How to Cope?

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    What happens after someone passes away?

    Please try to clarify your question a little.


    to the neshama or to the people still alive?


    To the soul?


    what happens with the neshama? how is the process? and how do u cope losing someone c lose, also how do i help others?


    I think that the neshama stays in the house of avelut for the whole week and then it goes to olam haba.


    Everyone copes differently. It depends on your relationship, how old the person was, what your experiences was with the person. You grieve differently for a friend than for a parent, differently for a sibling than a child, etc.

    It is important to understand the grieving process. I believe it is a 5 stages of grieving that goes like this:

    1. Denial and Isolation.

    2. Anger.

    3. Bargaining.

    4. Depression.

    5. Acceptance.

    You should also know that when you lose someone close like a parent, don’t be surprised if you lose your bitachon in Hashem and you get very angry at him. Please do not worry too much and do not be concerned. You will feel very lost when this happens and very alone, but your bitachon will return. It is very normal and it is a process you go through, but I promise and guarantee you it will return to you 100%.

    I don’t know if you are male or female. As difficult as it is for men to make minyan and daven for the amud 3 times a day for 11 months when they lose a parent, in a sense it is easier for them because they have something specific they are charged to do. Women get up from shiva and that’s it. Their job is over. There are things they can’t do, but there is nothing they have to do and that is very difficult as well. There is a need to do something. You get up from shiva and you feel “what now? what am i supposed to do now?” especially when you were taking care of a sick parent, or constantly going to the hospital with a sick relative. All of a sudden everything is over, no one is coming, you are left to your own devices and expected to get back to a normal routine. But nothing is normal, you lost a loved one. You feel like how can the world just keep going on like nothing happened? Don’t they know that so and so died? Men are actually showing people and telling people “we lost someone, I am saying Kaddish, I am not shaving, etc.”. But women don’t really do anything outright. Many of us burn a week-long candle all year in our homes. We do our best to keep the same fire going and light one candle from the fire of the candle that is burning out. But that is it.

    I had an experience that I was told was also common. it frightened me at first but then it calmed me. The Friday night a week after I got up from shiva, I fell asleep after lecht bentchen, I was holding a photo of my father as I did every night since my father left us. All of a sudden I saw him, he came to me as real as life and told me to that he was ok and that I should take care of my mother. I sat up and reached for him but couldn’t touch him I started to cry and scream and my screaming woke me up. I was shaking and ran out of my room downstairs to my living room. My next door neighbor was sitting on my couch and jumped up to hold me and asked me what happened. I told her and she sat me down and smiled at me. She told me the same thing happened to her after her father died. She said the neshama comes back once to the closest one to let them know they are ok.

    I tried for years to bring my father back in my dreams but I never could. It is now 17 years since my father a”h is gone. I can picture him in my mind but he never talks to me.

    How to help others also depends on what they need, everyone is different. The best way to help others is to listen to understand and ask them “how can I offer you support through this trying time?”. If you know them well enough then pitch in where they need it the most, help with the kids, with homework, laundry, car-pool, cooking, etc. Ask the husband how the wife is doing, if she is taking calls, if she wants visitors, how she is coping with the housework, the kids, etc. Ask where your assistance would be most appreciated. If it is the husband that has suffered the loss, ask the wife. Maybe he needs an extra man to make the 10th for a minyan during mid-day for mincha? Maybe he needs a ride to the train in the morning or to be picked up from the train so he makes minyan, etc. Maybe he is depressed and can’t drive right now. Maybe he needs extra people to learn mishnayas before the shloshim.

    Thank you from bringing this very sensitive subject tot he table.


    to the neshama


    aries2756, Thank you for that very heartfelt and informative post. It could not have come at a better time and I very much appreciated what you wrote. I also have a question, (you don’t have to answer if it is too personal); How long had time passed until you weren’t angry anymore, or resentful, and disbelieved in Him?

    The Best Bubby

    aries2756: You wrote beautifully everything from your kind heart. I could not have written any better, even if I tried! H’KBH should give us all much koach to carry on our good deeds.

    Coal: I am truly sorry for your loss and wish you arichat yamim tovim ad meah ve esrim shana with good health and many simachot with simcha.

