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Chapter 12: Who is obligated to mourn and be mourned-Shiva/Shloshim/Year
1. Which relatives are required to keep Aveilus?
All deceased relatives whom a Kohen is obligated to defile himself for their sake of burial, one is required to mourn. These [Biblically] include the following relatives: Father, mother, son, daughter, paternal brother, paternal sister who is a virgin, and one’s wife. The Sages added to this list also one’s maternal brother and sister, whether one’s sister is a virgin or is married, and one’s paternal sister who is married. [Thus, there are a total of seven relatives for whom one must mourn.]
Spouse: One is Biblically required to mourn for his wife, as stated above, and just like a husband must mourn the passing of a wife, similarly a wife must mourn the passing of her husband. This however only applies to a woman who he was permissibly married to. However, by a forbidden marriage, or a woman who he was only engaged to, the spouses do not mourn each other’s passing.
Passing of bastard son/sibling: A parent is required to mourn the passing of a child even if the child was invalid [i.e. Mamzer]. Likewise, a sibling must mourn the passing of a sibling even if the child was invalid. However, if the child/sibling was born from a gentile woman, in which case the child is a gentile, then the father and siblings are not required to mourn this child’s passing.
Mourning if the deceased asked not to be mourned: See Halacha 9!
One is obligated to mourn for the following relatives:
6. Brother, whether paternal or maternal.
7. Sister, including the half-brother and half-sister, whether single or married, whether paternal or maternal.
What is the law if one sat Shiva for the wrong relative, such as if he later discovered that in truth it was a different relative who died?
If one sat Shiva under assumption that a certain relative passed away and then discovered it was a different relative who passed away, in some cases his Shiva is valid and in others the Shiva is invalid.
B. Children mourning:
A child [below Bar/Bas Mitzvah] who has lost a relative for whom he/she is obligated to mourn, is not obligated to observe any laws of Aveilus [Shiva; Shloshim] with exception to Keriah. This applies even if the child has reached the age of Chinuch.
Keriah: A child [even below Chinuch] whose relative passed away is to have his garment torn by others. See Chapter 6 Halacha 1B for the full details of this subject!
A child who became Bar Mitzvah during Shiva/Shloshim: Some Poskim rule that a child who became Bar/Bas Mitzvah during the Shiva [or Shloshim] of a relative, is not obligated to keep Shiva or any laws of Aveilus even after he becomes Bar Mitzvah. Other Poskim rule a child who became Bar/Bas Mitzvah within the Shloshim from the burial, then he is to keep Shiva and Shloshim from that day and onwards. Practically, we rule like the former opinion that the child remains exempt from all mourning. [This applies even if he only discovered the death after he became Bar/Bas Mitzvah. If, however, he became Bar/Bas Mitzvah between the death and burial, he is obligated in Aveilus.]
If a child became Bar/Bas Mitzvah during the year of Aveilus for a parent, is he to follow the mourning laws applicable for the 12 months?
Some Poskim suggest that perhaps, although the child is exempt from Shiva and Shloshim, nevertheless he/she is obligated to keep the mourning laws applicable for the first 12 months. Some however conclude that one who is lenient has upon whom to rely.
Should children continue going to Cheder during the Shiva?
Ideally, they are to go to Cheder and continue their learning, as this is one of the reasons for why children are exempt from Aveilus.
C. Relatives of Aveilim: Mourning customs kept by son/daughter in-law; grandchildren; grandparents and cousins:
The letter of the law: All those who mourn, their relatives must mourn with them if their relative dies and they enter into a state of mourning. This means to say that all relatives of Aveilim, who are of a degree of relation that they would have to mourn the Avel in the event of his passing, are required to likewise keep all laws of mourning together with him. This applies only when the relative is present in front of the Avel. [The relative is required to keep all laws of Aveilus in the Avel’s presence. This applies throughout the Shiva and Shloshim. This includes the performance of Keriah, Seudas Havraah, and all the laws of Shiva and Shloshim.] However, when the relative is not in the presence of the Avel, no mourning laws need to be kept by him.
The custom: Some Poskim rule that today it is no longer accustomed for relatives of the Aveilim to keep mourning laws together with them, even in their presence. Practically, so is the custom today that relatives do not mourn at all together with the Aveilim, and anyone who decides to be stringent in this matter is considered to be doing a puzzling act. Being stringent in this is to be discouraged. Nevertheless, the custom is for relatives of the Aveilim to keep certain laws of Aveilus up until the first Motzei Shabbos, as explained next.
Mourning customs kept by relatives of Aveilim up until first Motzei Shabbos: Although the custom today is for relatives not to mourn together with the Aveilim, nevertheless, the custom is for the relatives of the Aveilim to keep certain mourning laws throughout the first week, until after the first Shabbos. [These laws are: 1) Not to bathe [in hot water; it is however permitted to bathe in warm or cold water]. This applies even on Erev Shabbos; 2) Not to wear all one’s regular Shabbos clothing on Shabbos; [However, the widespread custom today amongst most Jewry is for even Aveilim to wear Shabbos clothing on Shabbos, as explained in Chapter 20 Halacha 4] 3) Not to attend a Seudas Mitzvah, such as a Bris Milah [wedding and the like], and not attend a party and meal of friends even if one plans to waiter the meal; 4) Some Poskim rule one is also not to get a haircut; 5) Some Poskim rule one is also not to cut nails. [The above restrictions apply even when one is not in the presence of the mourner.] All other mourning restrictions are not applicable, and hence they do not need to change their sitting area in Shul. The above restrictions are kept up until the first Motzei Shabbos irrelevant of the amount of days remaining until Motzei Shabbos, whether they are many or few. Thus, if the burial occurred on Friday, the restrictions are kept for only one day, and if the burial occurred on Monday the restrictions are kept for a full week. Immediately after Shabbos, all restrictions are lifted. [Prior to burial, and the start of Shiva, none of these restrictions apply. All the above follows the ruling of the Rama as is recorded in Achronim. Many today however are not accustomed for the relatives of the Aveilim to keep even the mourning restrictions listed above. Practically, each community is to follow his custom or Rav. See footnote for Chabad custom.]
The relatives who are to follow the above mourning customs: The custom is for all the relatives of the deceased who are invalid for testimony on his behalf, to keep the above-mentioned mourning laws until the first Motzei Shabbos. [This includes the following relatives of the deceased: 1) Grandchildren; 2) Grandparents; 3) Son and daughter in law; 4) First Cousins [however the widespread custom is to be lenient by first cousins]; 5) Step son/daughter of father’s wife. The above only applies to blood relatives. It however does not include those who are relatives through marriage [with exception to a son and daughter in law] and hence one does not need to follow any mourning restrictions upon the passing of a sister in-law [brother’s wife], brother in-law [sister’s husband], or son/daughter in law.]
One’s spouse: One does not mourn together with his/her spouse when he/she is in mourning for a relative, with exception to when the spouse is in mourning for a parent. Thus, if one’s wife is mourning her father or mother, her husband is to mourn together with her. Likewise, when one’s husband is mourning his father or mother, his wife is to mourn together with him. As stated above, the custom is only to keep the above list of mourning restrictions, and only until the first Motzei Shabbos. When the spouse is in mourning for the passing of other relatives, such as a brother or sister, or a son or daughter from a different marriage, he/she is not to keep any mourning restrictions. Nevertheless, even in such a case, the husband cannot force his wife to beautify herself, although she may serve him and bathe him and make his bed.
Shemua Kerova/Rechoka: The above laws only apply during the Shiva, or if the relative of the Avel heard of the death within thirty days from burial [i.e. Shemua Kerova]. If, however, the relative only heard of the passing after thirty days from death [i.e. Shemua Rechoka], he is not required to keep any mourning laws at all, and it has no place to be done.
The custom is for the relatives of the Aveilim to keep certain mourning laws starting from the burial, throughout the first week, until the first Motzei Shabbos. [Many however are no longer accustomed today to follow these restrictions, and each person is to follow his Rav or community custom.]
When: The customs are in effect from after the burial until after Shabbos [Motzei Shabbos].
The list of restrictions:
· Not to participate in a wedding or any other Seudas Mitzvah, or party with friends.
· Music: Some do not listen to music, as explained in the Q&A.
· Bathing: One does not bath or shower in hot water. Warm water is permitted.
· Haircut: One does not take a haircut.
· Nails: One does not cut his nails.
The restrictions apply towards the following relatives of the deceased:
· Son or daughter in-law.
· Cousins. [Even amongst those who follow the above custom today, many are lenient regarding cousins].
If the person passed away before Yom Tov, when are the relatives of the Avel to keep their customary mourning laws?
The laws are to be kept until Yom Tov.
If the person passed away during Yom Tov, when are the relatives of the Avel to keep their customary mourning laws?
If the person passed away during Yom Tov, then the relatives of the Avel are to keep the customary mourning laws after Yom Tov, when the Aveilim sit Shiva.
May the relatives of the Aveilim listen to music during their days of restrictions?
May the relatives of the Aveilim attend a wedding of a close relative during their days of restrictions?
May the relatives of the Aveilim have marital relations during their days of restrictions?
D. Ger/convert mourning a relative:
A convert does not mourn the passing of his relatives. This applies even if his relatives converted as well. Thus, a convert does not mourn the passing of his children who converted. Likewise, a convert does not mourn the passing of a parent who converted. [If, however, the mother converted while pregnant with the child, then the mother and child mourn each other’s passing, although the child and father do not mourn each other’s passing even if he converted with them. A convert mourns the passing of a child born to him after his conversion, just as is the law by any other Jew. A convert is not required to mourn the passing of his mentor who converted him/her, even if he was part of their household.]
