewish and you have the appropriate Hebrew book of Psalms, it is also thought to be comforting and meaningful.
If you’d like to contribute food, it’s helpful to bring enough for many people as shiva houses often receive a large number of visitors. A store-bought dish that requires no additional preparation is a helpful option.
Above all, it is important to remember that the presence of family and friends, supporting the mourner, is the most meaningful gift.
What is the proper etiquette for Shiva?
The proper etiquette for Shiva is to show respect and reverence for the Lord. Hindus traditionally offer flowers, fruits and sweets to the Lord, as well as meditating in front of or participating in the puja ritual of worshiping Shiva.
Devotees should also observe silence around Shivalinga, and refrain from speaking ill of the Lord or asking improper questions. Appropriate clothing should be worn when visiting Shiva temples, and devotees should respect the sanctity of the temple by maintaining silence and avoiding undue abuses in the sanctum.
Being around Shiva also requires singing of hymns and mantras, as well as offering aarti and performing arti (lighting a sacred lamp). Prayers should be offered with a devotional heart and with utmost devotion and humility.
It is also suggested to engage in sincere and sustainable poojas and rituals to please Shiva. Finally, after successful puja, devotees are requested to take leave of the image of Shiva with politeness and reverence.
What should you not wear to a shiva?
When paying respects to someone who has passed away, it is important to dress with respect and be mindful of the family’s customs. Generally, it is best to wear dark, conservative clothing when attending a Shiva.
Specifically, wearing bright colors or casual attire, such as shorts, casual tops, jeans, athletic wear, and flip flops, is generally considered inappropriate. Also, it is recommended to dress modestly and avoid wearing sleeveless tops or overly revealing attire.
Additionally, it is common to honor any religious dress codes that may be applicable. For example, Orthodox Jewish customs require that men’s arms be covered and their legs must be covered past their knees.
If a head covering is required, a simple head covering such as a baseball cap or kippah may suffice in most cases. If a kippah is required, it is recommended to obtain one from the synagogue prior to attending the Shiva.
Lastly, it is worth noting that some families may have specific dress codes for their Shiva, so it is always best to adhere to the family’s customs.
Do you wear black to a shiva?
Yes, it is customary to wear black to a shiva. In Jewish mourning customs, the immediate family of the departed typically wears a cloth called a keriah, usually torn for the wealthy on the left side near the heart.
Other mourners should wear dark colors, such as black out of respect. Additionally, it is best to avoid wearing flashy or excessively bright clothing.
Often times, head coverings such as a hat or yarmulke will also be worn. The term shiva is derived from a Hebrew word “shiv’a”, which means “seven” and symbolizes the seven days of mourning for the bereaved.
During a shiva, visitors are encouraged to sit in a sympathetic manner. As a sign of respect, it is best to remain standing until the mourner indicates it is okay to sit. Likewise, visitors should not engage in idle talk but rather silently honor the grief of the family.
All in all, it is important to mind your manners while respecting the mourning family and their customs. Wearing black is an important sign of respect at a shiva, and it is wise to avoid clothing that is too bright and flashy.
There is also no need to bring a gift as your presence is gift enough.
What not to say at a shiva house?
When visiting a home of a family in mourning, it is important to be respectful and mindful of the delicate emotions of those who are in mourning. At a shiva house it is best to avoid talking about the deceased, commenting on how the family should feel, or imparting advice.
Doing so can be hurtful and intrusive. Some other topics to generally avoid are:
• Asking for details about the death or the funeral
• Discussing the how the mourner “should” feel
• Making comments about how the mourner “should” be coping or comparing their grief to others
• Bringing up unrelated difficult topics
• Offering unsolicited advice
• Talking negatively about the deceased
• Questioning religious beliefs
• Making jokes
• Bringing up personal successes or trivial matters
The most important thing to remember when visiting a shiva house is to offer your support and comfort to the mourner(s). You can do this by simply being present and listening without judgment, displaying empathy and understanding, offering your assistance, sending a card or flowers, participating in the prayers, or helping with a particular task that needs to be done.
Can you change clothes during shiva?
No, it is not appropriate to change clothes during the seven days of mourning known as “Shiva”. This practice is an ancient custom that honors the deceased and is an important part of traditional Jewish mourning.
During the mourning period, Jewish people typically dress in plain and subdued clothing, often wearing all black or dull colors, as external expressions of their internal grief.
The purpose of this practice is to emphasize the respect and remembrance of the deceased, especially during the intensely emotional period right after the death of a loved one. It is meant to have mourners focus their attention on the more spiritual and inner aspects of their grief, rather than worrying about the material items in their homes or in their own wardrobes.
It is customary to wear the same type of clothing throughout the Shiva period as an act of surrender to the mourning process itself.
Additionally, many believe that allowing mourners to wear colorful, fashionable clothing during Shiva detracts from the spiritual atmosphere that the mourning process should create. It is also considered disrespectful for mourners to appear overly well-dressed, dressed to the nines, or appearing to go about theiordinarily day-to-day activities when there is actually a grieving process happening.
Respect for the intense emotions being experienced by someone who has lost a loved one is a crucial part of a traditional Jewish funeral, and showing respect for the deceased in this way is an important part of the religious service.
How long should you stay at a shiva call?
The amount of time you should stay at a shiva call really depends on the individual and the situation. Generally, it is expected to stay for 15-30 minutes to pay respects and show support, as well as engage in conversation and provide condolence.
