1,329. Comforting Mourners

207:1 Consoling mourners is a great mitzvah. We see from Hashem Himself that we should comfort mourners, as per Genesis 25:11, “It happened after the death of Avraham that G-d blessed his son Yitzchak.” This is an act of kindness to both the living and the deceased. The comforters are not permitted to start talking until the mourner speaks first. We learn this from the Book of Job, where it says “no one said a word to him” (2:13), then “Job opened his mouth” (3:1), and finally “Elifaz the Temanite answered” (4:1). When the comforters see that the mourner is excusing them, they are not permitted to remain.

207:2 A mourner and a sick person don’t need to get up for anyone, not even for a ruler. The practice, if one wants to honor another person and get up for him, is for the other to say, “Remain” (i.e., remain seated). However, we do not do this for a mourner or a sick person because the implication could be misunderstood as “remain in your mourning” or “remain in your illness.”