E. Non-relatives keeping laws of Aveilus despite lack of obligation:
One who desires to be stringent upon himself and mourn the death of a person for whom he is not obligated to mourn, or to wear black clothing of mourning, is not to be protested. [Nevertheless, he may only follow mourning restrictions in non-Mitzvah related matters, however it is forbidden for him to follow the laws of Shiva that restrict fulfillment of Mitzvos, such as not learning Torah and not having marital relations.]
May an ex-wife mourn the passing of her divorced husband?
Although she is exempt from mourning, she may do so if she wishes and there is no prohibition in the matter.
May one mourn the passing of an adopted parent or relative?
Although he is exempt from mourning, he may do so if he wishes.
2. Must one notify the relatives of the death:
There is no obligation to publicize the death of a person, even to the son or daughter of the deceased [even on the day of death, prior to the burial]. On the contrary, one who publicizes such news, on him it says “Motzi Diba Hu Kesil.”
Aveilus does not begin until the relatives are notified: The children and relatives of the deceased may even be invited to a wedding feast prior to them being told of the death, being that they do not know. [Likewise, a husband may be intimate with his wife who lost a relative prior to notifying her. The above is all in reference to after the passing. However, prior to the passing, the children are to be told of their parents’ illness in order so they visit him prior to his passing.]
Practical directive regarding notifying the children of deceased: As stated above, there is no obligation to publicize the death of a person, even to the son or daughter of the deceased. Nevertheless, despite this ruling, the custom is to notify the male children of the deceased in order for them to say Kaddish, however regarding daughters, there is no custom to notify them. [Practically, the custom today is to inform all the children in order so they participate in the funeral.]
Not to lie: See Chapter 2 Halacha 6!
There is no obligation to notify the relatives of the death, with exception to the sons [and daughters] of the deceased, of which the custom is to notify them. The Aveilus does not begin until they are notified.
May one publicize the death out of respect for the deceased?
See Chapter 2 Halacha 6!
Q&A on notifying relatives of the death on Shabbos/Yom Tov:
See Chapter 2 Halacha 6!
Letting him know of the passing: If one is sick, and there is worry that letting him know of the passing, and breaking his heart, can lead to a worsening of his condition, he is not to be told of the passing. People that are around him are not to show any signs of mourning; they are not to tear their shirts, cry, or eulogize in front of him. They are not to comfort him, and those who do so are to be quieted. [This applies even if a parent of the sick person passed away, and even if he needs, and is able to say Kaddish on their behalf. Furthermore, one is not even to eulogize or cry regarding another person who passed away, in front of the sick person, even if it is not a relative of the sick person. If, however, the person is not sick to the point that letting him know of the passing can lead him to danger, then he is to be told and is to follow the laws of Shiva, as explained next. The Rebbe did not inform his mother of the passing of his brother and her son during the Shiva, and kept it hidden from her for the rest of her life, for over 12 years.]
If he already knows of the passing: Even if the ill person already heard of the passing, nevertheless, one is not to do anything in front of him that will cause his heart to break even more. Thus, he is not to be told to perform Keriah, as doing so increases one’s worry.
How a sick person keeps Shiva-Keeping Shiva after being healed: If one is sick, and is unable to keep Shiva properly, some Poskim rule that he is to keep Shiva after he is healed. Other Poskim, however, rule he is to keep whatever customs of Shiva he is able, and is not required to make up the Shiva after he is healed. Others rule that even if he was not in his right mind, and did not keep any aspect of Shiva, he is nevertheless not required to keep Shiva after he is healed, even within Shloshim. [Practically, one may be lenient like the second opinion, that if some aspects of Aveilus were kept he is not required to make up the Shiva. If, however, he did not keep any aspect of Aveilus, such as he was unconscious, or was not told of the death, then he is to keep Shiva upon being healed and discovering the death, if it is still within thirty days of the burial.]
Mourning during a time of epidemic: Some Poskim rule that during an epidemic, one does not mourn, due to fear. Some are accustomed like this opinion.
4. Mourning during a time of mass murder or Holocaust:
During the times of mass murder of very large segments of Jewry that occurred throughout our history, such as the holocaust, may they never be repeated, those that lost their relatives were not obligated to mourn and sit Shiva
5. Keeping Aveilus for a child/Nefel who died:
The relatives are required to mourn [observe Shiva and Shloshim] after the passing of a child, so long as the child is not defined as a Nefel, which is a premature child who passed away shortly after birth. The following is the exact definition of a Nefel and when the relatives are exempt from observing Shiva and Shloshim:
Factually undetermined if child was born after nine months: If a child passed away r”l, and it has not been factually determined when the date of conception was, and consequently whether the child was born after the completion of the 9th month [approximately after week 38] or before the end the 9th month, then if the child is 31 days old or more, the relatives are to mourn his/her passing. If, however, the child was less than 31 days of age when he passed away, then even if the child’s development looks as if he was carried to term [he is defined as a Nefel, and] the relatives are not to mourn his passing. This applies even if the child passed away on the 30th day.
Factually determined that the child was born after or before nine months: If however it was factually determined that the child was carried to term and born after nine full months [approximately 38 weeks], [then he is not defined as a Nefel and] the relatives must mourn the child even if he passed away within 30 days of being born, and even if he dies on the day he was born. On the other hand, if it was factually determined that the child was born before the end of the ninth month, [then he is defined as a Nefel and] the relatives are not required to mourn the child even if he passed away after 31 days of being born. [If, however, he only passed away after several months of living, then he is not considered a Nefel in this regard.]
How to factually determine if child was born after nine months: It can only be factually determined that the child was carried for a full nine months, if a full nine months [approximately 38 weeks] passed since the last time the mother had marital intercourse, in which case one knows the latest possible date of conception. [For example: If she had relations with her husband on the 1st of Elul and he left town that day [and did not return and have relations with her until the pregnancy was already determined] then if she gives birth 9 full months [approximately 38 weeks] after the 1st of Elul [i.e. the 3rd of Iyar], it is factually determined that the child was born after a full 9 months. However, in a normal scenario that marital relations never ceased, since it is not possible to determine the actual date of conception, it is not certain whether she has given birth within or after the 9th month, and the Doctors estimation is worthless in this regard. Thus, even if a woman has given birth past her Doctors due date, the child may still be a Halachic 8th month child of which we rule that within 30 days mourning is not observed.]
If a child that passed away is 31 days old or more, the relatives are to mourn his/her passing. If the child is less than 31 days of age when he passed away, the relatives are not to mourn his passing. If, however, it was factually determined that the child was born after nine full months [approximately 38 weeks], the relatives must mourn the child even if he passed away within 30 days of being born. On the other hand, if it was factually determined that the child was born before the end of the ninth month, the relatives are not required to mourn the child even if he passed away after 31 days of being born. It can only be factually determined that the child was carried for a full nine months, if a full nine months [approximately 38 weeks] passed since the last time the mother had marital intercourse, in which case one knows the latest possible date of conception.
See Chapter 4 Halacha 1!
Does one sit Shiva after the passing of a relative who is mentally ill or has mental retardation [i.e. Shoteh]?
5. Mourning the passing of a Rebbe:
Before burial: If one’s Rebbe from whom one learned [majority] of his wisdom passes away, he is to keep the [mourning] laws of Aninus, although he is to recite blessings and make a Zimun. The student may not eat meat or drink wine after the passing of his main Rebbe, so long as the body is in his presence. Some rule it is proper for the student to avoid eating meat and wine until after the burial.
After burial: [After the burial] he is to mourn him through removing his leather shoes, and he is to follow all the other laws of mourning for one day. He is also to switch his place in the Shul. It is not necessary to keep the Aveilus for the entire day, and even part of the day suffices.
Nullifying the learning in the Beis Midrash: If a Rabbinic leader passes away, throughout the Shiva his students are not to gather in his Beis Midrash to learn Torah, and are rather to learn in groups of two in their own homes.
Av Beis Din passes away: If the Av Beis Din of the community passes away, then all the Batei Midrash of the city are to nullify their learning, and are to change their area of sitting in the Beis Midrash.
Nassi passes away:  If the leader of the generation passes away, then all the Batei Midrash in all areas in which a eulogy is given, are to nullify their learning. After the Hesped, they are not to return to the Beis Midrash to learn Torah, and are rather to learn in groups of two in their own homes. The entire city is to Daven in the home of the Avel, both during the week and on Shabbos, with exception to Kerias Hatorah of Monday’s, Thursday’s and Shabbos, which is read in Shul. They are not to walk around the marketplace and are rather to gather family by family and mourn throughout the day.
Visiting the cemetery: On the seventh day of Shiva for the passing of a leader, Torah scholar and Gaon, the [students] are to go to the cemetery and visit his grave. The same applies for the day of Shloshim, and conclusion of the 12 months. They are also to perform a Hashkava ceremony.
6. Mourning the passing of non-religious relatives:
Even a Jew who is a sinner is to be mourned, [even if he transgressed sins that involve penalty of death]. Nevertheless, a person who is accustomed to constantly sin [even for mere lustful purposes] is not to be mourned. [Thus, one is not to mourn a Jew who was publicly Michalel Shabbos or was married to a gentile. If however the sinner confessed prior to passing away, then he is to be mourned even if he was a robber and even if he died a natural death.] It goes without saying that one is not to mourn a heretic who has converted to idolatry. One does not mourn them not with Aninus or Aveilus, and on the contrary, their brothers and other relatives are to wear festive clothing and are to eat and drink and rejoice. [From here it is implied that it is even forbidden to mourn them. Nevertheless, the parents are to mourn the passing of a child who became a heretic. Furthermore, even other relatives may choose to mourn his passing out of sadness that the relative died without Teshuvah, or if not doing so will infringe on the families honor. This certainly applies if the relative was deemed a Tinok Shenishba as explained next!]
