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We would like to express our sincere gratitue to Rabbi Efrem Goldberg, of Boca Raton Synagogue, for supplying this comprehensive Shiva guide.
 

The loss of a loved one is always a heartbreaking and painful time, and as a community we all look for ways to comfort the family during Shiva. Sensitivity and thoughtfulness are critical. Please consider these suggestions when you pay a Shiva visit:

  • Show Up: Each person that makes an effort to come to the Shiva home, whether from near or far, close friends or casual acquaintances, provides comfort, love and connection. While we cannot remove or diminish the pain of the loss, we can make it just a tiny bit lighter by carrying it together with them, being nosei b’ol im chaveiro.
  • Don’t Overstay: Shiva is a comforting time but also an extremely exhausting one. Please be mindful to spend an appropriate amount of time but not to overstay in a way that makes it difficult for others to have time to be menachem. Please respect the Shiva hours, no matter how close you may be with the family.
  • Silence is Not Awkward: It is incredibly difficult to know what to say in these circumstances. Don’t feel obligated to speak or to find the perfect thing to say. Your mere presence at the Shiva and the effort you put into being there offers more nechama than any words could communicate.
  • Refrain from Using Platitudes: In the absence of clear, helpful things to say, it is often tempting to share a platitude such as, “Hashem has His reasons even though it’s hard to see them,” “He only gives challenges to people who can handle them,” “Time will heal,” and many others. While those who say such things may have the best intentions, these statements can be hurtful and harmful, the opposite impact of what we are all trying to achieve.   
  • Avoid Intrusive Questions or Personal Experiences: There is never a time, including and especially during Shiva, that it is appropriate to ask intrusive questions such as about medical diagnosis, treatment, or care. It is also not a time to share stories about anyone you know, including even someone in your family, who went through a similar circumstance. Allow the aveilim to direct the conversation and express what they are comfortable sharing and focusing on.
  • Share Stories: If you or your any family members had personal interactions with the deceased, share those stories and memories with the family; they are often the greatest source of comfort.
  • Coordinated Help: Rather than simply dropping off food or gifts, please coordinate through the shul. We have a committee of dedicated members who coordinate a Shiva platter for the family. To get involved, please contact Marcie Meier at marciemeier78@gmail.com, Phyllis Katzin at pjkatzin@gmail.com or Marlene Schaechter at shekter@aol.com.
May we all find comfort and strength and may we share smachot together.
Shabbat starts Friday: 5:38PM
Shabbat ends Saturday: 6:39PM
Sun, March 3 2024 23 Adar I 5784