Mourner's Kaddish

The Essence of Mourner's Kaddish

Kaddish is a traditional Jewish prayer with its central message revolving around sanctifying the name of God and honoring those who passed. Its earliest version dates back to the Siddur of Rab Amram Gaon, around 900 A.D.

 

“Mourner’s Kaddish” is an integral part of every Jewish funeral service to respect the loved one who passed and support their family members during their grief. The prayer is in Aramaic and recited several times towards the end of the service. 

 

Historically, someone grieving a parent would recite the Kaddish every day for 11 months, then once on the anniversary of their passing. But given how long this prayer has been a part of Jewish customs, the exact traditions of how the Mourner’s Kaddish is recited differ depending on the community. Most congregations today chant Kaddish together.

One significant aspect is that the Mourner’s Kaddish does not directly discuss death. Instead, it praises God and prays for the deceased’s soul

This is a version of a Mourner’s Kaddish recited at the deceased’s gravesite immediately following a burial:

Exalted and hallowed be His great Name. (Congregation responds: “Amen.”)

In the world which He will create anew, where He will revive the dead, construct His temple, deliver life, and rebuild the city of Jerusalem, and uproot foreign idol worship from His land, and restore the holy service of Heaven to its place, along with His radiance, splendor and Shechinah, and may He bring forth His redemption and hasten the coming of His Moshiach. (Cong: “Amen.”)

In your lifetime and in your days and in the lifetime of the entire House of Israel, sword, famine and death shall cease from us and from the entire Jewish nation, speedily and soon, and say, Amen.

(Cong: “Amen. May His great Name be blessed forever and to all eternity, blessed.”)

May His great Name be blessed forever and to all eternity. Blessed and praised, glorified, exalted and extolled, honored, adored and lauded be the Name of the Holy One, blessed be He. (Cong: “Amen.”)

Beyond all the blessings, hymns, praises and consolations that are uttered in the world; and say, Amen. (Cong: “Amen.”)

May there be abundant peace from heaven, and a good life for us and for all Israel; and say, Amen. (Cong: “Amen.”)

He Who makes peace (Between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur substitute: “the peace”) in His heavens, may He make peace for us and for all Israel; and say, Amen. (Cong: “Amen.”)

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