    I, unfortunatelly was an only child. My Mother A’H was a very ill woman and my Father Z’TL was a survivor of 10 camps, yimach shemum ve zichrum. My Father Z’TL passed away first and I carried in my wallet a poleroid picture of my Father taken by an American Jewish soldier, when he was freed from the camps. I also had a picture of him in the DP camp and his ration book and a picture of him that was taken for his travelling documents to travel to USA in 1949. I travelled a long distance to work and always looked at the pictures. A few months after he was nifter, my Mom A’H flew to us for Pesach, and was shopping in a supermarket for all the fruits and vegetables and when I went to pay, I discovered the wallet with all the momentos were stolen. Needless to say, I was devastated! All the local papers picked up the story that he was a Holocaust survivor and I offered a reward for the return of the pictures. (The loss of the money/credit cards was incidental!) I never saw them again and there weren’t any copies of the photos. Until this day, I never carry any photos with me in my wallet or otherwise. I unfortunately have learnt my lesson. My dear Mother A’H passed away about a year later. It has been 15 years since my Father Z’TL was nifter and 13 1/2 years since my Mother A’H was niftera. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of them and think of little things that they have done and remind myself all the time of the good that they have achieved.

    That first Yom Tov was Pesach after my Father Z’TL passed away and when I benched licht and I was sobbing buckets of tears, there was a knock on the door from a young male with a sports jacket and combed hair and he asked for the Zaide. I did not recognize him and told him that the Zaide Z’TL passed away but he was welcome to come in to share the Seder with us. He explained that he had come the year before, (my eldest son went up to a local main street and brings home youth who have gone off the derech and are thrown out of their parents’ homes to our Seder, with no questions asked, to partake in a seder and to have good, warm food). This boy came in and he was absolutely filthy, long dirty hair, unkept nails etc, and for a very split second was looking where to put him at our beautiful set seder. My Father Z’TL called out in his broken English and his beautiful, warm smile, “come Tattale, sit next to me, I am the Zaide!” My Father Z’TL explained everything so nicely and calmly to every one and spoke to each and everyone who joined us. That same boy came back the next year so nicely dressed and subsequently went off to Ohr Sameach in Yerushalayim and is now frum.

    Both my Parents Z’TL have come back to me as was described by aries2756 in different circumstances and a few times I have dreamt about them.

    Each person is different and some take longer and some take less to feel less angry with H’KBH for taking their loved ones. You have to keep busy and remember your beloved all the time. The pain does ease over time, but you will never forget them. It is very normal to be upset and angry with H’KBH for what has happened. But, slowly all your emunah and bitachon will return, knowing that your beloved is in Gan Eden, and in a better place and not suffering.

    Wishing you much nechama, and no more sorrow, and an abundance of HAGEFEN = Hatzlacha Rabbah in all that you do, good gezunt, good parnasa, and much yiddishe nachus!

    Be Happy

    What helps me cope with the loss of my dear father z”l is considering what he would have wanted from me in every situation. It has become harder as the years pass but I perservere and I find it comforting.



    It really depends on the situation. In most cases (B”H), the person is old and sick beforehand, and they are really in a better situation for themselves (like Amasa D’Rebbe who davened that Hashem should take his neshama) in the Olam HaEmes. There are many gemorahs regarding Nechumim, you may want to take a look.


    The emunah and bitachon comes back slowly like refilling an empty cup. At first I couldn’t step back into shul, I couldn’t daven or make a brocha. My husband told the Rav, he thought I was going nuts. I wouldn’t take any phone calls or come to the door when someone came calling. The Rav told him not to worry, it is all normal.

    Whenever I saw an elderly man in the street with a Kangarol cap on my heart would stop! And then I would get angry and say to myself Hashem, look why not him? Why my father? And then I said “C”V, I am sorry. I don’t wish this man any harm. If I was in a store and I heard one of my favorite songs, a touching english song “I will always love you”, it was like a mantra I was saying to my father, I burst out in tears and ran out of the store. If I heard it on the car radio, I burst out in tears and had to pull over. I slept for months with a framed picture of my mother and father in my arms. My husband was petrified that it would crack and I would get cut from the glass. He never went to sleep until I was sound asleep and he could pry it from my arms.