Tinok Shenishba: Some Poskim rule that if a heretic had a son who was brought up in heresy, then that son is to be mourned, as he is a mere Anus. Other Poskim however rule he is not to be mourned. Practically, so is the main ruling. [Some Poskim however rule that they must mourn on the first day, and that the parent of the child is to mourn for all seven days and Shloshim. Furthermore, the Poskim rule that all the relatives may choose to mourn a non-religious Jew who was a Tinok Shenishba. This especially applies if not doing so will cause embarrassment to the family. See Q&A regarding who today is defined as a Tinok Shenishba. Practically, today the custom is for all relatives to mourn the passing of non-religious relatives.]
Poreish Midarkei Tzibur: Those Jews who have left the Jewish community, which refers to those who have left the Jewish way of life of keeping Mitzvos, and do not include themselves amongst Klal Yisrael in their actions, and do not respect of the Holidays, and do not participate in Shul and Batei Midrash, and rather act like unrestricted men similar to all the other nations, such people are not to be mourned. Nevertheless, their children are to be mourned.
Moser: One is not to mourn the death of a Moser.
From the letter of the law, one is not to mourn the passing of a non-religious Jew, or any Jew who was known to consistently transgress a Torah law. Nevertheless, the parents of the deceased are to mourn him, and likewise all relatives may choose to mourn him, and so is the custom today.
Is there a Mitzvah to bury the above people who are not mourned?
Yes. They are to receive Taharah, and Tachrichin, and be buried in a Jewish cemetery. [Nevertheless, such a person is to be buried an 8 Ama distance from the surrounding graves of Kosher Jews.]
Who is defined as a Tinok Shenishba?
7. Mourning after a relative has become a heretic:
Rabbeinu Gershom sat Shiva for 14 days for his son who became a heretic [and died]. This however is not required from the letter of the law, and was done simply to relieve his pain over the fact that he did not merit to repent. [From here one can learn that when a child r”l becomes a heretic, and serves idolatry, that the parents need to cry and mourn [at the time that the child becomes a heretic, even if still alive]. Practically, so is the custom, however only in relation to parents. Other relatives however do not need to mourn.]
8. Mourning a relative who committed suicide:
One who commits suicide is not to be dealt with at all. He is not to be mourned, eulogized, or have Keriah done [even by his relatives] on his behalf. [Likewise, they do not say Baruch Dayan Haemes with Hashem’s name.] Nevertheless, even one who committed suicide is to receive Taharah and Tachrichin and be buried in a Jewish cemetery [an 8 Amos distance from other graves]. Likewise, the mourners are to be comforted and have performed all mourning rituals that are done out of respect for the surviving relatives. [Nevertheless, if not mourning the deceased will cause embarrassment to the family, and publicize the cause of death, the relatives may choose to mourn his passing as usually performed. If the person who committed suicide did not die instantly, and did Teshuvah prior to his death, he is to be mourned.]
Halachic proof of suicide: [The act of suicide is only Halachically defined as suicide if it was witnessed or is backed by circumstantial evidence of such degree that there is no room to doubt that the death was the result of suicide.] For example: If he said that “I will go on to the roof [and jump off to kill myself]”, and immediately after he was witnessed going up out of anger or distress, and he was then seen to fall and die, it can be assumed that he committed suicide for all Halachic purposes. [If, however, he was not witnessed going up to the roof, he is to be treated like any other deceased. Likewise, if he was not seen to fall, he is to be treated like any other deceased. Likewise, if he did not make his suicide plans known prior to the act, he is to be mourned even if his suicide was witnessed.] If, however, a person was found hanging off a tree, or fallen over a sword, he is to be judged like all deceased, and is to be dealt with accordingly without any matter of mourning omitted. [This applies even if it clearly appears that he killed himself, such as he was found hanging in a room that was locked from the inside, or he was stabbed with his own sword. If, however, prior to the death, the deceased stated that he intends to kill himself, or it was evident from his actions that he plans to do so, then if the death is clearly evident as suicide, he is not to be mourned.]
Halachic definition of suicide: [Even in a scenario that the person was witnessed taking his life, receiving the above Halachic status that abstains the relatives from mourning, is dependent also on the motivation behind the suicide. For example:] A child [below Bar/Bas Mitzvah] who committed suicide is not Halachically judged as suicide and is thus considered like any other deceased. [Likewise, a Shoteh/mentally insane who committed suicide is to be mourned as usual.] Likewise, even a Gadol who committed suicide out of lack of choice, as did Shaul Hamelech, is treated like any other deceased and is to be mourned. [Some Poskim rule that this likewise applies if one killed himself out of distress of poverty, or suffering, that he is to be treated like any other deceased. Practically however, the Poskim negate this opinion. If, however, he killed himself out of immediate fear of death, or due to a moment of insanity, he is to be mourned.] One who stole [or committed murder or another crime of capital punishment] and was killed by the government for doing so, is not considered like one who committed suicide.
If one committed suicide, he is not to be mourned in any way unless one of the following apply:
· If not mourning the deceased will cause embarrassment to the family, and publicize the cause of death, the relatives may choose to mourn his passing as usually performed.
· If the suicide was not witnessed, and is not backed by circumstantial evidence of such degree that there is no room to doubt that the death was result of suicide, then he is to be mourned.
· If he did not make his suicide plans known prior to the act, he is to be mourned even if his suicide was witnessed.
· If he is a child below Bar/Bas Mitzvah, or is mentally ill, or did so out of fear of death and captivity, he is to be mourned.
Even one who committed suicide is to receive Taharah and Tachrichin and be buried in a Jewish cemetery an 8 Amos distance from other graves.
Are the mourners of a suicide victim to keep the laws of Aninus prior to the burial?
Are the mourners of a suicide victim to receive a Seudas Havraah?
This matter is disputed in Poskim.
Is Kaddish recited for a relative who committed suicide?
Yes. However, the relative does not receive precedence over any other Yasom if it is clear beyond doubt that the death was the result of suicide. Kaddish is to be recited for a full 12 months.
If one committed suicide so he does not sin, is he to be mourned?
If one committed suicide as a form of Teshuvah, is he to be mourned?
If one committed suicide through drowning, is he to be mourned?
9. Mourning if the deceased asked not to be mourned:
If the deceased requested not to be mourned, he is not to be listened to, and all relatives must guard the laws of Shiva and Shloshim as usual. [If, however, the deceased requested from his children not to keep the 12 months of mourning, then it is a Mitzvah to respect his wishes.]
10. Mourning the passing of a Kosher Jew:
One is obligated to cry and mourn the death of Kosher Jew even if he is not one’s relative.
11. One who does not mourn:
One who does not mourn a relative as instructed by the Sages, is considered cruel. He is rather to be fearful and worry and perform a Cheshbon Nefesh and do Teshuvah. See Chapter 13 Halacha 9 regarding one who did not keep Shiva/Shloshim, or did not keep it in full, if he should do so later on.
12. Proof of death-Mourning if there is no identified body of the deceased:
In all cases that the body is missing or unidentifiable, and death cannot be determined to the point that the wife of the deceased can remarry [as explained in Even Haezer chapter 17], then the relatives do not sit Shiva or Shloshim. [If the death has been Halachically determined, the relatives may sit Shiva even if knowledge of this has not yet reached the wife.]
Deceased was not married or is a female: If the deceased was not married, then some Poskim rule that one begins sitting Shiva and Shloshim as soon as word spreads of the persons death [or if majority of people die as a result of whatever occurrence happened to the deceased], and they give up hope of retrieving the body for burial. Other Poskim, however, rule that one always requires the same level of proof as required to allow a wife to remarry when a married man passes away, in order to sit Shiva/Shloshim. [This dispute would seemingly likewise apply if a woman passes way, whether married or single.] Practically, the relatives may choose to be stringent to mourn the deceased even if sufficient proof has not been brought to allow a wife to remarry.
Sons saying Kaddish in above cases: Some Poskim rule that whenever Shiva/Shloshim is not kept due to insufficient proof of death, then likewise Kaddish is not recited by the sons. However, the sons may go up for Maftir and Daven for the Amud on occasion, and should do other matters for the merit of his soul such as giving charity. Other Poskim, however, rule that the sons may say Kaddish.
Mourning if person was a Goses: A person in a state of Goses is assumed to not be able to live for more than three days, and hence he can be assumed to be dead after the passing of three days, and his relatives are to mourn him, if they are out of town and have no way of verifying whether he is still alive. See Chapter 2 Halacha 1A for the full details of this subject!
13. Testimony which obligates keeping Aveilus:
In order for one to be obligated to mourn the passing of a relative, one must receive authentic information regarding his death. A single witness is believed in this regard, and one is not required to hear testimony from two witnesses. Likewise, a person is believed even if he did not personally witness the death, but is carrying the information from someone who did witness it [i.e. another relative, the doctor, hospital etc]. [Likewise, a woman is believed.] Even a gentile’s testimony is believed if he is Mesiach Lefi Tumo [i.e. a casual statement without any incentive for the gentile]. [The general rule is as follows: All testimony that is valid to allow a woman to remarry, is valid for determining the death of the relative to obligate Aveilus. Thus, the following forms of testimony are all valid: Slave, woman, relative, and Eid Mepi Eid. One who is an invalid witness due to sin, is only valid if he is Mesiach Lefi Tumo. A child, however, is not believed, and neither is one who is insane.]
Contradiction of testimony: In the event that there is conflicting testimony regarding the death of the relative, with two people saying that he died and two others saying that he did not die, then one does not mourn him.
See Chapter 13 Halacha 8!
15. Deceased who does not have any relatives:
If the deceased does not have any relatives to mourn him, then ten Kosher Jews are to come and sit in his home for all seven days of Shiva. The remainder of the community gathers around them. If one is unable to have the same ten people sit in the home each day of Shiva, then one may have a different group of ten each day. Practically, many places are no longer accustomed to follow this today.
