האבל אסור בתלמוד תורה. ובו ה' סעיפים:
אבל כל שבעה ימים אסור לקרות בתורה נביאים וכתובים משנה גמרא הלכות ואגדות ואם רבים צריכים לו להתלמד מותר ובלבד שלא יעמיד תורגמן אלא יאמר לאחר והאחר לתורגמן והתורגמן ישמיע לרבים: הגה או ידרוש בעצמו (מרדכי הלכות אבל) ויכול לפסוק איסור והיתר ליחיד השואל אותו אם אין אחר אלא הוא וצריכין לו (בא"ז ור' ירוחם) אבל אסור לומר הלכה לתלמידיו וכן נוהגים אע"פ שיש מקילין (תא"ו בשם י"א):
A mourner throughout the seven days [of mourning] is forbidden to read the Pentateuch, Prophets or Hagiographa, [or to study] Mishna, Gemara, Halakoth or Aggadoth.1 Glos. for Heb. terms. M.K. 15a, 21a, derived from the words of God to Ezekiel, ‘Sigh in silence.’ (Ez. XXIV, 17). According to Y.M.K. III, 5(82d) this ruling is derived from Job II, 13, ‘And none spoke a word to him,’ where ‘a word’ is taken in the sense of Torah. The study of the Torah is forbidden throughout the seven days contrary to the opinion of some authorities who hold that the prohibition against Torah-study should last for one day only as in the case of Tefillin (v. infra § 388). The underlying reason for the prohibition is that the study of the Torah affords one joy (cf. Ps. XIX; CXIX, vv. 14, 16, 24, 47). Hence, the prohibition applies to the entire week. Cf. also M.K. 21a, Tosaf. s.v. אלו and T.H. A mourner is permitted to read Job, Lamentations, the sad parts of Jeremiah and the Laws of Mourning (infra par. 4). On a Festival day, however, when these subjects are forbidden to be studied, since they are not in keeping with the spirit of the Holiday, one may study all topics, for it is not proper to pass the time idly. On the fast day of the ninth of Ab (Tish’a be-Ab), a mourner may be called to the reading of the Torah or to recite the Haftarah, since everyone is then in mourning and only the study of calamitous topics is permitted — P.Tesh. If, however, the public have need of him2M.K. 21a. After the third day of mourning (according to ShaK even on the first day), a teacher (even if there is another teacher available — G.Mah.), may expound Halakoth to his pupils, for this comes within the category of ‘the public have need of him’ (ShaK adds that passing the time idly would be considered with regard to children who have to be taught, ‘a matter which entails an irretrievable loss, if postponed’). Gelilah (also Hagbahah) is permissible for the mourner — TaZ. If the seventh day of mourning falls on the Sabbath, a mourner may be called to the reading of the Torah at the Minḥa service. Actually, from a legal point of view, this should be permitted even at the morning service (v. TaZ, infra § 402, n. 5). in order that they receive instruction [from him], he is permitted [to study and thus prepare for the lecture],3Tur citing Ghayyat. provided that [during the exposition of his lecture] he does not place [at his side] an interpreter, but he should expound [first] to another person, who, in turn, [conveys the exposition] to the interpreter, and the latter announces it to the public.4M.K. ibid. Gloss: Or he may himself expound [directly to the public].5Mord. Laws of Mourning — G. Thus also Asheri. Derived from the case of the death of the son of R. Jose of Sepphoris (M.K. ibid.). One may render decisions in matters of ritual law to an individual inquirer,6 M.Abr. to O.Ḥ. § 554, n. 5. provided he is the only one available [to render such decisions] and the public have need of him.7Or Zaru’a and R. Yeruḥam — G. But he is forbidden to expound Halaka to his students. Thus is the common practice, although some are lenient [in this matter].8Toldoth Adam we-Ḥawah on the authority of ‘some say’ — G.
