I came across a (Facebook) post the other day in which an acquaintance announced he had lost his non-Jewish father. The individual is not a convert; his mother had intermarried. The funeral will not be held for several days.

There are several questions on this site about mourning for non-Jewish relatives. I am asking about comforting someone it such a situation, both from a pure halachik standpoint and from the human interest perspective.

  1. Does one say ברוך דיין האמת? The FB comments are full of such responses (BDE, etc.), and I'm wondering if it is appropriate.

  2. Is there any point in expressing comfort (Hamakom, etc.) before the funeral service, or does the precept of ואל תנחמהו בשעה שמתו מטל לפניו still apply, even for several days?

  3. Is the standard Hamakom expression appropriate (המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים), or does the moniker אבלי ציון not quite apply? Is there another standard (or non-standard) phrase to use?

I suppose some of this may depend on how close the person was to his parents, and whether he will be mourning, in some manner, with the rest of his family.

(Technically, the question may be moot, because I don't intend to visit him, and it is questionable whether one can be menachem aveil via FB post or social media comment. On the other hand, if this was halacha l'ma'aseh this forum wouldn't be appropriate.)

  • If your question is about comforting the deceased'd be relatives, then the question of saying ברוך ד האמת is kinda irrelevant: it's not a condolence. – msh210 Jan 24 '19 at 5:11
  • Can one say המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך אבלי ציון וירושלים? – DonielF Jan 29 '19 at 17:15

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