Making a Minyan in his home: If there are no known relatives sitting Shiva on behalf of the deceased, it is customary to Daven with a Minyan [Shacharis, Mincha, and Maariv] throughout the Shiva in the area that the Niftar passed away [or, if not applicable, then in the house that the deceased lived in].
 See Nitei Gavriel Chapter 126
 Michaber 374:4; Moed Katan 20b; See Pnei Baruch chapter 9; Nitei Gavriel 126
If deceased is Rasha: See Rama 340:5 [no Aveilus for Baal Aveiros]; Shach 340:8 [even Liteiavon]; Pischeiy Teshuvah 340:4 [only if Lehachis]; Nitei Gavriel 53:2
 First son: Some Poskim rule one is not to mourn after the passing of the first son, or the oldest son that dies to a parent. [Opinion in Rama 374:11; Minhag brought in Kol Bo 114; Rivash 95] This is a mistaken custom and a parent is obligated to mourn them. [Rama ibid; Beis Yosef 374; Rivash ibid; Kol Bo ibid regarding non-Bechoros] Nevertheless, based on this, the custom in the Ashkenazi cities became that the father and mother do not attend the funeral of their first son. [Rama ibid]
 Although a Kohen may not impurify himself to these relatives, nevertheless the Sages established that one must mourn for their passing. [Michaber ibid]
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule one is Biblically obligated to mourn a paternal sister, even if married. [Rambam 2:2, brought in Gilyon Maharsha 374] The Ramban questioned his ruling, as a Kohen may not impurify himself to her. [Gilyon Maharsha ibid]
 Michaber 374:4; Rambam and Rosh
Shomeres Yavam-sister in-law: One whose sister in-law became a Yevama to him after the passing of her husband, his brother, then if she passes away prior to Chalitza, some Poskim rule the brother in-laws must mourn her passing, just as a Kohen may impurify himself for her. [Masas Moshe 27; Gilyon Maharsha 374; Rav Akiva Eiger 374] The same applies vice versa, that the sister in-law is required to mourn the passing of her brother in-law. [Pnei Baruch 9:3] Other Poskim however rule a brother in-law does not mourn the passing of his Yevama sister in-law, and the same applies vice versa. [Kneses Hagedola 374:1; Perach Mateh Aaron 2:100; Nechpa Bakesef 1; Birkeiy Yosef 374; Pischeiy Teshuvah 374:2] Practically, the majority of Poskim rule they do not mourn each other’s passing. [Pnei Baruch ibid footnote 3]
Estranged wife/husband: A couple that suffers from marital strife and the husband decided to divorce the wife, some Poskim rule that the husband is not required to mourn the passing of his wife. [Rashal Gittin 4; Rav Akiva Eiger 374; Poskim brought in Pnei Baruch 9 footnote 4 and Nitei Gavriel 126:3 footnote 3] Seemingly, the same applies vice versa, that the wife is not required to mourn the passing of her husband. [See Pnei Baruch 9 footnote 4] Other Poskim however argue that they are required to mourn each other’s death even in such a case. [Beis Meir E.H. 90:5; Maharashdam E.H. 75; Pischeiy Teshuvah E.H. 90:8 in name of Kerem Shlomo, in name of Chasam Sofer; Poskim brought in Pnei Baruch and Nitei Gavriel ibid] Practically, if both spouses agreed to the divorce, they are not required to mourn each other’s passing, while if the wife did not agree, a Rav is to be asked. [Nitei Gavriel ibid]
Married second wife with Heter Meiah Rabbanim: See Poskim brought in Nitei Gavriel 126:2 regarding if he must mourn her death.
 Michaber 374:4
 So rule regarding Keriah: Michaber 340:24; Nedarim 87a; See Raavad in Tamim Deim 128; Eshkol Aveilus 51; Nitei Gavriel 133:17
 See Michaber ibid that if he was told wrong information of who passed away, then a new Keriah must be done if it was not corrected within Kdei Dibbur of the Keriah. The Raavad and Eshkol ibid apply the same rule to Shiva. If, however, he just assumed it was a certain relative, without being told, then some Poskim rule he is Yotzei [Michaber ibid] while others rule he is not. [Shach 340:37 in name of Bach] If he tore Stam, without any specific relative in mind, he is Yotzei. [Michaber ibid; Shach 340:38 in name of Darkei Moshe]
 Michaber 396:3; Tur in name of Rosh; See Pnei Baruch 25; Nitei Gavriel 127
 The reason: As this would cause him to stop learning Torah for the Shiva, and we do not nullify Torah learning simply for the sake of Chinuch. [Degul Merivava ibid] Alternatively, as children below Bar and Bas Mitzvah are not obligated in the laws of Aveilus, as the entire reason behind keeping Aveilus customs is to arouse repentance from the relatives, however Katan is not required to repent as he is not of age to be punished. [Beis Hillel ibid]
 Shach in Nekudos Hakesef 340:15 based on Rosh and Tur and Michaber 396; M”A 551:38; Rokeiach Aveilus 314; Degul Merivava 340; Yad Avraham 381; Beis Hillel 381 based on Rashi Taanis 12b; Levushei Serud 340:15; Chochmas Adam 152:17; Pischeiy Teshuvah 340:10; Igros Moshe 1:124; Nitei Gavriel 105:25; and many Poskim in 127 footnote 1; See Pnei Baruch 25 footnote 9
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that children who have reached the age of Chinuch are obligated to mourn for a relative who passed away and hence must keep all the laws of Aveilus, [unless stated otherwise]. [Derisha, brought in Taz 340:15; All Poskim ibid negate this opinion] Thus, according to this opinion, if the child has a father and is not in a Talmud Torah, he is to be educated by his father to mourn. However, if the child does not have a father, or he is in a Talmud Torah, then he is exempt from Aveilus, as explained in the next footnote. [Shivas Tziyon 61, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 396:2; See Pnei Baruch 25 footnote 9]
 Michaber 396:3; Beis Yosef 396; Tur in name of Rosh; Rosh [student of Maharam] in end of Moed Katan; Taz 396:1 [Regarding the contradictory ruling of the Taz 340:15 in name of the Derisha, that even if a child has reached the age of Chinuch he is to be educated to mourn, see Shivas Tziyon 61, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 396:2, that this only applies if the child has a father and is not in a Talmud Torah, in which case he is to be educated by his father to mourn. However if the child does not have a father, or he is in a Talmud Torah, then he is exempt from Aveilus, as explained in the next footnote.];
 The reason: As once one is exempt at the time of the obligation, he remains exempt also for the Tashlumin. [Rosh ibid] Alternatively, the reason is because the Chiyuv of Aveilus is specifically at the moment of burial, when the bitterness is greatest, and hence since the child was exempt at that time, there is no obligation for him to keep mourning laws later on. [Taz 396:1 in explanation of ruling of Michaber ibid, and answer of contradiction in Michaber ibid to his ruling in 341 where he rules like the Maharam regarding Havdalah.]
 Maharam Merothenberg [teacher of Rosh ,brought in Rosh in end of Moed Katan], brought in Shach 396:1 and Taz 396:1; Rabbeinu Yerucham and Bach 396 conclude to follow the Maharam, as he was the teacher of the Rosh, as well as that the ruling of the Michaber ibid is contradicted earlier in 341 where he rules like the Maharam regarding Havdalah; The Taz ibid negates his opinion; The Shach in Nekudos Hakesef defends the ruling of the Maharam against the proofs of the Taz; Yad Eliyahu 93 also negates the ruling of the Taz ibid, brought in Gilyon Maharsha 396
Within the Shiva: Some Poskim rule [unlike Michaber ibid] that if a child became Bar/Bas Mitzvah within the Shiva then he must keep Shiva for the remaining days that are left of Shiva even according to the Rosh, as every day of Shiva is a separate obligation and is not Tashlumin, and it is only in a case that he became of age after Shiva that there is a dispute. [Yad Eliyahu ibid; Poskim brought in Pnei Baruch 25:5 footnote 12 and Nitei Gavriel 127:3 footnote 5-6; Gesher Hachaim 19:3-3 that so is custom] However according to the Michaber and Tur and Taz ibid the Katan is exempt even in such a case.
