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When a mourner rips his clothing for the death of a parent, or for the death of other very prominent people the rip may never be repaired. (1)
One who hears tragic tidings that affect most of the Klal must rip his clothing and it may never be repaired.
One who hears the 'blessing' of Hashem must rip his clothes, and it may never be repaired. (2)
If one witnesses a Sefer Torah maliciously being set on fire he must rip his clothes twice, once for the parchment and one for the letters, and the rips may never be repaired.
A person that witnesses the destroyed cities of Yehudah or Yerushalayim, or the place of the Beis ha'Mikdash, must say the appropriate Pesukim and rip his clothes. (3)
If a person rips his garment for a parent that died and subsequently sells the garment, the buyer also may not repair the garment.
There is a dispute between Rebbi Yehudah and Rebbi Meir regarding the length of the rip when a mourner tears his clothing. (4)
The Tana Kama says if a person loses a number of relatives at the same time he may rip once for all of them. Rebbi Yehudah Ben Beseira says that one must rip separately for a father or mother.
If a mourner rips from the bottom or side of his garment he is not Yotzei. A Kohen however does rip from the bottom of the garment.
If a person loses a relative and rips his garment and he loses another relative within thirty days, there is a dispute between Rebbi Masna and Mar Ukva, in the name of Levi and the father of Shmuel, whether he must rip a separate tear. (5)
If an ill person loses a relative we do not notify him out of fear that the bad news will adversely affect him.
If a person loses one of his in-laws he must rip his garment out of respect for his spouse.


1. One who rips for the death of his Rebbi that taught him Torah, or for the Nasi, or for the Av Beis Din, the rip may never be repaired.
2. A person must rip even if he did not hear the 'blessing' of Hashem directly, he only heard it being repeated over, however the witnesses that repeat it over do not have to rip since they already ripped the first time.
3. If a person first witnesses Yerushalayim and rips his clothes and subsequently witnesses the Beis ha'Mikdash, he must rip a separate rip, However if he witnessed the Beis ha'Mikdash first and ripped his clothing, when he subsequently witnesses Yerushalayim he does not have to rip separately, he may just add on to the existing rip. None of these rips may be repaired.
4. According to Rebbi Meir he must rip the length of a handbreadth and if he becomes a mourner again he must increase the rip by the width of three finger. According to Rebbi Yehudah he only must rip three finger widths, and if he becomes a mourner again he only must increase the rip slightly.
5. One of the Amora'im holds that if another relative dies within seven days of the first relative, the mourner must rip a separate tear, but if he dies after seven days, the mourner only has to increase the original tear. The other Amorah holds that the mourner has to rip a separate tear unless the second relative dies at least thirty days after the first.


The Gemara says that when they read Megilas Eichah to the King Yehoyakim he was unmoved by the tragedies it portended until he heard the Pasuk "The oppressors will become the leaders." When he heard that Pasuk he ripped out the names of Hashem and threw them in the fire. Why was he unmoved by the Pesukim that portended great calamities and Klal Yisrael being sent into exile? What it is the point of being King if there is no nation to lead? The answer is that Yehoyakim had grudging respect for the Megilah and for the Prophet Yirmeyahu that authored it. Therefore he was afraid to burn it a Megilah that contained authentic prophecy. However once he heard that the oppressors will be the leaders, he no longer believed that it was authentic prophecy and that is why he burned it. The Torah promises us "The Kingship will never be removed from Yehudah"; therefore the Megilah can't be the truth. In reality however, the promise that the Kingship will always be from Yehudah is only as long as Klal Yisrael keeps the Torah, once Klal Yisrael is no longer living according to the Torah the assurance of the Torah no longer applies. (Chasam Sofer)


A person that wears a garment in front of the deceased under the pretense that he ripped it, is stealing from the living and the dead. Someone who tells his friend that he would like to borrow a garment in order to visit his father who is ill; if he finds that his father passed away he should rip the borrowed garment. He should subsequently repair the rip and pay his friend for the depreciation as a result of the rip. If he did not notify his friend that he was going to visit his father he may not rip the clothing. (Shulchan Aruch YD 340:33, 34)
If he did not notify his friend and he ripped the clothing anyway he is not Yotzei the Mitzvah since he is regarded as a thief on the clothing. He borrowed the garment without permission and that makes him a thief and you are not Yotzei if you rip a stolen garment. (Shach)

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