Your visit to the mourner at home is more than a courtesy call. In Jewish tradition, the moment is too critical for mere courtesy. It calls for consolation. During this brief visit you could bring comfort to someone in need, or you could act as just another spectator to tragedy. The mandate of our humanity and of our religion is that we bring sensitivity and empathy to those who mourn. The following are suggestions for helping implement your natural healthy feelings during such visits.


In Judaism, we believe that your very presence in the. mourner's home marks the beginning of consolation. If you feel uncomfortable, know that it is understandable and perfectly natural.

In order to obviate fumbling with cumbersome goodbyes, some people conclude their visit with a traditional formula of consolation: "May God comfort you among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

Other good-byes are:
"Please accept my sincerest condolences. I wish that sharing your grief could remove it. I will call to see if I can be of help:'

"I know 's memory will always be with you.
I have many fond memories of "

"I hope that this will be the last such sadness, and that we will share many happy occasions together."

Reprinted by permission from: National Institute for Jewish Hospice