Sunday, April 13, 2014

It was only a few days after the shiva that I received an email from a reader who was disenchanted w

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About six weeks ago, I had the unfortunate experience of being intimately involved in a unique shiva. A member of our community suddenly lost a 4 month old grandson. The father of the child is a friend and peer of mine. Shiva was observed in our neighborhood professional carpet cleaning as opposed to the home of the parents sitting shiva. All of these factors made the entire ordeal quite difficult and horrific but also provided a learning experience for me and an interesting study of human nature and character.
It was only a few days after the shiva that I received an email from a reader who was disenchanted with the shiva process. He had several complaints that rang true in the immediate wake of the recently completed shiva I had seen first hand.
I believe that people want to do the right thing when they go to shiva. professional carpet cleaning They just don’t really know what they should be doing at shiva. Mourners are going to be sensitive and mistakes are going to hurt them more than typical faux pas. Some of these faux pas were gloriously lampooned in this great video: Shtick Yeshivish People Say At Shivas I had a lot of time to think about shiva and people’s needs during this time. Here are some of the ideas that have been swirling around my head.
When I was 15, a very close friend lost his sister. Over the next few years we talked a lot about death, his feelings, and dealing with it all. I’ll never forget what he told me about what he considered the most meaningful and comfortable shiva visit. As 10th graders at Ner Israel, we were deathly afraid of out Menahel, Rabbi Yosef Tendler. He was the law and we were not the most law abiding of students. The way we felt about Rabbi Tendler reflected his reputation. He was tough, blunt, and scary. Rabbi Tendler came to the first day of shiva and my friend was not really in the mood to see a scary rabbi while he was mired in his own pain. Rabbi Tendler walked over to my friend so my friend rose from his seat out of respect. Rabbi Tendler professional carpet cleaning moved closer and embraced my friend. They just stood there for a few minutes, wrapped in a warm hug. He didn’t say a word. They just hugged. My friend started to cry and they hugged some more. Eventually, the embrace ended. Rabbi Tendler

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