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Sunday, October 18, 2015

Saying Kaddish

Every culture, every society, has its rituals for honoring the dead and comforting the mourners. We find comfort from the traditions, comfort from the community.

Jewish tradition identifies a "mourner" as the spouse, parent, child or sibling of the deceased. Others may be saddened by the death, but they are not "mourners".

After the funeral, the mourners sit shiva for seven days. It is a period of deep mourning, where friends and family come by to pay respects and offer condolences. Mourning continues until 30 days after the burial. But if you are mourning a parent, your period of mourning lasts for an entire year.

The rituals of mourning include the recitation of the Kaddish. During the daily or Sabbath service, the Rabbi will ask the mourners to rise and recite the prayer in memory of their loved ones. A minyan -- a quorum of 10 -- is required in order for this prayer to be recited.

The first time I said Kaddish for my father was at the funeral. I will recite it every day (or at least, every day that I attend services) for the next year. And then I will say Kaddish for my father every year on his yartzeit, the anniversary of his death.

May His great Name grow exalted and sanctified Amen.
in the world that He created as He willed.
May He give reign to His kingship in your lifetimes and in your days,
and in the lifetimes of the entire Family of Israel,
swiftly and soon. Now respond: Amen.
May His great Name be blessed forever and ever.
Blessed, praised, glorified, exalted, extolled,
mighty, upraised, and lauded be the Name of the Holy One, Blessed is He
beyond any blessing and song,
praise and consolation that are uttered in the world. Now respond: Amen.
May there be abundant peace from Heaven, and life
upon us and upon all Israel. Now respond: Amen.
He Who makes peace in His heights, may He make peace,
upon us and upon all Israel. Now respond: Amen.

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

I've found this ritual to be a wonderful tribute to a loved one. Thanks for sharing the prayer.

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