Questions and Answers About Laws Concerning Mourning

During kriah, mourners recite "Blessed be the True Judge," even during aninut, because this is a blessing upon hearing bad news, and constitutes affirmation of the justice of God's judgment. An onan is exempt from the commandments, but must nevertheless accept the justice of the judgment at this difficult time. The mourner does not recite "Who sanctified us with His commandments and commanded the kriah," because an onan is exempt for the commandments. An onan does, however, recite any blessing containing praise and confession that does not include "Who sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us. Jewish law states that if a person is told that his father died and he is his father's heir, he recites "Blessed be the True Judge" for the bad news, and the Shehecheyanu blessing for his inheritance if he is the sole heir and "Who is good and does good" if others inherit together with him.
A cohen must not defile himself for the deceased, i.e. come within four amot (approximately six feet – 1.85 meters) of the place where the deceased is located, or enter the house in which the deceased is located. If the deceased is one of the cohen's seven close relatives (father, mother, son, daughter, brother sister, and wife), the cohen is permitted and commanded to defile himself. A cohen defiles himself only if the deceased's body is whole; if part of the body is missing, a cohen is forbidden to defile himself, even if the missing part is laid by the side of the body or stitched and connected to the body. If an autopsy has been performed on the deceased, relatives of the deceased who are cohens do not defile themselves. A cohen is permitted to accompany his relative to the grave if there are no other graves within four amot on the way.
The shirt is worn during the entire shiva. If the tear is too big, it can be made smaller with a pin, but it can only be sewn after the seven days, and it must be visible as a symbol of mourning. At the end of the shiva, the torn shirt is sewn and used again in some communities (in mourning for parents, the tear is not repaired), while it is thrown away in other communities.
An onan who is not is the city in which the funeral and burial take place should consult with a rabbi about whether the laws of aninut apply to him, and when he should begin mourning.

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