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MOED KATAN 22

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MOED KATAN 22 (7 Elul) - Dedicated in memory of Esther Miryam bas Harav Chaim Zev and her husband Harav Refael Yisrael ben Harav Moshe (Snow), whose Yahrzeits are 7 Elul and 8 Elul respectively. Sponsored by their son and daughter in law, Moshe and Rivka Snow.

SUMMARY

If the elder of the house accompanied the bier to the cemetery and arrived within the first three days, he counts the seven days of mourning together with the other mourners.
 
If the mourners are not accompanying the bier to the cemetery, as soon as they turn back at the gates of the city, they begin the mourning period.
 
If the mourners are still being comforted at the time of his arrival, that is when Rebbi Shimon holds that even if a mourner arrives on the seventh daym, he counts the mourning period together with the other mourners. (1)
 
It is preferable to hasten bringing the bier to burial unless it is the funeral of a father or mother. (2)
 
A mourner has a choice whether to abstain from work during the mourning period (work that is permitted to a mourner such as commerce). He also has a choice whether to bare his shoulder. (3)
 
A mourner may take a haircut and attend a wedding after 30 days. If a parent passed away, the mourner may not take a haircut until his friends yell at him, and may not attend a wedding until after 12 months.
 
A mourner rips only his outer clothing the length of one handbreadth. If a parent passed away, the mourner rips even the underclothing clothing and he must rip until he reveals his heart.
 
A mourner has a choice whether to rip at the collar or not, and he may stitch up the rip after seven days and repair it properly after thirty days. If a parent passed away the mourner may not rip by the collar and may never repair it properly. (4)
 
A mourner has a choice whether to rip by hand or using a utensil. If a parent passed the mourner must rip by hand.
 
The mourner has a choice whether to insert his hands inside his clothing in order to tear or to rip from the outside. If a parent or the Nasi passes away the mourner must rip from the outside.
 
If a Torah scholar passes away his Beis Midrash is vacated; if the head of the Beis Din dies all the Batei Midrash in the city are vacated; and if the Nasi dies all of the Batei Midrash everywhere are vacated.

A BIT MORE

1. If the comforters are getting ready to get up and have not yet gotten up, it remains a question to the Gemara whether he must count his own seven days according to Rebbi Shimon.
 
2. If it is Erev Shabbos or Yom Tov even the bier of a father or mother should be brought to burial as expediently as possible.
 
3. If a parent passes away, the children must abstain from work and must bare their shoulder.
 
4. Rebbi Yehudah learns out from a Pasuk that all mourners must rip under the collar because a rip at the collar is not regarded as a rip at all.

BRIEF INSIGHT

The Gemara says that if the mourners do not plan on accompanying the deceased, they start the mourning period as soon as they turn back at the gates of the city. The Ramban says that is only true if the bier is being taken to a different city. Since the bier is given over to the people that are dealing with the burial, the mourners have put it out of their minds and thus the mourning period starts from that time. But if it is being taken to a cemetery outside the city, since it is not being taken far away, the mourners still have the burial in their minds. Therefore, they do not start the mourning period until the people that accompany the bier return and tell them that the deceased has been buried.

QUICK HALACHAH

A mourner may go to a wedding after thirty days, but if one is mourning a parent it is forbidden until after twelve months. Even if it is a leap year, it is permitted after twelve months. If a person has an obligation to host a social meal, he may do so after seven days. But if he is not obligated to do so, he must wait until after thirty days. If he is mourning a parent, he may not attend a social meal even if he has an obligation to do so.
 
The fact that it is permitted to go to a wedding after twelve months implies that the mourning period is completed after twelve months even if it is a leap year. Those people who continue their mourning even in the thirteenth month are doing so without any source and for no apparent reason. (Taz)

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