After Shloshim: If he became Bar/Bas Mitzvah after the Shloshim, then according to this opinion, he is to keep Aveilus for one hour, just as is the law regarding a Shemua Rechoka. [Maharam; Pnei Baruch 25:5]
 Taz 396:1 “Therefore it appears Halacha Lemaaseh to rule like the Rosh, not for his reason, but for the reason I mentioned.”; Chochmas Adam 168:6; Aruch Hashulchan 396:5; Kitzur SHU”A 216:2; Ikarei Hadat 36:48
 Nitei Gavriel 127:4 and 8; See Taz ibid
 Chochmas Adam 168:6, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 396:4; Aruch Hashulchan 396:5; Kitzur SHU”A 217:2; Pnei Baruch 25:5; Nitei Gavriel Vol. 2 62:2
 The reason: Although it is implied from Michaber ibid that the child is exempt from all Aveilus, nevertheless, perhaps there is a difference between Shiva and Shloshim, which are Rabbinical obligations of mourning, and the 12 months which is done for Kibbud Av Vaem. [ibid]
 Gesher Hachaim 19:3-3
 Nitei Gavriel 127:2 footnote 2
 See Michaber 384:5; Shoel Umeishiv 3:213
 Yoreh Deah 374:6; Gesher Chaim 19 p. 139; Nitei Gavriel 126:15-30 [p. 680]; Vol. 2 18
 Michaber 374:6; Moed Katan 20b
 The reason: This is done out of respect and honor of the Avel, to show one’s solidarity and support at the time of his loss. [See Rama ibid; Ramban in Toras Hadam]
 Rav Akiva Eiger 374:6 in name of Rashba 139
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that the above relatives are only obligated to mourn for a mere hour and not more. [Chinuch Beis Yehuda 96, brought in Gilyon Maharsha 374]
 Michaber 340:4; Moed Katan 20b
 Rav Akiva Eiger 374:6 in name of Rashba 139
 Rama 374:6; Tur in name of Rosh; Ramban in Toras Hadam; Hagahos Maimanis Aveilus 1
 Rosh; Ramban in Toras Hadam; Hagahos Maimanis Aveilus 1
 The reason: As the entire reason for keeping Aveilus laws in the presence of the Avel is out of respect and honor of the Avel, to show one’s solidarity and support at the time of his loss. However, today that all Aveilim are accustomed to forgiving their honor, there is no longer any reason for the relatives to mourn in their presence. [Rama ibid; Ramban in Toras Hadam] This applies today even if the relative claims that he is not Mochel on his honor. [Aruch Hashulchan 374:14] However some Poskim are stringent. [Daas Kedoshim 374]
 Rama ibid; Hagahos Maimanis
 Shach 374:5 in name of Hagahos Maimanis ibid that one who is stringent is not only not honoring the Aveilim but making mockery of them
The reason: Although it is permitted for any person to keep the laws of Aveilus after the passing of a non-obligatory relative, nevertheless this only applies if he keeps the laws completely, even not in the presence of the Aveilim. However, here that he is only keeping the laws in front of the Aveilim, it is hence discouraged. [Shach ibid; See also Beir Heiytiv 374:5]
 Rama ibid; Terumos Hadeshen 251; Chochmas Adam 161:5; Kitzur SHU”A 203:2; Aruch Hashulchan 374:16; Gesher Hachaim; Nitei Gavriel Vol. 2 18
Other opinions: See end of this Halacha.
 Other customs: Some communities are accustomed that the relatives follow also other mourning restrictions, although the main ruling is as stated above. [Rama ibid]
 Rama ibid that so is custom of Gedolei Austria; Beir Hagoleh 376
Wives: Some Poskim rule that wives who are relatives of the mourners may bathe in order so they do not look unattractive to their husbands. [Nitei Gavriel 126:15 in name of Maharash Melublin]
 Shach 374:6; Masas Binyamin 83, brought in Shach 376:7
 Taz 374:2 in name of Masas Binyamin regarding Chafifas Harosh
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule one may bathe his head, feet and hands on Erev Shabbos in hot water if he does so every Erev Shabbos. [Daas Kedoshim 374; Nitei Gavriel 126:15]
 Rama ibid that so is custom of Gedolei Austria; Shach 374:7; See Beir Hagoleh that certain relatives may wear all Shabbos clothing other than the top jacket, while other relatives may not wear any Shabbos clothing other than the shirt
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that the above relatives are not to wear any Shabbos clothing other than a white shirt. [Masas Binyamin 83, brought in Shach 374:7; Degul Merivava 374, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 374:6, based on real Nussach in Darkei Moshe and Terumos Hadeshen] The Shach ibid negates this ruling
 Shach 374:7 and Taz 374:2 in name of Bach 374
 Masas Binyamin 83, brought in Shach 376:7; See Lechem Hapanim 374:6 that he is not to leave the house even for a Seudas Mitzvah
Refreshments: The above restriction only applies to attending an actual meal on bread, while if there will only be mere refreshments by the gathering one may be attended. [Daas Kedoshim 374]
 Lechem Hapanim 374:6; See Nitei Gavriel Vol. 2 chapter 18 for further details on this Halacha
 Lechem Hapanim 374:6
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule it is permitted to get a haircut, and so is implied from Rama ibid who omits this restriction. [Shvus Yaakov 3:98]
 Lechem Hapanim 374:6
 Pischeiy Teshuvah 374:4 in his opinion of Rama and that so is implied in Darkei Moshe 374:4; Zekan Aaron 61; Darkei Hachaim 1:65; Nitei Gavriel 126:23
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that even these laws only apply in the presence of the mourners. [Adnei Paz11, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah ibid; Many Poskim brought in Nitei Gavriel 126:24 footnote 41]
 Shach 374:7; Masas Binyamin 83
 Shach 374:7; Masas Binyamin 83
 Lechem Hapanim 374:6
If the burial occurred on Shabbos: See Nitei Gavriel 126:27 that the restrictions are removed starting Friday night.
 Shach 374:7; Masas Binyamin 83
 Daas Kedoshim 374:1; Erech Shaiy 374; Nitei Gavriel 126:26
If the relative is in a different country than the deceased: If the relative is in a different country than the deceased and will not be present for the funeral/burial, he may accept his restrictions starting even before burial, until that Motzei Shabbos. [Nitei Gavriel 126:31]
 Custom brought in Aruch Hashulchan 374:16; The Aruch Hashulchan concludes “One can assume that people will follow the custom of the Rama, as it is him that we follow”; Shulchan Gavoa 374:17 “Today we are no longer accustomed in this”; See Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 126:16 footnote 27; Pnei Baruch 9 footnote 26;
 See Shach 374:7 and Aruch Hashulchan ibid
 The Chabad custom: Rav Leibel Groner told me that he never saw this custom followed at all not amongst Anash or the Rebbeim; Likewise, Rav Eli Landau Shlita told me that the custom which he witnessed and observed is that the relatives of the Aveilim do not keep any laws of mourning. Rav Asher Lemel Hakohen of Beitar however rules that relatives are to keep the restrictions listed in the Rama. Rav Yeruslavsky told me that the custom is for the relatives to keep the customs brought above, however only the relatives of the Aveilim, and son/daughter in-law, and not cousins and the like. [This is unlike the Rama]
 Rama 374:6; Terumos Hadeshen 251
Other customs: Some are accustomed for even relatives who are not invalid for testimony [such as level 1 with level 4] to keep the above restrictions and others are accustomed for even relatives who are invalid for testimony not to keep the above restrictions, unless they are a degree of relation that they would have to mourn for the Avel in the event of his passing. [Masas Binyamin 83, brought in Shach 374:7] Practically, in these matters one is to follow the custom. [Shach ibid] See previous footnote for rulings of Rabbanim in this regard
 As enumerated in Choshen Mishpat 33:2 [Shach 374:6]
 Beir Hagoleh 374; Lechem Hapanim 374:6; Choshen Mishpat 33:2
A great grandparent: It is disputed in Michaber C.M. 33:2 if Great-grandparents are invalid witnesses and the Rama concludes the custom is to be stringent. However, seemingly regarding Aveilus one may certainly be lenient. However, see Lechem Hapanim 374:6 that writes a 1st with a third level relative does follow the restrictions.
 Beir Hagoleh 374; Lechem Hapanim 374:6; Choshen Mishpat 33:2
A great grandchild: It is disputed in Michaber C.M. 33:2 if Great-grandchild is an invalid witness and the Rama concludes the custom is to be stringent. However, seemingly regarding Aveilus one may certainly be lenient. However, see Lechem Hapanim 374:6 that writes a 1st with a third level relative does follow the restrictions.
 Beir Hagoleh 374; Michaber ibid and Moed Katan ibid regarding the Talmudic law; Teshuvah Meahava 1:175, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 374:3 that the same applies according to the custom of Rama; Lechem Hapanim 374:6
 Beir Hagoleh 374; Choshen Mishpat 33:2; Darkei Hachaim 1:65; Lechem Hapanim 374; Nitei Gavriel 126:21
 Betzeil Hachochmah 3:107; Divrei Yatziv 233; Nitei Gavriel 126:16 footnote 27; Rav Yeruslavsky told me that he has never seen cousins be stringent in this; This follows one custom brought in Masas Binyamin ibid for only the close relatives of the Aveilim to keep these mourning restrictions
 Teshuvah Meahava 1:175; Pischeiy Teshuvah 374:3
 Michaber 374:7 regarding the Talmudic ruling of mourning in the presence of the Avel and Shach 374:6 based on Terumos Hadeshen ibid that the same applies for the custom brought in Rama ibid of following some mourning laws until after the first Shabbos
 Michaber 374:6; Moed Katan 20b
 The reason: As a son/daughter in law is obligated to honor his/her parent in-law. [Michaber ibid; Moed Katan ibid]
 Michaber ibid
 Rama ibid
 This applies even according to the custom of the Rama, as brought in Michaber 374:7 and Shach 374:6
 Michaber ibid; Moed Katan ibid
 Rama 374:4; Terumas Hadeshen 251
 Shach 402:5 in name of Derisha and Bach 399 in name of Rashal; Taz 402:6 that we follow the day of death; P”M 548 M”Z 5; Shvus Yaakov 2:100; Chochmas Adam 171:6; Mahariy Asad 371; Gesher Hachaim p. 264; See other Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 62:3 and his final conclusion to be lenient; Rebbe in Igros Kodesh 6:103 [brought in Shulchan Menachem 5:267] writes that so is the directive of the Rebbe Rayatz to follow the day of death by a Shemua Rechoka
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that we follow the day of burial for a Shemua Rechoka. [Shach in Nekudos Hakesef 402 based on Rabbeinu Yerucham 28:2 argues on the ruling of Rashal that he quoted in Shach 402:5, and concludes with a Tzaruch Iyun; Degul Mirivava 402; Mahariy Viyal 16; Pnei Yehoshua 9; Kitzur SHU”A 206:1; Aruch Hashulchan 402:10]
 Panim Meiros 2:40, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 374:5; However, see there regarding Shabbos clothing; Nitei Gavriel 126:29
 Shivas Tziyon 59, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 399:4;
 Nitei Gavriel ibid
 See Shaar Ephraim 100; Nitei Gavriel 126:19; Vol. 2 18:8
 Nitei Gavriel 126:20
 Michaber 374:5; Rambam
 Michaber ibid
 Rama ibid; Shach 374:4
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule a convert must mourn the passing of his mother who converted with him. [Mordechai, according opinion that first day of mourning is Biblical] However, according to our ruling that the first day of mourning is Rabbinical, he is not obligated to mourn his mother’s passing. [Shach ibid]
 Gesher Hachaim 19:3-4
 See Mishmeres Shalom Gimel 54 in name of Shaar Ephraim 91; Pnei Baruch 9 footnote 7
 Rama 374:4; Rosh 20
 Rav Akiva Eiger 374:6; Besamim Rosh 123, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 374:7, that one who receives comforters like a regular mourner and follows all the laws of Shiva is a Hedyot and is improper.
