The Best Gifts to Send for Shiva

Shiva is a period of mourning in the Jewish tradition that follows the loss of a loved one. During this time, it is customary to send condolences and gifts to those who are grieving. But choosing the right gift can be challenging. In this article, we’ll provide valuable insights and tips on the best gifts to send for shiva.

Understanding Shiva

Before selecting a gift, it’s important to understand what shiva represents in Jewish mourning traditions. Shiva is a seven-day period of intense grief and reflection after someone has passed away. The family members of the deceased usually sit at home or at their synagogue during this period while visitors come to offer condolences, share memories of the deceased, and support them emotionally.

During shiva, it’s customary not to participate in joyous activities such as going out with friends or celebrating weddings – which means sending gifts that could bring joy may not always be appropriate.

Choosing Appropriate Gifts

When choosing gifts for shiva, consider items that will provide comfort during this difficult time or show your support for those grieving:

  • Food: Prepare or order meals from local kosher restaurants since food offerings are welcome but should follow specific dietary laws.
  • Flowers: While flowers aren’t traditionally common during funerals in Judaism, they make great condolence gestures during shivas.
  • Donations: Make contributions towards your friend’s favorite charity under his/her name makes an excellent sympathy gift option.
  • Books on Grief & Loss – Gift books about dealing with loss properly might help mourners through tough periods when they’re alone.
  • Condolence Cards – Whether you choose classic religious designs or contemporary cards based on beautiful artwork found online stores can be an ideal way you express compassion.

It’s crucial always avoid buying some items like alcohol consumption products like wine bottles considered sociable commodities because these social norms conflict with sitting Shivah rules typically prohibiting partying, celebrating, and drinking.


Sending gifts to families facing a loss is an excellent way to show support. If you’re sending gifts during shiva, remember that it’s essential to be respectful of Jewish traditions and keep the family’s state of mind in your thoughtfulness.

By choosing appropriate sympathy gifts such as food or flowers or making donations while respecting the mourning period’s customs can help convey your message of care and comfort while at the same time showing respect for tradition.


What is an appropriate gift to send for a Shiva?
– Traditionally, it is appropriate to bring or send food items that are easy to share and do not require much preparation, such as fruit baskets, baked goods, or pre-made meals. Other popular options include charitable donations in honor of the deceased, sympathy flowers or plants, and memorial keepsakes.

Can I bring alcohol as a Shiva gift?
– It is generally considered inappropriate to bring alcohol as a Shiva gift unless you know specifically that the family partakes and would appreciate it. Instead, stick to more traditional gifts like those mentioned above.

Is sending a gift basket acceptable for a virtual Shiva?
– Yes! With many people choosing to attend virtual Shivahs due to distance or COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings, sending a thoughtfully curated gift basket can be just as meaningful as showing up in person with food items. Look for baskets that include non-perishable snacks or treats along with thoughtful condolence cards or other heartfelt gestures.