A time to listen. Written by Rabbi Shulamit Ambalu

Jewish custom teaches us that when visiting a mourner, we should not begin the conversation. We should simply sit alongside, in silence, until the mourner opens up. The visitor is offering comfort by simply being present and willing to listen.

Today, this powerful custom is easily forgotten. The rush to offer comfort is difficult to resist; mainly because it comes from a need to comfort oneself.  There is a powerful human drive to make sense of suffering. To explain it away. To be reassured that the dreadful act will not, or cannot, happen to us.

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