    After a few months I automatically started conversing with Hashem again, and speaking to the kids more normally about emunah, etc. my cup was filling up. I am not sure when I stopped being angry but we were dialoguing once again. I was asking for favors “please Hashem take care of my mother, please Hashem help me through this…”

    Pesach we were at a hotel with my 2 brothers-in-law and their families. One of my sisters-in-law was also in aveilus for her mother. The other’s parents were with us. I felt privileged to have at least one set of parents with us. But as we started to say the Hagadah, I heard my father’s voice and tone in the Zeide’s speech (they come from similar backgrounds) I closed my eyes and I was transported back to my father’s Pesach table. I became overwhelmed and fled from the table. Everyone was terrified. They didn’t know what to do with me. I ran to the restroom and broke down and cried. I couldn’t get control of myself and no one else could either. My poor husband didn’t know whether to call Hatzolah or the funny farm. My daughter just stayed in the rest room with me until I stopped. I washed my face and went back to the table, picked up my Hagaddah and kept going as best as I could. I refused to look at or speak to anyone.

    My father a”h was a great man. He walked through the fire and came out with only one brother. He was a kind and generous man and all his life he helped people. He was a baker and worked at night. All the women on our block knew that he was home by day, sleeping but home. In case of an emergency, they called my home and he got up and ran. If he saw old people standing in the bus stop, he would stop his car and give them rides. When there was a bus strike in the city, he slept for 2 hours after work then got up to shuttle people to work and kids to school. That is the kind of man he was.

    Everything I do, I do in his name. Every tzedaka I give I give in his name. I always stop and ask myself if he would approve if he would be proud of what I am doing. And not only him, but I ask myself if my father-in-law a”h a Rav would be proud of me as well. He used to collect tzedaka for others and when I found myself collecting tzedaka for at-risk kids I look up to shamayim, wink and think “you are doing this to me, are you happy?”.

    So healing is a process, emunah and bitachon comes back in stages. It leaves all at once but it does not return that way. It is different with everyone as a relationship with each person is different. Ten siblings can be sitting shiva in the same home for the same person but each one is going through their own pain. Each one feels different and no one really knows how each individual feels, because each one had their own personal relationship with the nifter. Each one has their own personal memories of the nifter. So each one has their own personal pain.

    To Yoshi, I am sorry you are going through tzar, may you only know from simchas and nachas.

    To Best Bubby, I love you!! We seem to come from similar backgrounds and I won’t fight you for the title of best bubby, but my grandchildren might. Your father and my father could have been blood brothers, they certainly were both made from similar molds. My father used to wash his car in his driveway. All the kids on the block came to help and he always had a clean rag for each. We used to take pictures from the porch. When they were done, he gave each a chocolate bar. Then he went to the local car wash because they made such a mess of his car. He didn’t want them to be insulted so he made sure the car shined for them.

    If my father passed a handicapped or mentally disabled child in the street, he would always stop and give them shalom aleichem, a good handshake.

    B”H, when we lose someone we love we don’t lose the wonderful memories that we have and that is why as Bubbies and Zeidies we must do our best to build wonderful memories for our grandchildren as well.


    I am so loving hearing these stories from Aries and best Bubby. I have posted before in the CR, my own experiences when my parents O”H were niftar. My father, then my mom five months later, both unexpectedly passed away. During the shiva week for my father Z”L, my siblings and I all spent Shabbos in different place, they in their respective homes, and I stayed with my mother. We all took Shabbos afternoon naps, and each one of us, as we discovered when they came back to sit shiva with us on Motzai Shabbos, had the IDENTICAL dream about my father. In the dream(s), he appeared to us in exactly the same way, in the same room, and said the exact same dialogue (very specific, not just a generic, “I’ll always be with you, take care of each other,” type of expression) to each of us, telling us how happy he was (kept saying it over and over), even though he missed us, that he could not remain in his body the way it was, and he was with his Mama and Papa and his brothers, and was very, very happy. He also told us he wished he could stay, but he couldn’t and then he walked to the arched doorway of the living room and stepped through it saying goodbye and disappeared. We each saw the scenario exactly the same way (with minor differences in my father’s age and the clothes he was wearing), and when we compared notes after Shabbos (by which time my mom and I had already been flabbergasted to discover our own dreams were the same), my youngest brother was the only one with one addition that the rest of us did not have. My father told him that is was shoen tzeit to wake up, because it was mincha time. When he woke up instantly at that, there was suddenly a knock at his bedroom door, with my sister-in-law letting him know he had to get to shul for mincha.

