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    Being a widow – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. My husband has died. Life is difficult and lonely. Everything is different, including my Jewish life. How do I handle Shabbat and festivals? How do I handle God?

    lonelinessA. Some years ago the Emunah movement published an article on this subject by the late Barbara Pomerantz, an Israeli writer. This is a summary of her article:

    • Give of yourself. Look outside yourself. Become involved in work, job training or volunteering.

    • Give to yourself. Pursue a hobby or develop a dormant interest. Say, “I am going to survive!”

    • Recognise your inner resources, often reflecting the values you shared with your husband.

    • Don’t just expect support from others: support them. Take the lead in continuing relationships.

    • Allow others to talk about your husband openly and to show their own sense of loss.

    • Invite yourself to others’ homes for Shabbat and festivals; invite people to your own home.

    • Be angry with God if you must, but slowly begin to talk to Him in prayer.

    • Redefine your relationship with God based on your own insights and discoveries.

    • Find strength in the regular pattern of Shabbat and festivals.

    • Don’t be shy to seek help in handling your new practical responsibilities.

    • You are entitled to be sorry for yourself but prolonged self-pity can be destructive.

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