Question:

  1. Is there a manner in which I or my children may purchase for my wife a birthday gift during her year of aveilus for her father?
  2. Does it make a difference if its clothing or a non-clothing item? (for example a new mixer, when she has an old one and will be happy to have a new one). And if yes, are slippers considered clothing?
  3. Does it make a difference if it’s for Yom Tov? (for example new Jewelry or clothing for Yom Tov)
  4. Does it make a difference if we purchase it ourselves or tell her to purchase it for herself?

Answer:

  1. Essentially we don’t buy gifts for people in their aveilus year.  There is an opinion that if the husband usually buys a birthday gift, and the husband knows that his wife will be upset at not getting one, then he may.
  2. There is a prohibition for the mourner to buy new clothing, but in regard to gifts, the idea is that the gift brings joy. Therefore there isn’t any difference whether it is clothing or other items, i.e. we don’t give mishloach manos to a mourner, even though it is not clothing.
  3. A husband may buy his wife a gift for Yom Tov, because he is obligated to buy her something then, and it is considered paying an obligation, which is permitted. The husband According to some poskim it is permitted to buy her a gift for Yom Tov, since Yom Tov is a time of simcha, so she may receive a gift for Yom Tov.
  4. The idea is that the gift brings her simcha, so it does’t matter whether she is given the money in order to buy the gift or if it given straight as a gift

Best wishes

Sources:

Rema Y:D 385-3, O:CH 696-6, Magen Avrohom 554-21, M:B 696-18, DIvrei Sofrim 54-3, Hilchos Aveilus pg. Chap. 311 ftnt 12 in the name of R’ Eliyashiv zt”l.

Tags: aveilus gifts

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