 Beis Hillel 394
 Nitei Gavriel 126:6
 402:12; Based on story of Rebbe Chiya in Moed Katan, brought in Taz 402:8; See Nitei Gavriel Chapter 128
 Gilyon Maharsha 402
 Michaber ibid; See Reshimos 5 [printed in Toras Menachem Tziyon p. 25] that the Rebbe Rayatz Farbrenged and said a Mamar on Shabbos prior to being told of the passing of his mother
 Sefer Chassidim 800; Maharash Halevi Y.D. 27; Gilyon Maharsha 402; Chiddushie Hagirshuni
 See Sefer Chassidim 802; Mavor Yabok Sifsei Tzedek 5; Nitei Gavriel 128:1
 Rama ibid; Maryu 13; See Nitei Gavriel 128:5
Chol Hamoed and Purim: Some Poskim rule that if the death occurred on Chol Hamoed, it is forbidden to notify even the sons, as this will prevent them from fulfilling the Biblical command of Simchas Yom Tov. [Panim Meiros 2:191; Pischeiy Teshuvah 402:2; Birkeiy Yosef 402] The same applies with Purim. [ibid]
 See Sefer Chassidim 802; Mishnas Yaakov 3:402; Nitei Gavriel 128:9
 Nitei Gavriel 65:22 footnote 28; See Shut Rav Ezriel Hildsheimer 263
 Michaber 337:1; Miseches Semachos
 Beis Hillel 337
 Shach 337:2; Bach
 Shach 337:2; Bach
 Shach 337:1; Bach in name of Ran
 See Pnei Baruch 25:3 footnote 6-7 and Nitei Gavriel 113:18 footnote 35
 Nachalas Shiva 17 in name of Teshuvas Rav Shimon Shapiro of Prague, brought in Pischeiy Tesuvah 396:3; Kneses Hagedola 243; Chasam Sofer 342, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah ibid; Beis Lechem Yehuda 396:2; Tuv Taam Vadas Gimel 221; Shoel Umeishiv 1:75
 Elya Raba 132:2; Shvus Yaakov 1:88 that so rule all the Morei Hora’as, and so is the widespread custom regarding a Yoledes; Ikarei Hadat Y.D. 36:25; Aruch Hashulchan 396:3; Daas Kedoshim 396:3; Kitzur SHU”A 217:3; M”B 548:52; Gesher Hachaim 21:15-4
 Yeshuos Yaakov 548:7; Rav Poalim 3:28
 Even Yaakov 39; Pnei Baruch ibid footnote 7; Nitei Gavriel 113:18
 See Nitei Gavriel ibid footnote 35 that he received to be lenient even if one did not keep any aspect of Aveilus, however one must say that according to all, this only applies if the sick person was told of the passing, and comprehended what he was told. If, however, he was not aware at all, then this is no different than any other Shemua Kerova, Upashut.
 Rama 374:11; Maharil 3; Chasam Sofer 342, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 396:3; See also Divrei Malkiel 2:90
 See previous ruling regarding an epidemic; Yechezkal 24:21 that Hashem told the Jewish people not to mourn the destruction, and Rashi says the reason is because there are no comforters as all the Jewish people are mourners, and the laws of Aveilus only apply when there are comforters; Yosef Daas 376:7; Chaim Bayad 125:6; Piskei Maharash Milublin 40; Nitei Gavriel 126:9
 Michaber 374:8; See also 340:30 regarding Keriah; See Nitei Gavriel 59; 135:1; Pnei Baruch 1:26
 This is called a Ben Tesha.
 The child is only considered a Ben Tesha Chodesh after a full 9 months have passed, and has now entered into the 10th month. [See Michaber ibid] We follow the Hebrew months in this regard, and not an amount of weeks or days. Thus, since the months vary between 29 and 30 days, determining how many weeks/days need to pass depends on how many days were in each of the nine months of her pregnancy. If, for example, there were five 30-day months and four 29 day months, then it is exactly 38 weeks, which is 266 days. If, however there were more or less than five 30 day months, then it would be more or less than 38 weeks. Thus, we determine the completion of nine months based on the passing of Hebrew months, and not based on weeks or days. [See Meil Tzedaka 5, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 374:9]
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that she must pass 273 days from her last intercourse. [Tevuos Shur 15:15, brought in Pnei Baruch 9 footnote 13; 270 days is 30 days per month for each other 9 months, and three days is for the possibility of conception occurring within three days from intercourse.]
 Shach 374:8
 Is the 31st day calculated in days or hours? Some Poskim rule that there must pass 30 days of 24 hours to enter into the 31st day. [Hagahos Yad Shaul; Shoel Umeishiv Tinyana 3:18; Rav Poalim 1:51; Nitei Gavriel 126:4] Other Poskim however rule that the day of birth is considered the first full day even if the child was born minutes before sunset. [Chasam Sofer 343 and Haflah, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 374:8; Poskim in Pnei Baruch 9 footnote 17]
 Meaning he grew hair and nails. [Michaber ibid] See Michaber ibid; M”A 526:19
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that if the child’s development was complete, then one does mourn his passing if he passed away on the 30th day. [Bach 374 in explanation of Hagahos Ashri, brought in Shach 374:8; See Michaber 330:7 and Admur 330:8 regarding desecrating Shabbos; Michaber 526:9 and Admur 526:19 regarding burial on Yom Tov]
Background: Regarding some Halachic matters, a questionable Nefel who dies within thirty days receives the full status of a Nefel, while in other Halacha’s he may be viewed as a living person, depending on whether he was born with a fully developed body. See Michaber 330:7 and Admur 330:8 regarding desecrating Shabbos on behalf of saving his life while he is still alive, that if the hairs and nails are developed, one may desecrate Shabbos; See also Michaber 526:9 and Admur 526:19 regarding burying the child on Yom Tov that if the hairs and nails are developed, one is to bury the child even if it passed away within thirty days, as we give the child a Chazaka that majority of children are not Nefalim. However, see Michaber 374:8 that regarding Shiva and Shloshim, we are lenient to consider the child a Nefel even if he was fully developed, if he died within thirty days and it was not factually determined that he was born after a full nine months. [This ruling seems like a contradiction to the earlier ruling that a fully developed child is not a Nefel even if he dies within 30 days. In truth the M”A 526:19 argues on the Michaber and Admur ibid in 526 and rules that whenever a child dies within 30 days, he is considered a Nefel, irrelevant of whether he was fully developed or not, and it is only while he is alive that he is not considered a Nefel regarding Mila and Pikuach Nefesh on Shabbos, if he was born fully developed. However, the moment he dies, he receives the Nefel status. However, one can possibly answer the contradiction with the Taz 340:17 who states that by Aveilus, which is Rabbinical, we are lenient. Accordingly, one can answer that a fully developed child who died within thirty days is considered a Nefel for all Rabbinical matters [i.e. Shiva and Shloshim], and is considered a non-Nefel for all Biblical matters, such as burial. Vetzaruh Iyun, as if he has a Chazaka to be considered a non-Nefel even regarding transgressing Yom Tov, then certainly regarding Aveilus? However, in truth the desecration of Yom Tov is only Rabbinical, as it is being done through a gentile, or on Yom Tov Sheiyni, and hence the Sages have the right to uphold the Biblical requirement of burial due to the Chazaka, and push away the Rabbinical prohibition of Melacha.]
 Michaber ibid; Shabbos 135b regarding within thirty days
The reason: Although this is a case of doubt, as perhaps he was born after nine complete months, nevertheless since Aveilus is Rabbinical we are lenient. [See Taz 340:17 regarding Keriah; See Ramban Moed Katan 20a]
 Michaber ibid; Shach 374:8; Ramban; Tur; Bechoros 49a regarding the 30th day; See opinion of Bach in previous footnotes
 Michaber ibid; Shabbos 136a; Nidda 54b
 Michaber ibid; Rambam; Gilyon Maharsha 374
Incubator: If a child was definitively born early, prior to nine complete months, and was placed in an incubator, then since the incubator tremendously increases his chances of survival, some Poskim rule that if he passes away after 30 days, the relatives are obligated to mourn his passing. [Daas Sofer 114; Yad Yitzchak 2:67; Minchas Yitzchak 4:123; 9:120; Kinyan Torah 3:42; Pnei Baruch 9 footnote 16] Other Poskim however rule the relatives are not obligated to mourn his passing. [Levushei Mordechai Telisa 14; Kol Bo p. 313; Shevet Halevi 3:143; Tzitz Eliezer 9:28; Yalkut Yosef Aveilus p. 97; Nitei Gavriel 126:5] Practically, the directive of Rabbanim is to be lenient. [Nitei Gavriel ibid]
Child had complete nails and hair: Even if the child’s hair and nails were fully developed, the relatives do not mourn his passing if he was definitively born prior to the completion of 9 months. [Levushei Mordechai Telisa 14] Other Poskim, however, are stringent in such a case if he passed away after 30 days. [Beir Moshe 1:64; See Admur 330:8; Michaber Y.D. 266:11]
 Shoel Umeishiv Mahadura Gimel 1:15; Mishmeres Shalom Kuf 13; Nitei Gavriel 135:32
 Michaber ibid; Shach 340:43; Hagahos Maimanis in name of Rashi; Or Zarua 428; Admur 330:8
 See Or Zarua ibid that if intercourse resumed in the second month and the pregnancy began showing two month after the second intercourse, then one knows for certain that the pregnancy is from the single intercourse that took place in the first month. So is also evident from Meil Tzedaka 5, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 374:9; However, see Or Zarua that the Rashba writes the case refers to one who separated completely for all nine months. See Pnei Baruch 9 footnote 12
 As it is possible that the conception occurred anywhere between the 1st and 3rd of Elul
 See Yad Avraham 345 in name of Birkeiy Yosef
 Michaber 242:25; 274:10; Moed Katan 25b; Taz 340:4 in name of Rokeiach
 See Rama 340:8 regarding Keriah that so is the custom; Nitei Gavriel 53:3; 126:7 who learns Rabbo Hamuvhak; Rabbo Muvhak refers to one from who one has learned majority of his Torah from. [Rama 242:4; Michaber 242:30; See Bava Metzia 33; Sheilasos 131] The Michaber ibid does not limit the above law to a main teacher.
