One usually doesn’t bring flowers to a Jewish house of mourning
Someone wrote to me asking whether one send flowers to a Jewish mourner. In general, she was wondering what to bring to a shiva house. Here is part of my response:
It is not customary to send flowers to a shiva house. The best thing to bring, in my opinion, is yourself. 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.
I suggested if she did want to bring something, she could go to a kosher store and ask what she might bring. However, in my experience, people brought kosher pastries that we really didn’t need. She might ask a relative what the mourners might need – there may be something that a way to help out that isn’t readily apparent. I still say the best is to bring to a shiva house is yourself. Especially bring your ears – if your friend is ready to talk, being a good listener is a wonderful gift.
What do you think?
See more posts on shiva and Jewish mourning: