Twelve Months

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(Redirected from Twelve months of mourning)

This is the approved revision of this page, as well as being the most recent.

Going to Weddings

  1. It is forbidden for a mourner within 12 months to go to a wedding even if he doesn't eat at the wedding.[1] After 12 months it is permitted even if the year is a leap year.[2]
  2. It is even forbidden to just go to sheva brachot at end of the meal.[3]
  3. If the chupah is in a different place than the meal it is permitted for an avel to go to the chuppah and leave before the music begins.[4]
  4. A mourner within 12 months whose child is getting married may go to the meal and not eat there.[5]
  5. A rabbi who is within 12 months after shloshim can be a mesader kiddushin. There is a dispute if a rabbi who is within shloshim for another relative if he can be a mesader kiddushin.[6] The mesader kiddushin needs to leave before they start the music.[7]
  6. It is permitted for someone within 12 months for a parent to participate in a Shabbat Chatan for a relative if his participation will enhance the happiness of the couple.[8]
  7. If a wife is in 12 months for a parent and the husband wants to go to a wedding according to some opinions he is allowed to ask his wife to go and she may go. However, many hold that they shouldn't rely on this to have her go to the wedding unless it will lead to Shalom Bayit issues and even then it is better to go and not eat there.[9]

Cutting Hair and Shaving

  1. It is forbidden for a mourner for a parent to cut his hair until after shloshim his peers tell him to that he needs to cut his hair. Yom Tov doesn't cancel this time frame of cutting hair before his peers tell him that he needs to cut his hair.[10]

Visiting the Grave of a Parent

  1. If a person didn’t visit his parent’s grave for ten years, there is a minhag that one shouldn’t visit it again. However, some are lenient in this regard. [11]
  2. It is permitted for a pregnant women the wife of a Kohen to go to a cemetery. [12]

Listening to Music and Dancing

  1. It is forbidden for someone mourning a parent to listen to music for 12 months.[13]
  2. Some say that it is forbidden to listen to recorded music.[14]
  3. An avel within 12 months shouldn't go to a simchat beit hashoevah if there is dancing or music. If he is the rabbi of the town and if he doesn't go it will be noticeable that he didn't show up it is permitted since it is considered public mourning on chol hamoed.[15]
  4. Within the 12 months, it is permitted to join in the hakafot for simchat torah.[16]
  5. On purim within the 12 months a mourner for a parent shouldn't listen to music or join in dancing unless he is the rabbi and it would be considered public mourning on Purim not to join in dancing.[17]

Changing Seats in Shul

See Shloshim#Changing Seats in Shul.

Completing the Twelve Months

  1. The 12 month period of mourning for a parent continues until the completion of all 12 months and part of the last day of the 12 months doesn't count like a complete day since the 12 month period doesn't depend on days.[18] The Ashkenazic minhag is to continue the practices of mourning of 12 months on the day of the first Yehrzeit itself unless it was a leap year and the 12 months already ended.[19]


  1. Shulchan Aruch 391:3
  2. Tur and Shulchan Aruch 391:1
  3. Shulchan Aruch and Rama 391:3, Badei Hashulchan 391:47. Since it is the same place as the meal, dancing, and music it is called a bet hasimcha even though there's no dancing or music during the sheva brachot.
  4. Badei Hashulchan 391:47
  5. Igrot Moshe YD 2:169 only permits parents within 12 months but not another relative if they are within 12 months for a parent but he can't eat there. Chazon Ovadia (Aveilut v. 2 p. 339) permits even for other relatives if they are in the 12 months for a parent. See Badei Hashulchan 391:21 who is strict because it isn't considered a loss not to go to the wedding it is like missing a gain.
  6. Shach 391:5 holds that it is forbidden during shloshim for all relatives and Bach holds it is only forbidden during shloshim for a mourner for a parent but for another relative it is permitted within shloshim. Chazon Ovadia v. 2 p. 345 was only lenient after shloshim. Badei Hashulchan 391:58 quotes the dispute between the bach and shach and doesn't resolve it.
  7. Aruch Hashulchan 391:12, Chazon Ovadia (Aveilut v. 2 p. 348)
  8. Chazon Ovadia (Aveilut v. 2 p. 338)
  9. Chazon Ovadia v. 2 p. 367 quotes the Tzitz Eliezer who is lenient and Rav Moshe Feinstein who is lenient only if it will lead to shalom bayit issues. The reason for the leniency is that the 12 month aveilut is based on Kibbud Av to a parent and the respect a wife should give her husband exempts her from Kibbud Av. Rav Ovadia concludes like Rav Moshe and adds that it is proper even in such a case not to eat the food at the wedding.
  10. Shulchan Aruch YD 399:4, Shulchan Aruch OC 548:9
  11. The Taamei Haminhagim (no. 1071) writes that there’s a minhag that if a person didn’t visit his father’s grave for ten years he shouldn’t visit it again. The Dudei HaSadeh no. 38 writes that once ten years passed and one didn’t visit that is an insult to one’s father and his father won’t help his prayers ascend to heaven therefore there’s no point in visiting. The Gesher HaChaim vol. 1 29:16 is lenient and unconcerned about this minhag. See Tzitz Eliezer (14:79:2 and Even Yakov no. 44:5) regarding this minhag.
  13. Maharam Shik YD 368 writes that going to a place that has music playing or playing music during the 12 months after a parent passes away is forbidden. He learns it from the prohibition to go to a wedding. Aruch Hashulchan 391:12 agrees that listening to music is forbidden based on the prohibition to go to weddings. Badei Hashulchan 391:45, Divrei Sofrim 391:51, and Chazon Ovadia (Aveilut v. 2, p. 364) agree. Zera Emet YD 2:157 writes that playing music during shiva is certainly forbidden because it brings a person to simcha no less than holding a child (Shulchan Aruch 391:1). He discusses if playing music without a meal is forbidden during shloshim for other relatives based on the idea of going to weddings. Nimukei Orach Chaim 697:3 holds that listening to music is forbidden during 12 month for a parent. Rav Mordechai Willig (Aveilut Shiur 24) questions this approach and suggests that perhaps listing to music is only forbidden in the context of a meal.
  14. Chazon Ovadia (Aveilut v. 2 p. 364)
  15. Chazon Ovadia (Aveilut v. 2 p. 364). See Zera Emet YD 2:157.
  16. Chazon Ovadia (Aveilut v. 2 p. 365), Kaf Hachaim 669:33. Gesher Hachaim 1:23:3:7 permits hakafot but not dancing on simchat torah within the 12 months.
  17. Nimukei Orach Chaim 697:3
  18. Trumat Hadeshen (responsa 292), Shulchan Aruch 395:3, Shach 395:2
  19. Rama 395:1, Shach 395:3