However, if the household is particularly crowded or if the mourner needs additional support, it may be appropriate to stay a bit longer. On the other hand, if the situation is especially uncomfortable or too difficult for you to handle, it is perfectly reasonable to leave earlier.
Ultimately, it is up to the individual and their comfort level. Respect for the mourner, their space, and the situation should be considered above all.
What to expect during shiva?
Shiva is the Jewish ritual of mourning. It typically lasts for seven days and is observed by immediate family members of the departed. During shiva, family and close friends of the deceased gather to share stories, reflect, and pay final respects.
During shiva, people may visit the home of the deceased or the family’s home to offer condolences and support.
The first part of shiva is called shiva aseh, meaning “sitting of sorrow. ” During this time, family and friends sit on low stools or on the floor, symbolizing the mourning of the deceased. This is a time for stories, prayers, and reflections.
Traditional Jewish prayers and hymns are recited and lit candles may be lit to represent the soul of the departed.
The middle part of shiva is known as shiva minyan, when the mourners say a special prayer known as the mourner’s Kaddish. Duringshiva minyan, friends and family gather to provide comfort and consolation to the family of the deceased.
This is also a time for visitors to share stories and memories of the deceased. The mourner’s Kaddish can also be said privately by the mourners, without the presence of anyone else in the room.
The final part of shiva is known as shloshim – the thirty-day period of mourning after the death of a loved one. During shloshim, the deceased is remembered and honored. This is a time for reflection and celebration of their legacy, for accepting their death, and for healing and finding peace.
During shiva, the mourners may accept visitors, such as family members and close friends, who come to offer comfort and consolation. Visitors should come respectfully, bearing gifts that are appropriate for the occasion.
It is also appropriate to bring a prepared food dish that can feed the mourners, although it is not mandatory. Some visitors may stay to share stories, listen to stories of the deceased, and participate in prayers and hymns.
Grief counselors are often available to provide emotional support during this time.
What is appropriate to bring to a shiva?
Shiva is a seven-day period of mourning that begins immediately after a loved one has passed away. Although attendance at shiva functions is often a sign of respect and support to the bereaved family, it is not essential to bring a gift.
However, bringing a gift is a thoughtful gesture and there are a few items that are traditionally appropriate to bring.
The most appropriate gift to bring to shiva is something for the bereaved family to eat. Because in Jewish tradition, providing food for mourners is very important, bringing a prepared meal or pre-prepared food item is greatly appreciated.
A nice packed meal, such as a casserole, some deli sandwiches, or a fruit or veggie platter can be perfect. You could also bring groceries if you feel they would be more helpful to the family.
Flowers are also sometimes appropriate. While it’s up to the family as to whether they want flowers or not, many appreciate the gesture as it helps to brighten the ambiance of a mourning environment.
If you are considering bringing flowers, it is best to get a white bouquet, as according to Jewish tradition, white represents purity.
Another thoughtful gift to bring to a shiva is a prayer book, known as a siddur, which will enable the family to follow along and participate in the traditional mourning prayers. It is also a great way to honor the memory of the deceased.
Is it customary to bring a gift to shiva?
In the Jewish tradition, it is not always customary to bring a physical gift to shiva, although it is a thoughtful gesture. Instead, it is customary to offer an offering of love, sympathy, and support.
Examples of such offerings can include a thoughtful card, meaningful words of comfort, spending time with the mourners and providing assistance in practical ways like helping to prepare meals or organizing shiva minyan services.
It can also be meaningful to make a donation to a meaningful charity in the name of the deceased.
Can anyone go to a shiva?
The custom of a shiva is rooted in Jewish tradition and it is generally only open to members of the Jewish faith. That said, non-Jewish family members and close friends can be invited to join the mourning as a show of support for the family.
However, it is ultimately up to the family’s discretion if non-Jewish people can attend. It is often seen as impolite to attend a shiva without an invitation.
What do you say when leaving a shiva house in Hebrew?
When leaving a shiva house, it is appropriate to say “HaMakom Y’nachem etchem b’toch sh’ar aveilei Zion v’Yerushalayim” which translates to “May God comfort you among the other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem”.
This phrase is a traditional way to offer condolences to a grieving family and is often used to conclude a visit to a shiva house. With the phrase, one typically bows slightly to show further respect for the mourning family.
Can you take food out of a shiva house?
It is often considered disrespectful to bring food into a shiva house. Food and beverages are typically already provided in shiva houses for guests.
In traditional Jewish customs and beliefs, it is seen as a way for the family of the deceased to provide for their guests. Bringing food into the home can be seen as taking away from the family’s obligation of hospitality.
Bringing food should also be avoided out of respect for the deceased and their family. A shiva house is a somber place, and focusing on or introducing any tangible items may detract from that atmosphere.
It is best to check with the family to find out what they are comfortable with.
Which flower is not Worshipped to shiva?
Out of many flowers, lotus is the most commonly worshipped flower in Hinduism and a specific representation of Lord Shiva. However, there are many other flowers which are not associated with Lord Shiva.
Some of these are Roses, Daffodils, Daisies, Orchids, Snowdrops, and Sunflower. Despite being well known for their beauty and fragrance, these flowers are not offered to Shiva in worship. In India, Lotus, Jasmine, Marigold, and Bel or Bilva Patra are mostly used for worshipping Shiva.