Shalom Shaarei Kodesh
Last week, on the 7th night of Hanukah, as we lit those candle which were supposed to bring us joy, we all felt the opposite feeling; a deep sense of pain and sorrow after the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. Before I continue, I wanted to teach a small piece of halacha/Jewish law regarding how we as Jews mourn and how we get through difficult events and times.
After a loved one passes away, no matter the circumstances, the immediate family sitsshiva. Shiva is just a word that means seven, meaning that the family sits down in their home for seven days and lets the community come to them to fulfill the great mitzvah of Nichum Avelim, comforting mourners.
The laws of a shiva house are interesting. We are told that when we enter a home, we are forbidden from making ‘small talk’ with the mourners. Our tradition tells us that we should sit in sile…