I'm so sorry about your loss.

Discussion in 'עברית (Hebrew)' started by seitt, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. seitt Senior Member


    What do you say in Israel to someone who has lost a relative?

    Best wishes, and many thanks,

  2. bazq Senior Member

    Depends on gender and number.
    "I'm sorry for your loss" : I'm = man/woman? your = man/woman/men/women?
  3. tFighterPilot Senior Member

    Israel - Hebrew
    From which gender\count to which gender\count?

    From male singular to male singular it would be משתתף בצערך /mishtatéf betsa'arkhá/ (I participate in your sorrow)
  4. Drink Senior Member

    New England
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    משתתף takes the speaker's gender/number:
    m.sg.: משתתף (mishtatéf)
    f.sg.: משתתפת (mishtatéfet)
    m.pl.: משתתפים (mishtatfím)
    f.pl.: משתתפות (mishtatfót)

    בצערך takes the listener's gender/number:
    m.sg.: בצערך (betsa'arkhá)
    f.sg.: בצערך (betsa'arékh)
    m.pl.: בצערכם (betsa'arkhém)
    f.pl.: בצערכן (betsa'arkhén)
  5. لنـا

    لنـا Senior Member

    Palestinian Arabic, Hebrew
    Another suggestion: מצטער על אובדנך (m.sg to m.sg)
  6. arielipi Senior Member

    jewish greet in such cases:
    מן השמים תנוחמו
  7. seitt Senior Member

    Thank you very much for all the variations, indeed most useful!

    I take it that the first two words mean 'from heaven', but what does the third word mean exactly, please? Ah, it would seem to be נוחם 'Be comforted' i.e. the Pual passive of Piel לנחם - please let me know if this is wrong.

    Btw, is there a third alternative wishing that the life of the relative you are addressing be a long one, i.e. not threatened in any way by the 'bad luck' of the death of the person in question? This is basically what we say here in Turkey. (Başınız sağ olsun!) I ask this because, in the BBC series 'Call the Midwife', a Yiddish-speaking woman wished a bereaved woman a long life.
  8. arbelyoni Senior Member

    You're exactly right, "may you be comforted by Heaven". This is a common Sephardi blessing.
    There's a similar Ashkenazi blessing: המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים, "may God comfort you among the rest of mourners of Zion and Jerusalem".
    When you mention deceased and living people at the same conversation, it is customary to distinguish them by saying זכרו לברכה (or ז"ל) after the name of the deceased, and יבדל לחיים ארוכים (or יבל"א) after the name of the living person.
  9. arielipi Senior Member

    im ashkenazi; and i write יבדל"א.
  10. seitt Senior Member

    Many thanks, truly fascinating - would ייבדל also be correct?
    Also, is יבל"א a pronounced abbreviation (yivla?)
  11. ystab Senior Member

    ייבדל when writing without niqqud.

    No, it is not a pronounced abbreviation.
  12. seitt Senior Member

    Many thanks!

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