Mourning and Fasting on Chanukah and Purim
This is the approved revision of this page, as well as being the most recent.
Mourning and Fasting on Chanuka
- If a relative passes away on Chanukah one must keep all the practices of Aveilut, including ripping one’s clothing for the dead and comforting the mourner.
- One should not conduct a eulogy during Chanukah because Chanukah is a time of Simcha and Hallel and it is only permitted to conduct a eulogy for a Chacham on the day of death. A teacher of Torah who set times to learn is considered a Chacham to eulogize on Chanukah during the Levayah. 
- One is not allowed to fast on Chanukah. If one’s parent’s Yehrzheit falls out on Chanukah (according to those who fast for one’s parent’s yehrzeit) one should fast one of the days prior to Chanukah.
- One is allowed to fast or do a eulogy the day before or after Chanukah. Some say that ideally one should be strict not to fast the day before Chanukah.
- If one did fast on Chanukah one should make it up by fasting again after Chanukah.
Visiting Cemeteries on Chanuka
- One shouldn’t go to visit cemeteries during Chanukah (and especially Chol HaMoed) because it causes a person to grieve and eulogize the deceased. One has what to rely on to visit the graves of Tzadikkim during Chanukah and Chol HaMoed.
Saying Kaddish on Chanuka
- Some have the Minhag not to say Kaddish for their parents on Chanukah, however it’s a wrong Minhag and one should continue saying Kaddish even on Chanukah.
Mourning and Fasting on Purim
- Even though Purim is a joyous occasion it doesn't cancel aveilut.
- Someone in shiva on Purim doesn't observe aveilut publicly but does so private like he would on Shabbat (Aveilut on Shabbat).
- A mourner for 12 months for a parent or month for other relatives does give Mishloach Manot on Purim but he should only give a few and only give meal type foods and not candies.
- It is forbidden to send Mishloach Manot to someone who is in aveilut for the duration of the 12 months for a parent or thirty days of another relative. Many are lenient to send Mishloach Manot after the first thirty days for someone mourning a parent. Sephardim hold it is permitted to send mishloach manot to a mourner.
- If a woman is in mourning it is permitted for the friends of the husband to send him Mishloach Manot since he's not in mourning.
- The poskim permit sending mishloach manot to a rabbi when is in mourning on Purim since it isn't a sign of friendship.
- See also Mourning.
- Mishna Brurah 670:12 writes that all agree that there is Aveilut on Chanukah. Yalkut Yosef (Moadim 192) agrees.
- Shabbat 21b says that it’s forbidden to eulogize on Chanukah. However Megilah 3b and moed Katan 26b says for a Chacham it’s permitted on Moed and all the more so for Chanukah. S”A 670:3 rules this that it’s forbidden except for a Chacham. Mahariv, Magen Avraham (C”M 547) and Chaye Aam says nowadays we don’t have a Chacham. However the Maharamit, Birkei Yosef (C”M 15:2), Orach Mishpat 4:17 in name of Maharshal (Bava Kama 2), Nezirut Shimshon, Aruch HaShulchan, Shaar Shlomo Zorafa 135, and Sh”t Yabia Omer Y”D 9:46 allow it even nowadays.
- Sh”t Shaar Shlomo Zorafa 135 and Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur S”A 670:6).
- Shulchan Aruch O.C. 670:1 based on Shabbat 21b says it’s forbidden to fast on Chanukah.
- Shulchan Aruch O.C. 686:1 based on Tosfot (Tanit 18) and Rosh (Megilah Perek Kama). However, Mishna Brurah 686:1 brings Bach and Pri Chadash that say one isn’t allowed to fast the day before Chanukah. Mishna Brurah 686:1 says that since it’s permitted to fast the day before and after Chanukah (Shulchan Aruch O.C. 686:1) one is allowed to do a eulogy because a eulogy is more lenient than a fast (Shaar Tzion 686:1). See further, Sh”t Har HaKarmel O”C 10, and Sh”t Divrei Moshe 1:37
- Shulchan Aruch O.C. 568:5
- Ben Ish Chai (Vayeshev n. 22) and Yalkut Yosef (Moadim pg 192) based on Bet Yosef (Y”D 344) who forbids going to cemeteries on Rosh Chodesh. Ben Ish Chai (Vayeshev n. 22) allows going to the graves of tzaddikim on chanuka (or even Chol HaMoed) and Moed LeChol Chai argues that one shouldn’t go to the cemetery at all on chanuka. Gesher HaChaim 29:6 (cited by Piskei Teshuvot 670:1) writes that the minhag today is to go to the cemetery even for the grave of a relative on chanuka. Or Letzion 4:41:3 in fnt seems to permit following the Gesher Hachaim here.
- Yalkut Yosef Moadim pg 193.
- Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 401:7
- Shulchan Aruch YD 401:7. Shach 401:4 writes that there is a contradiction in Shulchan Aruch between YD and OC and he concludes that we follow what it says in YD that there is no aveilut on Purim except in private.
- Shulchan Aruch O.C. 696:6 writes that a mourner should give mishloach manot. Mishna Brurah 696:20 adds that he shouldn't send fun things, instead he should send money or meat. Chazon Ovadia p. 193 agrees. Nitai Gavriel 78:10 writes that he shouldn't give more than a two or three mishloach manot.
- Rama 696:6. Mishna Brurah 696:20 explains that the reason it is forbidden is because it is forbidden to greet the mourner within the 12 months of mourning a parent so too it is forbidden to send them a gift.
- Gesher Hachaim 1:21:7:10 based on the minhag of greeting a mourner during the 12 months.
- Chazon Ovadia Purim p. 193 writes that since Shulchan Aruch YD 401:7 writes there's no mourner on Purim he can even receive Mishloach Manot. Chazon Ovadia Avelut v. 2 p. 251 reiterates this point.
- Chazon Ovadia p. 194
- Piskei Teshuvot 696:10 citing Teshuvot Vehanhagot 1:692, Divrei Malkiel 237