Brother Living With Sister


I live together with my sister in the house where we grew up. Since our father died, it’s now just us and no one else. When we were sitting shiva for our father, a local rabbi we don’t know paid us a visit and at first seemed helpful. He soon discovered our living arrangements. He approached us as the end of shloshim neared and told us it’s forbidden for us to live together on a permanent basis. Now he is pressuring us to find separate places to live.

We can’t afford to live separately and we don’t want to either. We just went through many years of caring for our elderly parents and we do not want to further change what’s familiar to us. We want to ignore him and be ourselves, but he keeps calling us and acts like it’s his business.

We are not incestuous. We are just a brother and sister who never married and we take care of each other. We have other siblings who did marry and have children and they are religious people and they don’t oppose us living together. Only this one rabbi we don’t even know is bothering us.



  1. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Please accept my condolences on the passing of your father. May Hashem comfort you and your entire family among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

    While I truly empathize with your feelings, what the Rabbi told you is correct. According to the Halacha a brother and sister cannot live together on a permanent basis by themselves. Unfortunately, I do not see any easy solutions to the problem. Living in the same house together alone is forbidden and moving to another place together would entail finding somewhere that has other people living there as well. Finding separate accommodations will be the cause of anguish for both of you. Each option is not ideal. Perhaps it is possible for you and your sister to discuss the issues with your siblings to see if there is any way that all of you together can find a solution that will be acceptable to you and your sister.

    Best wishes from the Team