Kaddish - Minyan

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August 20, 2011

2 min read

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What should an individual do if he cannot say Kaddish on a regular basis? Is it better to pray from home if you must drive to Shul on Shabbat?

The Aish Rabbi Replies

If you look at the text of the Kaddish, you will see that it makes no mention of the dead. Rather, it is a prayer that proclaims the greatness of God, and when we lead such a prayer publicly, it serves as a merit for the deceased.

Obviously, saying this prayer in private doesn't accomplish its purpose, so Kaddish is only said in the presence of a minyan.

However, the God Who told us to say Kaddish is the same God Who told us not to drive a car on Shabbat. So in answer to your question, it is better to stay home and NOT say Kaddish than to drive to shul on Shabbat.

However you must understand that since the purpose of saying Kaddish is as a merit for the deceased, there are other ways to merit the deceased. For example, giving tzedakah in their name. Or continuing the work of good deeds which they were involved in their lifetime.

Additionally, you could try to arrange for Shabbat hospitality near the synagogue, so you could sleep over and enjoy the full Shabbat experience. Many families are thrilled to have Shabbat guests in their home.

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