I am in the fifth or sixth month of mourning my father. I know now, after some research, that I may not give or receive gifts. However, I am not clear on what items I can or cannot buy for myself. I assume after 30 days, I can buy myself new pants if my old ones are torn, being Sephardic, but what I don’t understand is what are the rules and limitations for what I can buy myself. Amazon sells all kinds of things. Does it matter whether the item is needed or desired? Are items for the household allowed but not items for my physical person unless they are medical or old ones have worn out? May I buy myself a new phone or new camera? Also, are there any advices or restrictions for how to use one’s inheritances during the 12 months? So many questions!
Hamakom yinachem eschem b’toch shar aveilei tzion v’Yerushalayim.
Here are some of the rules during this period.
A person mourning during the year of mourning for a parent, does not purchase new clothing, such as a new suit of dress. If the mourner needs to get a new dress etc., there is an option for a non-mourner to wear it first for a full day or at least half a day, in order that when the mourner will wear it, we will no longer consider it new. If there is a need to buy new undergarments, etc., it is permitted to buy and wear them.
Household items may be purchased, however expensive item should not be purchased for pleasure, however if they are needed it is permitted.
The items from the inheritance may be used, and it is advisable to give some of it to tzedakah, that it should be a merit for the deceased person’s soul.
In general, I would advise you to buy an English sefer called “The laws of Aveilus” By Rabbi Simcha Bumim Cohen, published by Artscroll. It contains a wealth of information on these topics.
Y”D 389-3, Divrei Sofrim ( Kitzur) 37 ftnt. 43, Aruch Hashulchan 389-11, Tziyunei Halacha pg. 437 in the name of R’ Eliyashiv zt”l, The Laws of Aveilus pg. 111.
Pnei Baruch 18-12, Divrei Sofrim 37- ftnt. 42, Badei Hashulchan 389-60, The Lasws of Aveilus pg. 197.