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July 23, 2014 / 25 Tammuz, 5774
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Speaking Appropriately

Respler-062113

Regarding your experience while sitting shiva, it is integral for Klal Yisrael to be sensitive toward others who are in great pain for various reasons.

Whether it is someone sitting shiva for a son who was killed while driving (I mentioned in the original column that the grieving parents were told, insensitively and ridiculously, that “your son should not have been driving”); or someone sitting shiva for a child who was the victim of a drug overdose; or a woman struggling with fertility who is subjected to staring by people who erroneously conclude that she is pregnant because of her obvious weight gain (as opposed to the reality that she gained weight as a result of the fertility treatment she is undergoing) – the universal message is this: think before you speak!

My heart goes out to you for the pain you’ve endured. I hope that your well-written letter will propel people to think before they consider saying hurtful or inappropriate things to others. Hatzlachah as you raise your beautiful family, and may Hashem continue to shower you with only simcha and nachas!

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