Talk:Shiva (Judaism)

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Suggest external link to Jewish Funerals, Burial and Mourning [located at].

Maybe helpful: JewFAQ It's a favorite site of mine. Guy M (talk) 17:40, Feb 27, 2005 (UTC)

Unfounded opinion[edit]

The last sentence in the "exo-marriages" section should be stricken, as it's an unsupported opinion that seems to refer entirely to the author's home community. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:16, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

The entire section, now entitled "Marriages to non-jew," has no place here. If it does, then all relevant areas of Wikipedia need to be updated with things that, for example, a Muslim might do in some similar circumstances. For example, in the article about assault rifles, there ought to be a section about how Muslims use them to fire in the air during weddings. Of course, that makes no sense for an assault rifle article. Likewise, that some small orthodox Jewish community has a practice of pretending mourning in the case of exogamy, is irrelevant to the description of shiva. It serves only to demonize Jews and I'd hazard a guess why it was entered here in the first place. Moreover, the citation given is the silliest of all; it is to an obscure online mailing list. I'm going to wait 7 days and then remove the section entirely. Icitrom (talk) 11:53, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

I disagree with your argument. The article is about a specific practice, so it is reasonable to mention variations of that specific practice - even if they are uncommon. The only real requirement is that they are properly sourced. Of course we cannot give undue weight to uncommon religious interpretations, but they DO belong in the article. I don't understand your claim that this "demonizes Jews".
As for your analogy of muslims and assault rifles, this is pretty sloppy. The practice of firing weapons in the air in celebration is not just a "muslim" one; nor do celebrants only use "assault rifles". A more appropriate analogy you could have used is if there was a section titled "Alternative uses in celebrations" in an article on "Firearms". I would wholeheartedly support such a section.Nojamus (talk) 17:43, 18 September 2012 (UTC)


In any of the paragraphs that being with "traditionally", bear in mind that the customs may vary wildly between communities and families. Binba 07:57, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

I agree that the word "tradition" and "traditionally" need to be used only under particular circumstances. I think this article could use more information about how a shiva might look different depending on the branch of Judaism the family belongs to and how reformed or conservative they are. If there are no fundamental differences then maybe make note of that as well. Emilyrd98 (talk) 00:32, 11 February 2018 (UTC)
I agree with the concept that this article is not written to standards. Many, many items from ome community are presented as world-wide facts, with no references or sources. For example: which foods must be eaten during Shiva. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2600:1700:F90:6950:8D27:D671:8D79:C339 (talk) 02:07, 4 June 2018 (UTC)


The original version was very wishy-washy, ommitted many crucial concepts, and gave a lot of emotional baggage inappropriate for an encyclopedia article. I have stuck to the facts. The references were not actually being referred to, so I removed these. JFW | T@lk 23:45, 24 July 2005 (UTC)

It was an ancient copyvio, identified by Raul654 but reinserted by the anon; source. JFW | T@lk 23:50, 24 July 2005 (UTC)

Question From A Reader:

I am Orthodox and have never yet heard a woman recite the kaddish. I do not know of any Orthodox congregations in which this would be allowed either. Which congregations are part of the "growing" Orthodox community to allow such? Which rabinical seminaries are accepting this practice and presenting it as acceptable to there students? This is a question of true curiosity, and not an attack on the writer.

Renaming the article[edit]

I suggest renaming the article "Shiv'ah", since that is the spelling usied in the article itself. Any objections? Michagal 16:05, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

I object. Any number of spellings are correct. It is merely an English representation of sounds in another language. The article might mention each of the variety of possible spellings. But the spelling, "shiva" seems fine, to me, for the title. It is short, simple, and a common spelling. Bus stop 16:29, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

From a Hebrew point of view, a much less accurate representation. The "ah" is actually the laryngeal letter Ayn, and taking out the stop wanders further away from the word. Literally, "Shiva" gets close to "Sheyva", a totally different word. However, I don't know how English-speaking Jewish communites tend to write the term. Binba 07:53, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Use as an expression?[edit]

There have been a few occasions where I've heard the term "sitting Shiva" used as a general expression and not necessarily a direct reference to the ritual. An example of this can be found in (of all places) the movie Men in Black II where a talking dog (don't ask) uses the term in the apparent context of "You OK?" It's possible the film might be misusing the term, but if it is sometimes used as a general expression that might be worth noting. 23skidoo (talk) 14:42, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

Never heard of that before... Regardless, it sounds like an original thought. ask123 (talk) 20:34, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

Popular Culture[edit]

I remember seeing in Babylon 5 commander Ivanova sitting Shiva for her father -- don't remember episode, just that it was in 1st season. (talk) 02:33, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

The "Sitting" part of "Sitting Shiva"[edit]

Is "sitting seven (days)" correctly written Shibeth Sheba (שֶׁבֶת שֶׁבַע)? Or might one use the alternate word for seven Shibath (שִׁבְעַת)? Or Shabath (שָׁבַת)? Is there any evidence that the common sounds of shibeth and shibath are the origin of the practice? And consequently, that Sitting Shiva is anciently related to Jubilee (49)? Or Shabua (שָׁבֻעַ) (Feast of the 49 weeks)? Original research, I know, which is why I'm asking on the talk page. Anybody? Anybody? -- TheEditrix2 00:54, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

I thought shiva meant "to sit", but the article says it means seven. I thought I remembered learning in Hebrew school that saying "sitting shiva" was redundant for that reason. I havent practiced Judaism for a long time though and just curious. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:22, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

