If you are a couple, it is important that you both make a shiva call. A list of some local and national charities can be found is provided at ShivaConnect. Do not send flowers. Entering The Shiva House. Stay away from conversation of how the person died, especially if you were there when he or she died. Food or drinks are not laid out for the visitors, because the mourners are not hosts. Observing shiva is also known as "sitting shiva," and there are certain customs that should be honored. Even if you don’t know what to say, just sitting with the mourner for a half hour or an hour is worth a lot. Traditionally, one enters the shiva house quietly with a small knock so as not to startle those inside. There is a tradition not to greet people at a shiva house, and in fact not to speak at all until one of the mourners has first spoken to you. Actress Lisa Robins of Jewish Women's Theatre's Blessings of a Broken Heart Do not stay too long. Mourners uniformly report how exhausted they are by the shiva experience; do not overstay your welcome. Each shiva call is intended to be a one-on-one call between a mourner and a family member or friend. "1) Didn't answer the question. If a service is held, come a few minutes before and stay a few after. No one needs to greet visitors; they simply enter on their own. Since all are invited to comfort mourners, the front door of most shiva homes will be left unlocked. Silence makes people uncomfortable, but it’s normal at a shiva house. Short visits are meaningful too. A shiva visit should be no more than an hour. Try to avoid making group shiva calls out of respect for the family and the deceased. When consoling a mourner, we say: "Hamakom yenachem eschem b'soch sha'ar availay Tzion Veerushalayim (The Omniscient One should comfort you amongst the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem). In many instances extended family, friends and general members of the community, including those who belong to the temple, where the decedent was a member, will pay their condolences and show support to the mourners. It is appropriate to bring/send food to a shiva house or make a memorial donation. Condolence Calls. HaMakom is said when you leave. The best thing to bring, in my opinion, is yourself. Jewish tradition holds that visiting the house of mourning is a mitzvah during the shiva period. The front door will usually be left unlocked so that guests may enter and exit quietly on their own. What to bring or send. Though this may seem strange, the idea is that there really isn’t much that one can say to someone experiencing profound loss. Do not ask about the details of the death. They do not greet the visitors, rise for them, or see them out. What do I say when going to a shiva-house to console a mourner? 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