Minyanaires Orientation Meeting


  1. Thank you!


  1. The mitzvah of nichum aveilim

    1. Job 2: 11 Now when Job’s three friends heard of all the calamities that had overwhelmed him, they all came. Each came from his own home — Elifaz from Teiman, Bildad from Shuach and Tzofar from Na‘amah. They had agreed to meet together in order to come and offer him sympathy and comfort. 12 When they saw him from a distance, they couldn’t even recognize him. They wept aloud, tore their coats and threw dust over their heads toward heaven. 13 Then they sat down with him on the ground. For seven days and seven nights, no one spoke a word to him; because they saw how much he was suffering. 14 (3:1) At length, Job broke the silence and cursed the day of his [birth].


  1. What will happen when you visit

    1. What to say when you arrive

“Hello, I’m from Temple Rodeph Torah. My deepest condolences on the death of your _________.”

  1. Engaging in Conversation

Contrary to usual interactions, visitors should typically avoid initiating conversations during a shiva call. Visitors should generally listen and offer support only when engaged. It is important to remember that the purpose of the shiva is to comfort mourners and allow the family to grieve. Visitors making a shiva call should be attentive to the needs of the mourners as well as the atmosphere in the shiva house. The fitting topic of conversation for a shiva is the deceased.

  1. Taking Part in the Service

If aprayer service takes place during the shiva call, it is appropriate to participate providing that an invitation to participate has been extended by the mourning family. Individuals not familiar with the prayer or service may find it helpful to observe others who may be better versed in the Jewish mourning traditions. Visitors should always behave courteously and refrain from conversation during the prayer service. If a rabbi is present and inquires about the deceased’s life, it may be appropriate to share a brief, heartfelt story that honors his or her memory.

  1. Duration of Visit

A shiva call should not last more than an hour. If the visit coincides with a prayer service, it is appropriate to arrive a few minutes before the service and stay a few minutes after. The shiva process is often lengthy and tiring for the mourners; visitors should be mindful not to overstay their welcome.

  1. When leaving theshiva home, visitors may recite the following:

המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים

“Ha-Makom yinachem etchem be-toch sha’ar avlei Tzion virushalayim.”

“May God comfort you among the other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.”

Ha-Makom is a name of God that literally means “the place,” referring to God’s omnipresent nature, including at the lifecycles from birth to death. It is only God who can grant the mourner lasting comfort. The comforter comes to remind the mourners that the divine powers of the universe will enable them to heal and go on with a meaningful life. Ultimate consolation comes only from the omnipresent God.

“B’tokh sh’ar avaylay Tzion v’Y’rushalayim” means “among the other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.” Once again, the message is “we are not alone.”

Excerpted with permission fromMyJewishLearning.com.


  1. How scheduling will take place

    1. Email with dates and times of shiva.

    2. If you are going, use “reply all” to respond, giving the date(s) and time(s) you are going.

    3. Do NOT respond if you’re not going!

    4. It’s fine to have several people going at once, even if other days are uncovered


  1. Questions?

    1. Do you want a badge?

    2. Dress: not necessarily a suit, but dress very nicely.


  1. A final blessing, for YOU:

Resh Lakish said to Rabbi Judah, “Rise and say something appropriate to those who comfort mourners.” Judah began his discourse by saying, “Our brethren, bestowers of loving-kindnesses, children of bestowers of loving-kindnesses, who hold fast to the covenant of Abraham our father, our brethren, may the God of kindness give you your reward. Blessed are You, Adonai, who gives reward to those who are worthy.” [Talmud, Ketubot 8b]


Session Recording: Pending