Shiva links to Hinduism?[edit]

Has anyone ever considered possible historic cultural links between Jewish shiva and the Hindu god Shiva? As I understand, Shiva represents death and destruction, among other things. So there is an obvious functional connection between the two shivas beyond just the similar-sounding words themselves. I really don't know if there's anything to this. Nojamus (talk) 17:20, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

Then there probably isn't ~dom Kaos~ (talk) 18:12, 2 January 2016 (UTC)
The of Sheva Brachot means seven; Brachot means blessings. It marks seven days, saying seven blessings each of these days following getting married, the opposite end of the spectrum for which "sitting Shiva" occurs. The word Shiva, which perhaps can be spelled/Anglicized as Shiv-ah, is simply the number seven in Hebrew. It has nothing to do with destruction. Pi314m (talk) 21:57, 26 January 2017 (UTC)

Triple Definitions?[edit]

I doubt we need three separate sections, one after the other, defining "Shiva" to mean "Seven." The initial reading of the word (with Hebrew writing) might be overlooked, or not connected to the concept, so it might make sense to leave one more in, but we don't need that third. Kilyle (talk) 08:59, 17 March 2018 (UTC)

Student Editor from the University of Miami[edit]

Hello all! I am an undergraduate student at the University of Miami. During this semester, I enrolled in a class which focuses on the religion of death and dying. Throughout the class, we discuss many different religious beliefs centered around the process of death, burial, etc. On top of this, one of our projects is to pick a Wikipedia article of interest to us and make contributions. I am not personally familiar with the exact process of shiva, however, I have been doing extensive reading and have asked for help from my local Rabbi who runs our Chabad at the University of Miami. I am working hard to ensure that any contributions made are from trusted sources in order to avoid confusion and the addition of false information for future readers.

During the next few weeks I will be adding information, citations, and editing the page. Since this is my first time doing so, please let me know if there are any issues in my work or if the additions/lay out are not to your liking. I will change them as soon as possible, as I want to ensure everyone is on board with the work being done. In my sandbox, under week 7, there is a ton of information I have gathered that I would like to add. Feel free to leave comments/suggestions under there as well. Also, if anyone is familiar with any articles or journals that may help with significant contributions, I would love to read them in order to add the best content possible. Looking forward to collaborating with everyone! Estherdvorkin (talk) 18:51, 29 March 2018 (UTC)

There have been a number of mistakes and errors, which your fellow editors will weed out in time. (See, for example, some of the things I've fixed today, such as David in the Book of Job and shiva during Shabbat.) I would suggest you show your work to your rabbi, who could help you catch some of these errors.
From a Wikipedian perspective, the greater issue I'm seeing is that you've added a number of passages that are a close paraphrasing of sources intended for practicing Jews. The effect is to make this article more into a "how-to" guide, whereas the goal of Wikipedia is to provide general information to a wide range of readers. The whole section "Computing the timing of shiva and sheloshim", for example, could probably be safely summarized in a single paragraph.
Thanks for your work, and looking forward to continued collaboration. Ibadibam (talk) 17:07, 24 April 2018 (UTC)

Replacing God with "G-d" in "Mirrors" section[edit]

Wikipedia requires a Neutral Point of View, replacing God with "G-d" is unencyclopedic, it shows a reverence that violates NPV. If this is done again, I will report the editor for violating wikipedia policy, which may result in editor's editing privileges being blocked. (talk)

Just curious, is there a specific guideline that indicates the spelling G-d is non-neutral, or is that your own reading of NPOV? Ibadibam (talk) 21:24, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
I truly believed the spelling of God was best to be kept as G-d. It is stated clearly that one should not erase God's name, and the easiest way to prevent doing so is to avoid writing it entirely. In Judaism, this is done out of respect, and that was my only intention. I have fixed all spellings to God - I am not trying to start a fight. My apologies. Estherdvorkin (talk) 02:59, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
There are several details within Neural Point of View, which is one of Wikipedia's three core content policies that supercede all other policies and content guidelines. The first I can point out is that the policy states "A neutral point of view neither sympathizes with nor disparages its subject". Estherdvorkin states that her and Judaism's intent in spelling "God" as "G-d" is "done out of respect," so as "not to erase God's name". This respect is a form of reverence, even stronger than sympathy for the god of Judaism. Also, by using this Jewish convention of reverence, the article is written from a Jewish point of view, which is not a neutral point of view. Second, the policy states that "The tone of Wikipedia articles should be impartial, neither endorsing nor rejecting a particular point of view." Writing "G-d" out of reverence for that deity is not impartial, it endorses Judaism's point of view that God's name should not be erased. A third detail comes from the NPOV section on Religion: "Conversely, editors should not avoid using terminology that has been established by the majority of the current reliable and relevant sources on a topic out of sympathy for a particular point of view". Scholarly articles published on Jewish religious practices write out the full word "God" all the time, therefore we should not avoid it here. Then there is Wikipedia's Manual of Style. It says "Proper names and titles referencing deities are capitalized: God, Allah, Freyja, the Lord, the Supreme Being, the Messiah." It does not say anything about spelling "God" as "G-d" if a religion does so. Furthermore, in the same section, it says "Pronouns for deities and figures of veneration are not capitalized, even if capitalized in a religion's scriptures." This demonstrates Wikipedia's intent NOT to follow the very specific practices that religions use to show respect for their deities in writing. (talk) 21:09, 10 May 2018 (UTC)