Arrange Kaddish Recital

Judaism teaches that the soul of a person lives on after death and is judged, not only for that person’s actions in his or her lifetime, but also for the results of one’s actions.

For example, Moses, although he died over three thousand years ago, is considered to be very much alive in that the Torah that he brought to us from Mt. Sinai is still observed till this very day. Similarly, if we are good and moral people because our parents taught us by example how to live our lives, they, in a sense, live on through our good deeds. If they donated their time and efforts and money to a worthwhile institution, as long as that institution continues in its good work, it stands as a tribute to the departed.

What it is

Among the 613 Mitzvahs (Commandments) of the Torah is the Biblical commandment (Leviticus 22:32) to publicly sanctify G-d’s Name. One way to do that is to recite the Kaddish, which is a public praise of G-d, calling upon the congregation to answer “Amen. May the Great Name be blessed forever and ever.” The Kaddish prayer is recited several times in various forms in each of the three services recited daily.

The Talmud relates that the great sage Rabbi Akiva was once met by the soul of a person who had passed away and had no one to say Kaddish in his behalf. Rabbi Akiva sought out that man’s son and taught him how to say Kaddish for his father.

The custom today is for Kaddish to be recited every day for 11 months after the death of a parent. It is also recited on the Yahrtzeit, or Hebrew anniversary of that person’s death. Of equal, if not greater importance, is the concept of improving our lives through acts of kindness, charity and the study of Torah. All of these actions show what a profound impact the departed had on our lives, and shows G-d that the righteousness of that person lives on through our deeds.

What it isn’t

Contrary to popular belief, Kaddish is not a prayer for the dead. (The Prayer in memory of the departed, Yizkor, is recited on various holidays throughout the year.) Nor is Kaddish a statement of acceptance of Divine Justice. (Such a Prayer, Tziduk Hadin, is usually recited at the funeral.) Kaddish, quite simply, is a mitzvah that we perform on behalf of the departed. Just as we give Charity and study Torah on this person’s behalf, so too do we publicly proclaim the holiness of G-d through reciting the Kaddish and ask God to “credit” our loved one for this Mitzvah.

Can I say Kaddish at home?

Since the whole point of saying Kaddish is to publicly proclaim the greatness of God, saying it at home defeats the whole purpose. (Yizkor, on the other hand, may, and under certain circumstances, should be said at home.)

Is it possible to appoint a proxy to say Kaddish?

Absolutely. While prayers are always appropriate, it is preferable that a donation be made to charity as well. Arrangements can be made for Kaddish to be said regardless of the amount of your donation.

Many charitable institutions provide the recitation of Kaddish in consideration of a donation, typically in the $350-$500 range.  (Some people prefer to have Kaddish said by one person for one person, rather than a rabbi saying Kaddish for a list of people.  There is an institution I know of that provides that service, to which I can refer you.  The requested donation in that situation is $800.)

I have taken it upon myself to provide this service for families in need of someone to say Kaddish.  I am at synagogue Services daily, usually 3 times daily, and recite Kaddish in memory of those people whose families have made that request. [I should point out, in all fairness, that my schedule occasionally makes it necessary for me to miss synagogue Services. In those circumstances, there is another rabbi who usually says Kaddish for the people on my list.  There MAY be an occasional instance when Kaddish ends up not being recited at all three daily services.] The amount of the donation, to the institution whose name appears below, is totally up to you. 


(To start kaddish recital right away, email me at You can send the check later.)
Name of deceased __________________________________

Hebrew Name (if known) ____________________________

Hebrew name of deceased’s father (if known; otherwise, provide English name, if known) ____________________________

Hebrew date of death (if known) ____________________________

(If Hebrew date is not known) Civil date of death (including year) _____________
Before Sunset:  Yes____ No____

Your name ____________________________

Your address ____________________________

Your email address ______________________

Your phone number ____________________________

Relationship to the deceased ____________________________

Tomchei Shabbos
c/o Rabbi Yerachmiel Seplowitz
2000 FountainView Drive
Monsey, NY 10952

Published in: on December 5, 2013 at 9:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

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