Grieving for Friends

Usually, the subject-matter in this blog is very upbeat and positive, because, let’s face it: life in general is amazing. There are times, however, when unbelievable sadness hits us and our loved ones. At those times, life sucks. Sometimes we can’t understand why bad things happen to the best people.

Last week, we had some dear friends face extreme tragedy. In the interest of keeping privacy, I won’t say anything specific, but if you are spiritual at all, I ask for your prayers and thoughts for those that are suffering a loss and are looking for strength.

In the past year, we have faced a lot of death and sadness, mixed with some wonderful happiness. Life is funny that way- we can be rejoicing in the amazement of life one moment, and grieving for extreme loss the next.

In the Jewish religion, when one grieves, they say the Mourner’s Kaddish. It is interesting that the Kaddish doesn’t once mention death, but it talks about G-d’s greatness. By saying the Kaddish, we keep the memory of the departed person alive for ourselves and our community. In the beginning of our mourning period, a statement of faith and trust in G-d is difficult and the words are meaningless. Over the course of our mourning, the words grow more power as the legacy of the departed loved one grows stronger. We are confirming that the person that has passed had meaning and influence, much like the Kaddish. We also say the Kaddish as a part of a community because, when we face unexplainable loss, the pain draws us closer to one another (whether we want it or not), and it brings us comfort to be with others.

The Hebrew Transliteration:

Yit-gadal v’yit-kadash sh’may raba b’alma dee-v’ra che-ru-tay, ve’yam-lich mal-chutay b’chai-yay-chon uv’yo-may-chon uv-cha-yay d’chol beit Yisrael, ba-agala u’vitze-man ka-riv, ve’imru amen.

Y’hay sh’may raba me’varach le-alam uleh-almay alma-ya.

Yit-barach v’yish-tabach, v’yit-pa-ar v’yit-romam v’yit-nasay, v’yit-hadar v’yit-aleh v’yit-halal sh’may d’koo-d’shah, b’rich hoo. layla (ool-ayla)* meen kol beer-chata v’she-rata, toosh-b’chata v’nay-ch’mata, da-a meran b’alma, ve’imru amen.

Y’hay sh’lama raba meen sh’maya v’cha-yim aleynu v’al kol Yisrael, ve’imru amen.

O’seh shalom beem-romav, hoo ya’ah-seh shalom aleynu v’al kol Yisrael, ve’imru amen.

* Add on Shabbat

What it Means:

Magnified and sanctified be G-d’s great name in the world which He created according to His will. May he establish His kingdom during our lifetime and during the lifetime of Israel. Let us say, Amen.

May G-d’s great name be blessed forever and ever.

Blessed, glorified, honored and extolled, adored and acclaimed be the name of the Holy One, though G-d is beyond all praises and songs of adoration which can be uttered. Let us say, Amen.

May there be peace and life for all of us and for all Israel. Let us say, Amen.

Let He who makes peace in the heavens, grant peace to all of us and to all Israel. Let us say, Amen.



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