The Focus of a Shiva visit is on comforting the mourner.
A Shiva call can be completely silent - your presence alone is doing the comforting. “I am here for you. I feel your Pain” - there are no words.
It is best to come in silently and sit close by.
It is an established tradition to wait for the bereaved person to acknowledge your presence. Take your cue from them.
It is appropriate to speak about the one who has passed away and share any stories and / or memories with the mourners.
The mourner is not expected to rise and greet the visitors nor to see them out.
It is not expected for the mourners to be hosts.
It is appropriate for friends and the community to assist in any way necessary - meals, lifts, etc. Assisting in these ways relieves additional pressure from the mourner enabling them to focus on their loss.
When you leave the Shiva house it is appropriate to approach the mourner and say quietly in Hebrew or English:
“May G-d console you among the other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem (Ha’makom yenachem etkhem betokh she’ar avelei Tziyon vi’yerushalayim).”
Caring and supporting others is an ongoing process which continues beyond the Shiva week.
We at Nechama hope that by providing this information people will feel more empowered and comfortable to visit a Shiva house.
Decorum should be kept at all times.
Feel free to put this on your front door while sitting shiva or somewhere prominent for others to benefit from this