Mitzvah 608) Not to eat Ma’aser Sheni (The second tithe) when an Onen (After the demise of a relative before the beginning of the mourning period)
Parshas Ki Savo
“I did not eat from it when an Onen!” (Devarim 26:14)
It is a negative commandment not to eat Ma’aser Sheni (The second tithe) when an Onen. According to the biblical law, being an Onen means that one of his close relatives for whom he is obligated to mourn has died, and on the day that he dies and is buried the person is called an Onen. About this it says “I did not eat from it when an Onen!” to say that if he had been an Onen and he would have eaten it, he would have transgressed this commandment. When an Onen one is not only forbidden to eat Ma’aser Sheni, but also any other Kodashim (holy food) is forbidden and if he did eat any of them he is punished with lashes.
Amongst the roots of this commandment are that since all Kodashim are from the “table of the Most High” and it is not fitting that someone who is very worried and in pain to come close to the table of the king. They bring an allusion to this from the verse which says “in the story of Esther) “For it is forbidden to come to the gate of the king wearing sackcloth”. Another reason given is that when eating holy food it atones for the owners of that food, and there is no doubt but that when one ate holy food one ate it with concentration and complete intent, and all of their thoughts and movements when eating from it were fitting towards Hashem, and when a person is in pain, he is worried and in pain on the day of the demise of his relative and his thoughts are not settled and concentrated at all, and at such a time it is not fitting that he should eat the holy food of heaven.
This commandment applies to men and women when the temple was standing as only then were the tithes obligated biblically.