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Accepting gifts during the first year of mourning


My father passed away two weeks ago.  My friend is going on vacation to Europe, and she usually brings me gifts from her travels.

  1. Can I accept her gift? How about birthday gifts – my birthday is coming up in a few months.
  2. If I should not accept- any advice on how to politely decline?
    Thank you


Hamakom Yinachem Eschem btoch shar aveiei tzion v’yerushalayim.

  1. Regarding your question, during the year of aveilus the avel is not allowed to accept gifts from friends, family etc. In order to avoid making her or any other friends or family feel bad by your not accepting her present, you could let them know beforehand, that this year they shouldn’t give you gifts because you are in aveilus.
  2. If she already did give you a present, you don’t have to decline it. If however the gift makes you especially happy, then you should politely decline. You could even explain to her that even though there are times when an avel may accept a gift that was already given, but since her gift makes you so happy, you are therefore forced to decline.

Best Wishes


  1. Rema Y:D 385-3, Chayei Adam 155-37, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 212-2. The opinion of the M:B is not clear see Hilchos Avielus chap. 31 ftnt. 2.
  2. Shut Ksav Sofer O:CH 141, Divrei Sofrim 54-1, Nishmas Yisroel 2-28, Hilchos Aveilus pg. 192. The reason for this is, since if it causes the avel to be especially happy it isn’t merely an issue of sha’las shalom, but included in the issur of simcha.

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  1. Can I tell them that they can make a donation in memory of my father to charity, in lieu of gifts?
    thank you

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