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What is an appropriate gift for a friend who is sitting Shivah?

  

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Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: Welcome to the Rabbi's one on one chat room, how can I help you today?

Jen: What do friends send over to a Jewish family when someone passes?

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: what we send is ourselves

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: we go over for a visit during Shivah

Jen: My very good friend's father died. They are Jewish

Jen: I didn't know if flowers are appropriate

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: they are not INappropriate

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: but the most appropriate gift is your time your compassion and your concern

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: in person

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: can you be that generous? :-)

Jen: ok. Yes

Jen: should I wait for my frind to call me -- I think the burial is today

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: no. she is weighed under her grief and sorrow

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: she needs you to call her

Jen: ok thank you Rabbi--you are very helpful

Jen: one more thing-does shivah start the day after burial?

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: the day of the funeral--if there is some day time left after the funeral

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: now I know that it will be awkward when you talk to her

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: you wont know if she wants to be left alone or not

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: your job is to be as natural and normal as possible

Jen: ok

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: if you are on edge then so will she be

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: ask her if she needs anything, but dont leave it at that

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: go over and visit... look around and see what needs doing, and do it or buy it

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: and make yourself helpful

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: then she will slowly come around to enjoying having you over

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: rather than feeling awkward

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: now that is friendship

Jen: ok I will visit today--thank you

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: sending flowers means I did not have the courage to come over myself and to make myself a true friend... so I am sending flowers... so that you can not be angry with me for not coming or blame me for not caring enough to come over

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: of course that is a drastic interpretation

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: but lets face it

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: ther is also a little truth in that

Jen: oh no!! you misunderstand me--I want to send flowers and visit

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: ooops

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: then I take it back

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: sorry

Jen: ok--I understand. You are right though!

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: :-)

Jen: I am asking you these things as I am a Christian and do not know what is the correct thing to do for my Jewish friends.

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: I understand

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: good luck

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: and go do the right thing

Jen: Thank You Rabbi!

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: your welcome

All names, places, and identifying information have been changed or deleted in order to protect the privacy of the questioners. In order to preserve authenticity, the chat sessions have been posted with a minimum of editing. Please excuse typographical errors, missing punctuation, and/or grammatical mistakes which naturally occur in the course of informal chat sessions.

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