mourning aveilus - Why does leading the Amud alleviate suffering for the deceased?

A question was asked here on the forum for clarification on the Chiyuv for an Avel to pray for the Amud. And in an answer that was given, the answerer provided a quote from Rabbi Neustadt: "...for Chazal teach that when a son serves as the Sheliach Tzibbur, he is actually fulfilling the Biblical commandment of Kibbud Av V'eim by honoring the neshamah of his departed parent and alleviating its suffering in Gehenom."Question: Why does leading the Amud alleviate suffering of the deceased?...Read more

mourning aveilus - What is the origin and reason for mourners to sit on the floor or low seat?

I have seen a few examples in the Torah of people ripping their clothes as a sign of mourning. But the earliest example of someone being on the floor as a sign of prayer seems to be King David's example in Samuel II, 12:15.I'm not sure if this example was used as the source for mourners to sit low or on the ground during Shiva. It would be a strange example, since David wasn't mourning for a dead child. As a matter of fact, after the child was dead, he no longer sat on the ground and he stopped his fast.What, then, is the source or reason for s...Read more

mourning aveilus - Is one allowed to change the torn shirt during shiva?

When I have visited someone during the shiva week, I notice that they wear a torn shirt. I know that the shirt is usually torn at the funeral home or cemetery prior to burial. I assume that the mourner is wearing that same shirt all week, but, I'm not certain.If the original shirt became soiled, sweaty or smelly, can the mourner take another shirt, tear that one and wear it during the week of shiva? If so, are there any stipulations for the type of shirt he uses (e.g. has to be woprn; can't be freshly laundered, etc.) Does he need to make a new...Read more

What types of hair - and whose hair - are included in mourning-related hair-cutting prohibitions?

When there are hair-cutting prohibitions (or restrictions) for mourning-related practices, what types of hair are included? Is it just hair on the top of one's head and/or facial hair? Do the restrictions apply equally to men and women?* Do any leniencies that might apply in certain situations apply equally to men and women? Do those same leniencies apply to all hair types that are included in the restrictions?*The reason I ask about both men and women in this question, is that men and women may have different types of hair and/or different...Read more

mourning aveilus - Skipping Tachanun - Difference between Chattan vs. Avel

This M.Y. answer says that if a Chattan is in shul, tachanun is skipped. Art Scroll and Birnbaum Siddurim say that Tachanun is skipped in the house of a mourner. However, if the mourner is in shul, tachanun is still said. What is the difference between a mourner being in shul vs. a chattan being there that causes the entire shul to skip / not skip tachanun? WHy shouldn't they have the same rule for both?It seems that there is already a precedence not to say Tachanun in the presence of a mourner, but its restricted to when you are praying in his...Read more

mourning aveilus - Why would someone recite Kaddish D'Rabbanan but not Kaddish Yatom?

Generally, in my experience, the same people recite kaddish d'rabbanan and kaddish yatom in davening. [Kaddish yatom is said after reciting psukim, such as a perek of Tehillim, while kaddish d'rabbanan is said after reading Mishnaic/Talmudic statements.] However, in the morning [teen] minyan i've been going to recently, i've noticed that often the gabbai will ask one of the other adults to say kaddish d'rabbanan but not kaddish yatom. Noone else says either kaddish.(This is nusach Sefard, so the order at the end of davening (after kaddish shale...Read more