Nichum Avelim, the mitzvah to comfort the mourner, is undertaken by Sisterhood’s Shiva Comfort Committee. We strive to help the mourners know that the Synagogue Community is there for support, and they are not alone.
As soon as we receive the Synagogue’s ‘Baruch Dayan HaEmet’ announcement of members who will be sitting Shiva here in a home, we deliver a Help & Comfort Package to the family. We hope these non-perishable items make a difficult time a little easier. The box contains items such as a pitcher for water, bowl, paper towels and a small waste basket, traditional needs for washing the hands before entering the home after arriving from the cemetery. There is ‘A Guide to Jewish Grieving Practices’ and a poster ‘Taking Leave of the Bereaved’ explaining how to console without saying goodbye. All the items are listed and explained in an enclosed card titled ‘Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you mourn.’
Although most mourners will have local friends to help with preparations before the funeral, we are also there to help when no other sources of assistance are available. We have helped to cover the mirrors, picked relatives up at the airport and even set out the handwashing items.
If you are interested in being a member of the Shiva Comfort Committee, please contact Susan Zauderer (585-385-7663).