Monday, 28 May 2007

Halachic Dilemma #1: Mishna @ a Shivah

Originally published 5/28/07, 2:18 PM, Eastern Daylight Time

Given #1:
There is a Minhag to Learn Mishnah at a Shivah house. Some of the reasons given include that Mishnah and Neshamah have the same letters.
There is a prohibition for the "aveil" Mourner to learn Torah during the Shivah period

How can one teach Mishnah to the visitors [the menachamim] as per #1 without violating #2?

Note: There are several possible approaches to resolving this conflict.

Kol Tuv- Best Regards,
Rabbi Richard Wolpoe

1 comment:

DrMike said...

R. Avner Weiss in his book "Death and Halachah" notes this contradiction and answers it as follows:
a) What the living do can give meaning to a life lived. If the survivors learn Torah in honour of the deceased, it implies that Torah was important to that person and that the lifestyle and priorities that he/she felt were important are being continued.
b) The learning is for the living as well. Just as an Aveil says kaddish to sanctify G'd's name in the presence of personal tragedy, so too learning Torah shows that the mourners continue to love G'd and cherish his most precious gift to us.

As for the dilemma, that's easy. Wait until the aveilim are off in the kitchen eating the catered food someone delivered a few minutes before.