    I think it is absolutely amazing when Hashem allows us the zechus of really saying goodbye to our loved ones. It helps to give us some closure and a real sense of peace, when we understand that this is not the end, and that wherever they are in Gan Eden, it is beautiful and they are truly happy there. We were zocheh to MANY simanim of this type during the shiva week, some of them hilariously funny (like the lights all going off in the middle of one shiva evening with a houseful of menachamei aveil, it being funny because my dad was known for screwing up the Shabbos clock, and the lights always went off at the most awkward times on Friday night, no matter what he did) and they truly helped us to get through the most challenging and sad times of our lives. And we most humbly thank HaKodosh Boruch Hu for that chessed.

    Pashuteh Yid

    These stories from Aries, Bestbubby and Oomis give tremendous chizuk. They reinforce for me the notion that the ikar of Yiddishkeit is menschlachkeit–kindness, nothing else. The kindness these people displayed towards others is an inspiration. They were from a generation that had so little, but yet did so much for others. The fact that these beautiful neshamos could have existed shows that the RBSH must be with our nation, as where else could these neshamos have come from?

    May you all have much comfort in these memories of your precious parents, and may Klal Yisroel know no more tzaar.


    Thank you so much, PY, because those memories really DO give me tremendous comfort. Amein to the bracha for klal Yisroel.

    “Everything I do, I do in his name. Every tzedaka I give I give in his name. I always stop and ask myself if he would approve if he would be proud of what I am doing. And not only him, but I ask myself if my father-in-law a”h a Rav would be proud of me as well. He used to collect tzedaka for others and when I found myself collecting tzedaka for at-risk kids I look up to shamayim, wink and think “you are doing this to me, are you happy?”

    I actually re-read your post, Aries, and this paragraph made me cry, because it resonated so very much with me and reminded me of the very first time I made Pesach without my mom O”H’s hands beside me. It was our first Pesach apart in my entire life. As I bensched licht, and could smell the chicken soup, the gefilte fish and all the other Pesach food I had cooked (as per her way of doing things), looked around at the turned over for Pesach kitchen (a job we always did together at my parents’ house), and realized she was no longer there, all I could think of was, did I make her proud of me?

    The answer, I hope, is yes, but in truth I will NEVER be able to fill my mother or my father’s shoes, because they were incredible people, baalei anivus who never missed an opportunity to do a chessed for even a stranger, much less their family, friends, and neighbors. I actually found out as we walked around the block when we got up from the shiva for my father, another chessed that he had done, of which we were totally unaware. Our neighbor had a very young son who R”L was dying of a condition similar to leukemia. Unbeknownst to us, my dad had approached the father and asked him how they were managing with the medical bills, and if they were having difficulty he would go try to raise some money for them, and started to write a check for a substantial amount (in those days) from his own pocket. Believe me, we had no great wealth at all financially, my dad just saw a need and wanted to address it. Fortunately, the neighbor did not need his help, but he never forgot this offer. The son sadly passed away shortly after that. It was not until 30 years or so later, when my father died, that we were zocheh to hear about this kindness through hashgocha protis, mamesh as we were returning from our walk around the block and the neighbor just “happened” to leave for work at that exact moment in time and saw us, and suddenly remembered this story. My dad O”H never once mentioned it to us and not even to my mother.


    It looks like I’m in the wrong place B”H

    But I must say what beautiful and inspiring stories..

    May we all all be zoche to simchos and tchias hamesim in our day

    How I long to have my grandparents back..


    There is another dimension of immortality discussed in the Talmud. It asks: Do the dead know what is happening in the world of the living?[xvi] After an involved discussion, the Talmud concludes that they do have this awareness.[xvii] The Kaballistic philosophers explain that the soul achieve a degree of unity with God, the source of all knowledge, and therefore also partake of His omniscience.

