1,363. Those Who Refuse to Mourn

215:2 The Sages said that when one member of a family dies, the entire family should tremble. A metaphor for the situation is a pile of stones: when one of the stones is dislodged, they all shift. G-d’s attribute of justice is focused on them until it dissipates. The entire week of shiva, the sword is drawn against them; through shloshim, it is held loosely. It does not return to its scabbard until the twelve months have passed. Therefore, for the first three days of shiva, a mourner should act as if a sword were resting on his neck; for the rest of shiva, as if a sword were being held in front him; through the rest of shloshim, as if it were going before him in the market. After this, for the rest of the year, the attribute of justice is still focused on that family, but if a boy is born into the family, it is a sign that they need no longer be concerned.  Whenever someone from a group dies, G-d’s attribute of justice is focused on that group and they should tremble.

215:3 One who does not mourn as the Sages directed is considered cruel. Such a person should rouse himself, examine his deeds with fear and trembling, and change his ways in the hope that he will be saved from death. As Jeremiah 5:3 says, “You struck them but they didn’t feel it….” Such people need to awaken, change their ways and return in repentance.