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Jewish 'Shiva' Practice Helps Loved Ones Grieve

After witnessing firsthand the devastating effects of civil war, oppressive regimes, and natural disasters, Palmer Chichen has observed that the Hebrew people have a special way of coming together to help people deal with pain, loss, and grief. He writes:

They call it shiva (which means seven, or sits of seven). When there is a death, the closest family members come together: the father and mother, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, and spouses. They come together and sit. But they don't sit alone: all their friends and family come and sit with them. They sit until the healing begins. They sit because they want you to know you're not alone in your sorrow.
They sit together for seven days, and here's what I love about the seventh day—everyone in the community comes on the seventh day, and they walk with them around the block. The subtle message is, You can begin to live again. We know you hurt, and we hurt with you, but you can heal over.

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