Dear Rabbi Simon,
Am I allowed to attend a simcha on my mother’s yahrzeit? It’s a Henna of very close family friends. Truthfully, I’m not sure I’m comfortable going anyway – I just wanted to know if it is halakhically allowed. If I were to go, should I refrain from dancing and eating?
Strictly speaking you are not restricted from participating and enjoying the “girls’ night out”. But of course if you feel that doing so is disrespectful to your mother’s memory, there are valid grounds to decline the invitation. This is a judgment call for you to make. You can wait to see how you feel at the time.
If it were a wedding, you should refrain from attending on the Yahrzeit itself (not the night following). Another type of simcha would be OK. Even a wedding, in a situation of “need”, there are grounds to permit your attendance if you do not eat.
I hope this is helpful.
“Only simchas” and Am Yisrael Chai!
Rabbi Rashi Simon