At a session on Jewish attitudes toward loss, Ikkarim participants discussed not only the best way of discussing such issues with their children, but also how to deal with personal or communal mourning. One Ikkarim participant shared a post-class encounter:
Just yesterday in our class, we studied Jewish mourning. Today I happened to be on the phone with a work colleague to coordinate some travel arrangements. In the middle of our call, the colleague mentioned that her mother had died unexpectedly just over one month ago. Feeling awkward, and wondering what I could possibly say, I remembered yesterday’s class. We learned that when comforting a mourner we should say “I’m sorry,” offer a remembrance of the deceased, and not say much more. So I said “I’m sorry.” I said that though I didn’t know her mother, based on how generous and helpful a person she was, I was sure her mother had done a good job raising her children. And then I stopped. My colleague was clearly moved to tears, thanked me, and ended our call. I felt good that thanks to Ikkarim, I had at the ready an appropriate response that seemed to be just what she needed.
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