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Computation of sheloshim

Question:

I would like to know exactly when the sheloshim observance (getting family together for prayers, remembrances, etc.) should be. My mother was niftar on April 9 but the kevurah wasn’t until April 14. Is the 14th the first day? Then when would the sheloshim be observed? The night of May12? Also, is it halacha or minhag to get a minyan, have the rabbi speak, etc., for sheloshim? How important is it to go thru that process?
Thanks much!

Answer:

Hamakom Yinachem eschem btoch shar aveili tzion v’Yerushalayim.

 You are correct, assuming that the kevurah was before sunset on April 14th, that would be the first day, and therefore the morning of May 13th would be the end of shloshim. Having a minyan is a nice idea, because the kaddish would be an illuy nishama for your mother. The Shulchan Aruch brings that the custom is to go the cemetery on the thirtieth day and say the tehillim, keil maley rachamim etc. Other than that, there are different customs in different communities, some have a meal, some gather people together and have someone speak about the deceased person, all with the intention to add to the deceased persons merit in heaven. It isn’t an obligation, and it also depends on each person’s situation, but in general people try to do what they can to help the departed soul.

Sources:

Y:D 395-1. 344-20.

 

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