During the days of s’fira and especially under the painful and unusual circumstances we are now in – mourning so many of our dear family and friends – we share a letter of condolence of the Rebbe. May these words of comfort help us focus on the good and give us strength during these trying times. The letter, written originally in English, is from the archives of the Rebbe’s trusted secretary Rabbi Nissan Mindel.
By the Grace of G-d
23rd of Adar, 5734
Minneapolis, Minn. 55391
Greeting and Blessing:
I was saddened to hear of the passing of your father, peace to his soul. I extend to you and to all the bereaved family sincere sympathy and the traditional blessing of condolence
Hamokom yenachem es’chem b’soch sh’ar aveilei Tzion v’Yerushalyim
The A-mighty comfort you in the midst of the mourners for Zion and Jerusalem.
The significance of this expression of condolence, in relating the bereavement of the individual to the bereavement of our entire people, is twofold. Firstly, it indicates that the sorrow of an individual Jew is shared by our whole Jewish people. Secondly, it conveys true condolence and comfort in the thought that just as assuredly as G-d will restore the ancient glory of Jerusalem and of the Sanctuary (Beis Hamikdosh) as the spiritual center for the Jewish people and all mankind, so will He restore life to the departed in the Era of the Resurrection of the Dead, as promised though His true prophets.
I would also like to add that when the soul returns to its Maker, it is no longer encumbered by limitations of a physical body; hence it is in a position to know immediately of all the good deeds which are done by the near and dear ones left behind, for which it, too, is given credit. Even a good thought and a good resolution are not hidden form the soul. Therefore, knowing of your good deeds in the past, I am certain that you will do even more in the future, for the honor and credit of your father’s soul.
May G-d spare you any more sorrow in the future, and may G-d’s goodness ad benevolence be with you and yours always.