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Parsha Mitzvot: Vayechi: Mitzvah 264 – Concept 587

“And he ordained a seven-day mourning in Goren HaAtad.” (Genesis 50:10) It is a positive commandment to mourn for one’s close relatives, as implied by the verse, “Were I to partake of a sin offering today, would it find favor in God’s eyes?” (Leviticus 10:20) According to Scriptural Law, the obligation to mourn is only only on the first day which is the day of the person’s death and burial. The remainder of the seven days of mourning are not required by Scriptural Law. Although the Torah states, “And he instituted mourning for his father for seven days,” when the Torah was given, the laws were renewed. Moses our Teacher, ordained for the Jewish people the seven days of mourning and the seven days of wedding celebrations. (Rambam – Hilchot Evel 1:1)

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