1,250. Closing the Eyes of the Deceased

194:6 Anyone who was standing by the patient when he died is obligated to tear his garment (colloquially, “tear kriyah”). The situation is compared to that of a Torah scroll that was burned, for which one would tear his garments. No Jew is completely devoid of Torah or mitzvos. One would tear not only for a man but also for a woman or a schoolchild. If the deceased occasionally sinned because he gave in to his passions, we would still be obligated to tear our garments for him. However, if he regularly sinned, even if it was only due to his passions, then he is considered one who has left the community and we would not tear our garments for him. For the tearing done by those who aren’t mourning for the deceased but who were standing by him when his soul departed, it is sufficient to tear just a little, even at the side or at the hem.

194:7 We close the eyes of the deceased. If he had children, his son should do it for him as we see from our forefather Jacob, “Joseph will pass his hand over your eyes” (Genesis 46:5). If there is a first-born son, he should be the one to do it.