    When a man dies, he enters a new world of awareness. He exists as a disembodied soul and yet is aware of what is happening in the physical world. Gradually, he learns to focus on any physical event he wishes. At first this is a frightening experience. You know that you are dead. You can see your body lying there, with your friends and relatives standing around crying over you. We are taught that immediately after death, the soul is in a great state of confusion.[xviii]

    What is the main source of its attention? What draws its focus more that anything else? We are taught that it is the body. Most people identify themselves with their bodies, as we have discussed earlier. It is difficult for a soul to break this thought habit, and therefore, for the first few days, the soul is literally obsessed with its previous body. This is alluded to in the verse (Job 14:22), “And his soul mourns for him”.[xix] This is especially true before the body is buried.[xx] The soul wonders what will happen to the body. It finds it to be both fascinating and frightening to watch its own body’s funeral arrangements and preparation for burial.

    Of course, this is one of the reasons why Judaism teaches us that we must have the utmost respect for human remains. We can imagine how painful it is for the soul to see its recent body cast around like an animal carcass. The Torah therefore forbids this.

    This is also related to the question of autopsies. We can imagine how a soul would feel when seeing its body lying on the autopsy table, being dissected and examined.

    The disembodied soul spends much of its time learning how to focus. It is now seeing without physical eyes, using some process that we do not even have the vocabulary to describe. The Kabbalists call this frightening process Kaf HaKela – it is like being thrown with a sling from one end of the world to another.[xxi] It is alluded to in the verse (I Sam. 25:29), “The soul of my master shall be bound up in the bundle of life with the Lord your God, and the souls of your enemies shall He sling out, as from the hollow of a sling”. The soul perceives things flashing into focus from all over, and is in a state of total confusion and disorientation. One of the few things that the soul has little difficulty focusing on is its own body. It is a familiar pattern and some tie seems to remain. To some extent, it is a refuge from its disorientation.

    Of course the body begins to decompose soon after it is buried. The effect of watching this must be both frightening and painful, the Talmud teaches us,”Worms are as painful to the dead as needles in the flesh of the living, as it is written (Job 14:22), his flesh grieves for him”.[xxii] Most commentaries write that this refers to the psychological anguish of the soul in seeing its earthly habitation in a state of decay.[xxiii] The Kabbalists call this Chibut HaKever,[xxiv] the punishment of the grave. We are taught that what happens to the body in the grave can be an even worse experience than Gehenom.[xxv]

    This varies among individuals. The more one is obsessed with one’s body and the material world in general during his lifetime, the more he will be obsessed with it after death. For the man to whom the material was everything, this deterioration of the body is most painful. On the other extreme, the person who was immersed in the spiritual, may not care very much about the fate of his body at all. He finds himself very much at home in the spiritual realm and might quickly forget about his body entirely. This is what we are taught. Tzadikim are not bothered by Chibut HaKever at all, since they never consider their worldly body overly important.[xxvi] In general, adjustment to the spiritual world depends greatly on one’s preparation in this world. Our traditions teach us that the main preparation is through Torah.

    Many of us think of death as a most frightening experience. Tzadikim, on the other hand, have looked forward to it. Shortly before his death, Rabbi Nachman Bretslaver said, “I very much want to divest myself of this garment that is my body”.[xxvii] If we truly believe and trust in a merciful God, then death holds no terror for us.

    This is a description of what our tradition teaches us about the soul’s existence. Most of these facts are from the teachings of Chazal in the Talmud and Midrash as interpreted by the Kaballists. Here we have synthesized their interpretations with the terminology of modern scientific concepts. The result is a consistent view of soul and human personality as realities that do not possess the body’s temporal discontinuity called “death.


    Coal, I believe that the neshama is at peace and watches over us. I also believe one thousand percent that they are with us at our most momentous of times. I absolutely felt my father’s presence at my daughter’s wedding. He walked down to the Chupah with me and he stood with me throughout the entire ceremony. It felt like an angel on my shoulder.

    Many things happen in a person’s life that we wonder about, how did that happen, how come I didn’t get hurt, that is an amazing shidduch almost as if it was hand picked, etc. And then we realize someone is looking out for me, him, her, etc. You can feel that there is a special neshama/angel that is directing things, stepping in on our behalf so to say. Although this baby’s mother can not hold her in her arms, she is not far away, not even for a moment and when she is sleeping and you see a smile on her face it just might be her mother that put it there.

    We don’t know why the mother or both women were taken. We just don’t understand why Hashem does what he does. But he will provide for the child and the mother will watch over her..

    I am sorry for your pain. It is a tough time for you losing two close friends, not understanding why and not having answers. It is a shock and you will go through the grieving process. Please don’t try to fight it, it is something that you have to do. If you put it off it will hit you later.

