Sitting Shiva for a Non-Relative


My beloved teacher died and he had no living relatives. Am I permitted to sit shiva for him?



  1. It is so terribly sad that your beloved teacher has no one to sit Shivah for him. The Halacha is that only immediate family members sit Shivah when someone passes away, which means that you should not sit Shivah for him.

    However, there are many other things that you can do that will serve to elevate your beloved teacher’s Neshamah. For example, you can arrange for Mishnayos to be learned in his memory. You can give extra Tzedakah (it does not have to be a large amount) in his memory. You can arrange for a group of you to take on a Chesed project – either a temporary one or a more permanent one – that is dedicated to his memory. You can take upon yourself to be more careful in a particular area of your life, whether it is between yourself and Hashem or between yourself and those around you. The list is really endless, and each individual act will reverberate in the Spiritual Realms to be a source of great comfort to the Neshamah of the deceased.

    Best wishes from the Team