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    Mirrors in a house of mourning – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. Why are mirrors covered in a house of mourning?

    A. Not only Jews but some other groups have this custom.

    The usual Jewish explanation is that mirrors represent human vanity, an inappropriate concern at a time when one’s heart is broken and the world has gone dark. To look, even inadvertently, into a mirror at a moment of such sadness might reflect on the genuineness of the grief.

    It may also be, on the other hand, that a mourner who looks into a mirror might feel worse than before when they see how unkempt they are.

    In addition, some say that since services are held in the house of mourning, mirrors might distract the worshippers.

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