    We can share with you the experiences that we have had, and offer you nechama and of course we are here for you to listen to your pain and help ease it.



    Coal, they aren’t suffering. They are up in shomayim with hashem and all is good. We are the ones suffering.

    The only words of chizuk I have is that moshiach should come and then we will all see our loved ones again. Amen!


    I just read what you wrote about your research. The one thing you didn’t mention is that each soul has friends and relatives that they too lost and are waiting for them on the other side to help them through their journey. So as painful as everything is that the neshama might have to experience she is not alone and is being guided through the process. She might have been greeted by her parents or grandparents or other loved ones that she loved and missed for a long time. As much as Hashem takes away he also gives. So please don’t ever feel that your friends are alone, they are never alone.

    I am sorry for your pain. It is a tough time for you losing two close friends, not understanding why and not having answers. It is a shock and you will go through the grieving process. Please don’t try to fight it, it is something that you have to do. If you put it off it will hit you later.



    it wasnt 2 wmen, it was husband and wife,along with the husbands parents leaving 5 orphans and they left there 1 year old i know that they will watch over her. but its very hard, so i try to understand the most, like what happens next


    ok now how do i help my husband when he is denial of the loss of his best friend?


    Coal, that is a tragedy of epic proportions. I am sorry for your loss, and especially for the loss that the orphans have sustained.

    Like Aries (are you certain Aries, that we are not related?), I have also experienced the feeling that my parents are with us at every family simcha. They have seemingly taken great pains to let us know that, by doing the same thing over and over again at every wedding, bar-mitzvha seuda, vort, etc. A centerpiece (usually flowers) falls over each time, at the precise moment when someone is talking about my parents. The flowers were totally secure, and the centerpieces had been undisturbed, and remained in place until that exact moment when they keeled over, for no apparent cause (no one nearby, etc.). My family is used to this by now, it has happened so many times over the years, B”H.


    COAL: you seem to be taking this tragedy very hard as it is very close to your heart.

    But you have to be certain that thinking into it will not make matters worse. If it will only make you more upset and traumatised(if you’re like me), then you should really justaccept it as hashems will. My heart feels for you and the rest of their friends and family. A terrible tragedy indeed.

    Hamokom yenachem eschem.


    Another point that really shakes a person up after tragedies such as this one, is the fact that we also feel vulnerable and fragile. If your friends were full of life 3 days ago and now they are gone, how do we know what Hashem will send tomorrow, or next week or even next month?


    Unfortunately you can’t push another person through the grieving process. Everyone has to do it at their own pace. Men are not usually talkers, it is hard for them to open up and share their feelings. Sometimes its better to talk it out or open up with a stranger in a safer environment.

    He might consider speaking to his Rav or seeing a grief counselor/therapist for a few weeks so he can allow his feelings to come out and not hold it back.

    Although YOU might have the strongest of needs to help him, it might not align with HIS needs at the moment. Everyone grieves in their own way. He might feel very vulnerable right now. He might not want to seem weak to you, he might want to be more protective of you at the moment and be more supportive of you but just can’t right now and that might be very hard for him.

    Do you know that old adage “you look like someone who lost his best friend”? We say that so often without thinking and you, nebech, really truly understand what that means. Everyday you see someone who looks like they lost their best friend and is not dealing with it. But you can’t force someone to do it, and you also can’t avoid the possible explosion of emotions when he finally does. All you really can do is offer your support, love and compassion. Give him a safe space to come home to where he feels secure. If you find the right moment you can ask him if he would like you to find him a grief counselor/therapist for him to talk to so he can have a completely private and confidential person that he can discuss his feelings and emotions with. Or you can do the research and send him an email with the info saying “I am concerned about you and thought that speaking to one of these professionals might help. It is just a suggestion.”

    If you don’t confront or push but allow him time to digest the information he might take the first step and make an appointment.


    How to Cope? Between 4.36PM & 5.22PM today, we entirely skipped ?’ ????:- Question:- How do I cope with the missed ????????

    Lilmod Ulelamaid

    I once went out with someone who had this exact issue. He asked a sheilah – either the Yahrtzeit was kept the day before or the day after – I don’t remember which. Offhand, I would guess the next day – but I don’t know.

    Ask a sheilah to a qualified Rav.

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