I have a dear friend who is Jewish though I am not sure how observant she is but long story short her father who I believe is the Reformed branch of Judaism has cancer and my friend is having a hard time dealing with this is totally understandable. We were all together Friday night for dinner at my home and my one friend asked her what Jewish people believe about the afterlife. She responded that there was no belief and without thinking at first about the sensitivity of the subject to this particular person at this time I said something like I wonder if it matters which branch as I had always had an understanding from other friends that there was some belief, as in these friends saying a family member was a better place. I also from study of the Catholic Church have come to understand that our traditon of praying for the dead comes originally from Judaism. As a former Methodist I never prayed for those who had passed until this past year. Anyway this friend became upset with me for putting my two cents in which I instantly regretted and trying to to the merciful thing said I was sorry, I must have misunderstood and backed off and said a silent prayer to myself. I have been praying continuously for this friend and her situation on my Rosary in any event as I do all in my circle having a difficult time. I feel badly that I might have offended her and struggle with how to be the most helpful (keeping my foot out of my mouth might help). By background I am a nurse case manager with no issues dealing with end of life in general but from a personal level being a strong believer in the Catholic/Christian view of the afterlife want to be a) knowledgable and b) want to do or say the merciful thing even if all I can do is keep my mouth shut and keep praying.
God Bless and also please keep my friend in prayer,