Nassi/Gadol Hador: It is not necessary to mourn the passing of the Nassi [Michaber 374:11] unless he was his main teacher.
 Michaber 274:10; Yerushalmi Brachos chapter 3
 Michaber 242:27; Rama 341:1 in name of Yeish Omrim; Hagahos Ashri; Taz 374:5; Shach 341:10
 Taz 374:5 in name of Rashal
 Rama 274:10; Beis Yosef in name of Rabbeinu Simcha
 Michaber 242:25; Rama 274:10 regarding changing areas in Shul; Taz 374:5; Taz 340:4 in name of Rokeiach that a student is required to sit Shiva for one day or one hour, for the passing of his teacher.
 Michaber 344:18; Tur 344 in name of Rosh, in name of Ravaad
 Michaber 344:18; Tur 344 in name of Rosh, in name of Ravaad
 Michaber 344:18; Tur 344 in name of Rosh, in name of Ravaad
 Michaber 344:20; Tur 344; Rav Haiy Gaon
 The reason: As the soul of the deceased is elevated on the 12th month to Heaven and does not come back down again. [Perisha 344:31
 Michaber 345:5; Rama 340:4; See Nitei Gavriel 126:10-14
 Pischeiy Teshuvah 340:4
 Michaber 340:5
 Shach 340:8; Chochmas Adam 156:3
 Rama ibid; Mordechai end of Moed Katan
 Shevet Halevi 213 regarding marrying gentile; Nitei Gavriel 126:14
 Shach 345:5; Kitzur SHU”A 201:6
 Michaber ibid; Rama ibid
 Michaber ibid
The reason: They rejoice over the fact that Hashem’s enemies have been destroyed. [Shach 345:9]
 Tzitz Eliezer 13:94
 Diggul Merivava 345 based on the story with Rabbeinu Gershom; See Halacha 5!
 Tzitz Eliezer 13:94; There he references to: Mordechai Moed Katan 886 [regarding Tinok Shenishba]; Maharam Rothenberg 544; Radbaz 3:558; Levush 345:6; Chochmas Adam 156:6; Chasam Sofer 202; Shevet Sofer 108
 Rama ibid; Shach 340:9
Other opinions: Some Poskim learn that the Rama’s second opinion also argues on this ruling that one is not to sit Shiva even in such a case. [Simple understanding of Rama ibid; Levush, brought in Shach ibid] The Shach concludes that there are no opinions who argue on the above quoted ruling that mourning is required and so agrees the Rama in Darkei Moshe.
 Rama 340:5; Hagahos Ashri; Or Zarua
 The reason: As his murder gives him atonement. [Taz 340:3; Shach 340:9-10] Alternatively, the reason is because perhaps he had thoughts of Teshuvah. [Levush, brought in Shach ibid and negated by Shach]
 Kitzur SHU”A 201:5
 First opinion in Rama ibid; Mordechai in name of Riy
 Michaber 345:6; second opinion in Rama ibid; Mordechai in name of Rabbeinu Tam
 Rama ibid; Kitzur SHU”A 201:7; The Beis Yosef 345 does not arbitrate this matter
 Diggul Merivava, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 345:4
 Tzitz Eliezer 13:94; Nitei Gavriel 126:12; See Rama 340:5 regarding “Porshei Midarkei Tzibur” that one does mourn their children, and perhaps there is a difference between a Mumar to Avoda Zara and a regular non-religious Jew; See also Maharshag 1:25 that gave a leniency to allow mourning a Jew who was Michalel Shabbos in public [and is like a Mumar for all matters], and one can assume that he did Teshuvah before his passing; Tzitz Eliezer 13:94 references to the following Poskim: Mordechai Moed Katan 886 [regarding Tinok Shenishba]; Maharam Rothenberg 544; Radbaz 3:558; Levush 345:6; Chochmas Adam 156:6; Chasam Sofer 202; Shevet Sofer 108
 See Chasam Sofer 326, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 345:3, regarding suicide that “although the ruling is that one does not sit Shiva, nevertheless if this will cause the family embarrassment, the Rav may be stringent to tell the family to sit Shiva, as although we are lenient in Aveilus in case of dispute, we are not lenient in the honor of the children of Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov.”
 Michaber ibid; Rama ibid; Rambam; Avel Rabasi
 Rama ibid; Vetzaruch Iyun as to the difference between children of a heretic [in which the main ruling is not to mourn] and children of Porshei Midarkei Tzibur
 Michaber ibid
 Shach 345:1 in name of Rashba 763 regarding suicide; Chasam Sofer 341, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 345:3; Nitei Gavriel 126:10
 Sefer Chassidim 707 to distance 8 Amos from a Menuda; Gilyon Maharsha 362:5 regarding a Mumar; Milameid Lehoil 2:115; Igros Moshe 2:152; 3:157 that one is to make a fence of 10 Tefachim around the gentile and distance it 8 Amos; Teshuvos Vehanhagos 1:716 that by a Tinok Shenishba a four Ama distance suffices, however in 2:598 he requires an 8 Ama distance; See 362:3
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule it suffices to distance him four Amos. [Imrei Yosher 2:3]
 Chazon Ish Yoreh Deah 2:16 and 28; See Yaavetz 1:30; Chasam Sofer Y.D. 341; Maharam Shick 140; Beis Yitzchak Y.D. Treifos 29; Hisorerus Teshuvah 1:169; Chelkas Yaakov 1:45 and 154; Minchas Yitzchak 1:53; 3:20; 10:31 letter 14; 10:151; Igros Moshe E.H. 2:59; Sheivet Halevy 3:36; 5:48; 10:65; Mishneh Halachos 5:55; Tzitz Eliezer 8:15; 9:17; Yabia Omer 8:38; Piskeiy Teshuvos 329:5 and footnote 23
 This applies even though they are fully aware of the Jewish religion, and know full well that they are Jewish, nevertheless they are considered Anuss/Tinok Shenishba being that they grew up with a secular upbringing, and according to all opinions are not considered to be in the category of Moridin/heretic. [Admur Ribis 79; Darkei Moshe 159; Rambam Mamarim 3:3; Chazon Ish Yoreh Deah 2:16; Zekan Aaron 12; Binyan Tziyon 23; Milameid Lehoil 29;]
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that those Tinokos Shenishbu who discovered that they are Jewish and are aware of the Jewish religion and nonetheless continue their secular lifestyle are not considered Tinokos Shenishbu. [Ramban and Nimmukei Yosef brought in Darkei Moshe ibid and Beis Yosef Y.D. 159; See also Teshuvos Vehanhagos 5:95; 6:90; Bina Vedaas Miluim in name of Rav SZ”A; Betzeil Hachochma 2:76; Shevet Halevi 9:198; Yissa Yosef 3:97; See Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid footnote 22] Nevertheless, even according to this approach, it is still permitted/obligated to desecrate Shabbos on their behalf due to enmity, as we rule by gentiles.
 Chazon Ish Yoreh Deah 2:16; See Minchas Asher 1:10; Piskeiy Teshuvos 329:5 and footnote 24
 Taz 340:3; Beis Yosef 345; Beir Hagoleh 345; Hagahos Ashri end of Moed Katan; Mordechai end of Moed Katan; Hagahos Maimanis 11; Or Zarua 2:428; Maharam Merothenberg Semachos 37; Teshuvos 544; Hagahos Semak 97
 So writes Taz ibid; Levush 345; Chasam Sofer 326 and so is implied from Maharam Merothenberg and other Rishonim, thus implying that he only sat 14 days of Shiva after he died, one time for his body and one time for his soul. However, from the Or Zarua ibid this is omitted and the implication is that he sat Shiva as soon as his son became a heretic, as it is even forbidden to sit Shiva for a heretic. So learns Chochmas Adam 156:6; See Makor Chesed on Sefer Chassidim 190
 Beir Hagoleh ibid; Beis Yosef ibid
 Sefer Chassidim 190; Beis Lechem Yehuda 345
The reason: As if one mourns a person who lost his body, certainly one should mourn a relative who lost his soul. [ibid]
 Beis Lechem Yehuda 345; Degul Merivava 345
 Michaber 345:1-3; Miseches Semachos 2
 Michaber ibid
 Shach 345:2 in opinion of Michaber 345:1; Rambam Avel 1; Chasam Sofer 326, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 345:3
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that the relatives are to perform Keriah on behalf of the deceased, and the above law of not performing Keriah was stated only regarding non-relatives. [Ramban in Toras Hadam p. 20b, brought in Shach 345:2 and Beis Yosef 345, and so rules Tur 345]
 Michaber 345:1; Miseches Semachos 2; Rambam ibid
The reason: As the verse states “And I will demand the blood that is on your hands”, from which we learn that killing oneself is a grave sin. [Shach 345:1]
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that the relatives are to perform Keriah on behalf of the deceased. [Ramban in Toras Hadam p. 20b, brought in Shach 345:2, and so rules Tur 345] It is implied according to this opinion that the relatives are also to mourn his death, and the above statement of not mourning was only stated in respect to mourning customs followed by non-relatives. [See Toras Hadam ibid “Why do they comfort him if he is not following the laws of Aveilus and we do not find any precedent for not mourning a relative who sinned with exception to those killed by Beis Din”; See also Chasam Sofer 326, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 345:1, who implies that all laws of mourning are kept by relatives according to the Ramban.] Practically, although we rule like the Rambam, and who can lift his hand against the ruling of the Michaber ibid, nevertheless in a time of need, one may rule like the Ramban. [Chasam Sofer ibid]
 Nitei Gavriel 63:10 in name of Poskim
 Gilyon Maharsha 345
 Shach 345:1 in name of Rashba 763; Chochmas Adam 156:1; Kitzur SHU”A 201:1
 Michaber 345:1; Miseches Semachos 2
 Chasam Sofer 326, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 345:3, that “although the ruling is like the Rambam/Michaber that one does not sit Shiva, nevertheless, if this will cause the family embarrassment, the Rav may be stringent to tell the family to sit Shiva as rules the Ramban, as although we are lenient in Aveilus in case of dispute, we are not lenient in the honor of the children of Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov.”; See Lachmei Toda 18
 Gilyon Maharsha 345 in name of Reb Tzevi Hirsh of Berlin
 Michaber 345:2; Rambam ibid based on Miseches Semachos 2; See Poskim in coming footnotes and Mishnas Sachir 2:232; Sdei Chemed Aveilus 141; Nitei Gavriel 48:15
 Shach 345:3 in name of Ramban
 Shach 345:3; Bach; Rashal
 Chasam Sofer 326, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 345:2
 Chasam Sofer 326, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 345:2
The reason: As perhaps he was deemed momentarily insane, or feared instant death by some creature. [See Chasam Sofer ibid]
 Michaber ibid; Rambam ibid based on Miseches Semachos ibid
 Chasam Sofer 326, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 345:2
 Michaber 345:3; Miseches Semachos
 Yad Avraham 345 in name of Birkeiy Yosef
 Shaul was bound to be captured and killed by the Pilishtim, and hence he chose to commit suicide and not give them this honor. [Shach 345:6]
 Michaber ibid; Ramban in Toras Habayis ibid; See Beis Yosef in name of Midrash Raba; Beis Hillel
 Besamim Rosh 145 [omitted in most editions due to suspicion of forgery], brought in Rav Akiva Eiger 345 and Pischeiy Teshuvah 345:2; See Yad Avraham 345 in name of Birkeiy Yosef, and Beis Lechem Yehuda 345 that if he committed suicide out of fear of suffering he is to be mourned
 Har Evel 11; Chasam Sofer 326; Pischeiy Teshuvah 345:2; See Beis Ephraim 14:76; Many Poskim banned the Sefer Besamim Rosh claiming it was forged by its publisher, Rav Shaul of Berlin, under claim that it is writings of the Rosh. See: Sefer Habris 1 Kesav Yosher 20; Parshas Mordechai 5; Minchas Elazar; Avnei Nezer E.H. 8 [omitted from most editions]; On the other hand, the Sefer is brought in Rav Akiva Eiger and defended as belonging to the Rosh by the Chida in Tov Ayin 9 and Sheim Hagedolim Beis 126
 Chasam Sofer 326, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 345:2
 Maharam Mintz; Beis Lechem Yehuda 345
 Rama ibid; Maryu114
 See Pnei Baruch 1:1; Nitei Gavriel 12:4
 Levushei Mordechai 4:280; Poskim in Nitei Gavriel ibid footnote 8
 Zera Emes 3:158; Poskim in Nitei Gavriel ibid footnote 7
 See Pnei Baruch 7:9; Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 82:22 footnote 40
 Chasam Sofer 326, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 345:3
 See Rav Akiva Eiger 345; Beis Yosef Y.D. 257; Chida in Birkei Yosef 357 and Shem Hagedolim 10:27
 Yad Avraham 345 in name of Birkeiy Yosef; Even Shoham 44, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 345:2; Beis Lechem Yehuda 345; See Shvus Yaakov 2:111, brought in Rebbe Akiva Eiger 345
 Gilyon Maharsha 345 in name of Reb Tzevi Hirsh of Berlin
 The reason: As certainly he did Teshuvah prior to dying, as the waves of the sea throw him around and he has time to repent prior to his death. [ibid]
 Rama 344:10; Darkei Moshe 344; Maryu 4; Shut Ranach 50; Teshuvah Meahava 1:10, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 344:2; See Nitei Gavriel Vol. 2 1:7
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule one is to respect the wishes of the deceased and not keep the laws of Shiva or Aveilus. [Iyun Yaakov Sanhedrin 47 and Shvus Yaakov 2:102, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 344:2; Rav Akiva Eiger 344:10 questions ruling of Rama and argues that even Shiva and Shloshim don’t have to be kept per the request of the deceased. His reason is because in truth, whether Aveilus is on behalf of the dead or living is a dispute between the Rambam and Ramban, and we rule in 345 like the Rambam that it is on behalf of the dead, and hence can be nullified. He concludes with a Tzaruch Iyun Ledina.]
 The reason: As he does not have a right to nullify the entire laws of Aveilus. Likewise, perhaps the entire Takana of mourning is on behalf of the living, and hence the deceased has no jurisdiction over it. [Darkei Moshe ibid, brought in Rav Akiva Eiger 344-see there in length]
 Shach 344:9; Maryu ibid; Nitei Gavriel Vol. 2 3:22
 Rama 340:6; Ran; Hagahos Maimanis in name of Ravaya
 Michaber 394:6; Rambam
 Shach 375:7 and Taz 375:3; in implication of Michaber ibid who writes “Mayim Sheyeish Lahem Sof”; Rama E.H. 17:5; Beis Yosef 375 in name of Ittur in name of Teshuvos Harif; Gilyon Maharsha 375
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that so long as the word of if death has spread, and the relatives give up hope of finding the body, they begin Shiva even though the wife may not yet Halachically remarry. [Rav Haiy and Sherira Gaon, brought in Tur 375 and Shach ibid; Mishkanos Yaakov 69, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 375:3, that so rule majority of Rishonim such as Raavan, Maharam, Rashba, Rosh and Tur, and so is implied from Michaber 339:2]
 The reason: As allowing them to mourn can cause a great mishap to occur, as people who saw the relatives in mourning will testify that the woman’s husband passed away and allow her to remarry even though in truth there was not sufficient Halachic proof to allow her to remarry, and she is thus stumbling on the prohibition of Eishes Ish. [Shach ibid; Poskim ibid]
 See Shvus Yaakov 2:114; Pischeiy Teshuvah 375:3
 See Chasam Sofer 344, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 375:3; See Ezras Nashim E.H. 17:2, brought in Rebbe Akiva Eiger 375:7 that perhaps we apply a Lo Plug to even one who is not married, and that the level of proof required to allow a wife to remarry is required here as well, or if we do not extend it to where one is single and hence, one who is not married is to be mourned as soon as the rumor of his death has spread.
 Shvus Yaakov 1:103; Pischeiy Teshuvah ibid
 See Mishkanos Yaakov 69, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 375:3
 Implication of Shach 375:7 [so writes Chasam Sofer ibid]; Conclusion of Ezras Nashim E.H. 17:2 [of Maharam Chaviv]
 Chasam Sofer ibid “One who chooses to mourn, may do so and is blessed, as he relies on the ruling of the Shvus Yaakov”
 Pischeiy Teshuvah 375:3
 Chinuch Beis Yosef 91, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah ibid; Gilyon Maharsha 375
 The reason: As allowing them to say Kaddish can cause a great mishap to occur, as people who see this will testify that the woman’s husband passed away and allow her to remarry even though in truth there was not sufficient Halachic proof to allow her to remarry, and she is thus stumbling on the prohibition of Eishes Ish. [ibid]
 Poskim ibid
 Dissenting opinion in Chinuch Beis Yosef ibid; Mishkanos Yaakov 69, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 375:3, rules that in truth most Poskim rule that even Aveilus may be kept, and certainly Kaddish may be said; Kneses Yechezkal 53 permits them to say Kaddish in the house of the wife.
 Michaber 397:1
 See Taz 397:1; Michaber E.H. 17:3
 Michaber ibid; Rashal in name of Ravayah, brought in Taz 397:1; See Michaber Even Haezer 17:3; 14-16
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule a gentile is not believed to testify that someone passed away regarding keeping the laws of Aveilus. [Taz 397:1 in name of Rashal, in name of Or Zarua]
 Shach 397:1 in name of Ramban and Bach; See Even Haezer 17
 Michaber Even Haezer 17:3
 Michaber Even Haezer 17:13
 Michaber 397:2
 The reason: As Safek Aveilus Lihakel. [Taz 397:2] Alternatively, as we establish a person on his Chazaka that he is alive. [Shach 397:2]
 Michaber 376:3
 Michaber ibid
 Rama ibid “I have not seen this done”
 Rama 376:3 in name of Maharil and in 384:3
 Starting from after the burial.
 The reason: Doing so gives Nachas Ruach to the soul of the deceased. [Rama 384:3] As the soul of the deceased is hovers in the area that he passed away. [Mavor Yabok Imrei Noam 35; Daas Torah 384 in name of Ramban]