jewish Funeral Guide

Jewish Mourning - the first Month

Start & Duration of Sheloshim

Sheloshim / שלושים is always counted from the time of the burial, even when Shivah / שבעה is delayed. Similar to the Shiva period, a small fraction of the day is considered as a full day and this rule is applicable to both the first and last day of Sheloshim.

It was already mentioned that the major, scripturally mandated Jewish Holidays — Rosh HaShanah / ראש השנה, Yom Kippur / יום כפור, Succoth / סוכות, Passover / פסח and Shavuot / שבועות — terminate Shivah even if it was observed for only a fraction of a day. Similarly, if Shiva was completed before the onset of one of these holidays, it cancels the remainder of Sheloshim. Otherwise, the rules are as follows:

High Holidays. When Rosh HaShanah terminates Shivah, the restrictions of Sheloshim are observed until Yom Kippur, which terminates Sheloshim.

When Yom Kippur terminates Shiva, the restrictions of Sheloshim are observed until the first day of Succoth, which terminates Sheloshim.

Succoth. When the first day of Succoth terminates Shivah, the shortened Shiva period is counted as seven days towards Sheloshim. The next seven days of Succoth are also counted towards Sheloshim, even though only inconspicuous, private mourning restrictions are observed during the holiday. The day of Shemini Atzeret / שמיני עצרת counts as a separate seven day festival, but does not abort Sheloshim. However, if the burial was during the intermediate days of the Succoth festival, the day of Shemini Atzeret counts as only 1 day. The next day, which is the second day of Shemini Atzeret in the Diaspora, counts as 1 day. Thus 22 days are counted towards Sheloshim, which will continue for another 8 days.

Passover. When the first day of Passover terminates Shivah, the shortened Shiva period is counted as seven days towards Sheloshim. The next seven days of Passover are also counted towards Sheloshim, even though only inconspicuous, private mourning restrictions are observed during the holiday. Thus 14 days are counted towards Sheloshim, which will continue for another 16 days. The eighth day of Passover in the Diaspora also counts as one of these days.

Shavuot. When the first day of Shavuot terminates Shivah, the shortened Shiva period is counted as seven days towards Sheloshim. The day of Shavuot counts as another seven days. Here also, 14 days were counted towards Sheloshim, which will continue for another 16 days. The second day of Shavuot in the Diaspora also counts as one of these days.

It is customary to visit the grave on the last day of Sheloshim and to conduct a memorial service there. Many conclude Sheloshim with Hakamat Matzevah / הקמת מצבה — unveiling of the monument.