Shiva (Judaism)

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In Judaism, shiva (or shiv'ah, pronounced /ˈʃɪvə/; Hebrew: שבעה ; "seven") is the week-long period of grief and mourning for the seven first-degree relatives: father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, and spouse. As most regular activity is interrupted, the process of following the shiva ritual is referred to as "sitting" shiva. Shiva is a part of the customs for bereavement in Judaism.

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Process

Immediately upon the burial of the departed (which in Judaism traditionally occurs within one day of death whenever possible), any first-degree relatives assume the halakhic status of "avel" (Hebrew: אבל ; "mourner"). This state lasts for seven days, during which family members traditionally gather in one home (preferably the home of the deceased) and receive visitors, though in some cases, when relatives live in different cities or otherwise find a single location inconvenient, shiva may be observed in multiple locations.

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