אם האבל כהן ואין בב"ה כהן אחר אסור לו לעלות לקרות בתורה:
If a mourner is a Kohen,9Or a Levite. Glos. and there is no other Kohen9Or a Levite. Glos. [present] in the Synagogue, he is forbidden to go up to the reading of the Torah10Tur on the authority of Ghayyat, since a lay Israelite may be called in the place of the Kohen, and much more so in a case where a distinguished lay Israelite is present, as in the case of Rab, who, although not a Kohen nor a Levite, read the Torah in place of Kohen (Meg. 22a). In par. 1 supra, we allow a mourner to engage in Torah study only when the public have need of him, but not in this case, since the law that a Kohen reads first was laid down in the interests of peace. Git. 59a-b. Cf. however, infra § 400, 2, where Isserles states that if on the Sabbath there is no other Kohen present save the mourner, he may be called to the reading of the Torah. There is no contradiction between these two rulings. The ruling (infra) with respect to a Kohen-mourner on the Sabbath is due to the fact that on the Sabbath public mourning alone is forbidden. Hence, if the Kohen is not called to the reading of the Torah, it would indicate that he is observing public mourning which is forbidden on the Sabbath. The present ruling applies to a weekday when the study of the Torah is forbidden both privately and publicly — ShaK. [as Kohen].9Or a Levite. Glos.
אם אין שם מי שיתפלל להוציא את הרבים ידי חובתן יכול האבל להתפלל להוציאן: הגה ומצוה להתפלל שחרית וערבית במקום שמת שם אפילו אין אבל כי יש בזה נחת רוח לנשמה (א"ז) והאבל מצטרף למנין (שם):
If there is no one else [present] who is [capable] of leading in the [Congregational] prayers to act on behalf of the public in order that they perform their duty, the mourner may lead in the [Congregational] prayers,11This implies that if there is someone else present who is capable of leading the service, the mourner is not required to do so, which contradicts the ruling mentioned supra § 376, 4 Gloss. This apparent contradiction may be removed as follows: In the ruling (supra) we deal with one who is mourning for a parent, in which case the law is that leading the services is even more efficacious than reciting the mourner’s Kaddish; whereas in the present ruling we deal with other cases of mourning where the mourner is not dutibound to recite the Kaddish — Beth Hillel. This ruling, however, is rejected by many authorities (v. BaḤ), and the law is that even in this case it is obligatory for the mourner to lead in the congregational services — A.H. A mourner may act as the Torah-reader if there is no one else available — Mishmereth Shalom. and thus cause [the listeners] to perform their duty.12Tur on the authority of Asheri. Gloss: It is a religious duty to recite the [daily] prayers at the morning and evening services in the place where the person died, even if there is no [surviving] mourner, for this affords gratification to the soul [of the departed],13Or Zaru‘a — G. and the mourner is counted in the Minyan.14Ibid. — Glos. on Minyan.
אבל מותר לקרות באיוב ובקינות ובדברים הרעים שבירמיה ובהלכות אבלות (ועי' בא"ח סימן תקנ"ד סעיף ב') והני מילי בינו לבין עצמו אבל אינו לומד עם אחרים אלא הם יושבים ונושאים ונותנים בהלכות אבלות ואם טעו משיבן בשפה רפה והוא אינו שואל והני מילי כשאין רבים צריכין לו אבל אם רבים צריכים לו אפילו בהלכות אחרות מותר כדאמרינן:
A mourner is permitted to read Job, Lamentations, the sad parts of Jeremiah and the Laws of Mourning.15 O.Ḥ. § 554, 2 — G. Thus Tur on the authority of Asheri, since all the restrictions that apply to the mourner also refer to the ninth day of Ab (Tish’a be-Ab) during which one may read the book of Job, Lamentations and the calamitous sections of Jeremiah Ta‘an. 30a; M.K. 21a, Tosaf. s.v. ואסור. Cf. T.H. This applies only [if he reads or studies] privately, but he must not study with others, only that they [others] may sit and debate on the laws of Mourning [in his presence], and if they err, he may refute them in low indistinct speech,16Lit ‘with lax lips.’ but he may not ask [them] questions.17Sem(H). X, 11. M.K. 21a and Var. Lect.; R. Ḥananel; Asheri and Alfasi ibid.; M. (Hur.) p. 240; T.H. However, this applies only if the public have no need of him, but if the public have need of him, — [the law is that] even with respect to other laws he is permitted [to engage in the study thereof] as we have already stated.18Supra par. 1. Thus Tur on the authority of Asheri. One is forbidden to apply himself diligently to the study of the permitted subjects of study during mourning, with the result that he will be led to make original novellae, since there is no greater joy than this — Birke Yos. A.H., however, permits this. Moreover, one may record his novellae during mourning, for otherwise he may forget them later, and this is permissible on the principle that it is considered a matter which entails an irretrievable loss, if postponed.
אבל שיש לו בנים קטנים אין לו לבטלם מלימודם:
A mourner who has minor children should not suspend them from their studies.19Hag. Maim. Ebel V, 16. The reason being that mourning does not apply to a minor. M.K. 14b and cf. infra § 396, 3.