Leading the Funeral and Kaddish

Question

From : m_aharon@yahoo.comAbout leading the funeral and say Kadish:We had a funeral in a Kehila, and instead of the regular Rabbi they had an apprentice Rabbi Student , around 20 years old, leading the service, later came out that the youngster still had his parents , so he is not entitled to say Kadish. The mistake was admitted and will not repeat itself. The reason that student did it was that he knew the family of the Niftar closely. Anyway; Two questions:1. I heared in a Shiur that it is better for somebody who is more experienced and who said already kaddish to perform funerals then a youngster (if e.g. both are of course Yirei Shamoyim and sing nicely)2.In a general way , Can somebody who never knew direct related loss (so never said Kaddish) say Kadish Derabonan or at Yom Hashoah for example? or lead funerals?Isn’t it better to wait until he is ordained as a Rov?Thank youLichevod HaTorahA.Twersky

2 years

Answers

  1. Firstly, if the apprentice Rabbi gets permission from his parents there is no reason why he cannot recite Kaddish at a funeral (if the need arises again). If his parents do not agree (which happens – reciting Kaddish is an emotive business) then the next time someone else should recite the mourner’s Kaddish instead.

    1. I am not familiar with such an idea being a Halacha, per se, but it certainly makes perfect sense. What is true is that in certain communities an inexperienced Rabbi is sent to officiate at weddings and, lehavdil, funerals with an experienced Rabbi to instruct him and to answer any questions that he might have.
    2. Kaddish d’Rabbanan is not Mourner’s Kaddish and there is no reason why a person who has never experienced a loss should not recite it. It is true that when Kaddish d’Rabbanan is recited at a Yom Hashoah gathering it seems to be related to the death and destruction of the Holocaust (even though it really isn’t) and it might look better if someone else were to recite it. In all events, I think that whether it is better that he be ordained or not is a somewhat personal one as there is no formal requirement that an ordained Rabbi officiate at such gatherings, as such I think that each community/family should decide from themselves what they want.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team

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