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Chapter 128:8
The Month of Elul

8. A mourner who is still within the twelve month mourning period for his father or mother, should not lead the prayer services on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, nor should he blow the shofar on Rosh Hashana (1), unless there is no one else as suitable ("hogun") for the job. If he is within the first thirty days of mourning for any of the other close relatives [that he is obligated to mourn for] (2), and he has been leading the High Holiday services or blowing the shofar for a number of years (that is, he has a "chazakah"), it is permitted [for him to perform those duties], because Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur cancel the thirty day mourning period (3). However, if he has not performed these duties for a number of years, and there is another who is just as suitable, he should be stringent, [and allow the other person to perform the duties].

It is permitted for any mourner to lead the services for Selichos, even on Erev Rosh Hashana (4), but not during the "Shiva" (the first seven days of mourning).

FOOTNOTES:

(1) The Mishna Berura 581:7, does not mention that a mourner should not blow the shofar.

(2) A wife, son, daughter, sister or brother.

(3) The Mishna Berura (Ibid.) rules that a mourner (both within 12 months for parents or 30 days for the other relatives), may not lead the services on Rosh Hashana or Yom Kippur, unless there is no one else capable of doing so.

(4) He may also lead the Selichos services between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur (Ibid.).

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Halacha-Yomi, Copyright (c) 2002 Project Genesis, Inc.

 

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