As I find myself sitting shiva, in the Jewish mode of mourning for the second time in three months, I'd like to say a few things.
First of all, the Halachot, Jewish Laws of Mourning are the most humane and psychologically brilliant of any society or religion.
In short, totally laymen's terms:
- The mourner, who is a child of, spouse, sibling or parent of the dead should be cared for.
- The mourner is not supposed to shop, cook, clean (even bathe except for certain conditions) or entertain/serve food.
- Visitors and "helpers" are supposed to make sure the mourner has sufficient food etc.
- The word "shiva" means "seven," and, unless a Jewish Holiday interrupts the seven days, the mourner observes seven days of mourning/shiva.