Saying Kaddish

Question

Dear Rabbi, would you please tell me about the “Kaddish Prayer” and why do mourners say it? Thank you very much.

5 months

Answers

  1. Kaddish, literally “the sanctification,” is a prayer that dates back to the Mishnaic period, at least 1,900 years ago. It expresses our conviction that no mater what happens, and despite all the tragedies and sorrows of this world, ultimately there will come a time when God’s existence will be apparent, and His Name will be on everyone’s lips.

    Mourners recite Kaddish a number of times during the prayer services. By saying Kaddish they reaffirm their belief that despite the loss of an individual, God’s purpose will be fulfilled through the Jewish People as a whole. For this reason, Kaddish is recited only in the presence of a community (a minyan), never privately. Although individuals may die, the community will always survive and never perish.

    Throughout the generations, the Jew has been sustained by this conviction of timeless survival. Even when an individual experiences a difficult loss, he is reminded that he is part of an eternal unit, that every single part of that unit was created for a purpose — and that, ultimately, his true and invaluable purpose will be fully realized.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team