Why Do Mourners Recite Kaddish?

October 9, 2017 | by Rabbi Dovid Rosenfeld

We are saying Kaddish for my father this year unfortunately. I would like to understand the purpose of this prayer and why it is said specifically by mourners.

The Aish Rabbi Replies

I’m sorry to hear of the loss of your father.

Kaddish is a very beautiful prayer asking that God’s name be sanctified and that His reign be established speedily over all mankind. The Talmud writes that the recitation of the Kaddish is a part of one of the merits which keeps the world going during the Exile (Sotah 49a). It also says that when God hears Israel reciting its central line (“May His great name be blessed…”) He Himself grieves over the destruction of Jerusalem (Brachot 3a).

Kaddish is not a prayer for the dead as many mistakenly believe. It makes no mention of death or the souls of the departed. Rather, it is just such a stirring prayer that the Sages instituted that it would be recited by mourners for the merit of the deceased. This is necessary especially for minors who cannot lead the services.

See these links for further information about the meaning of Kaddish:

http://www.aish.com/sp/pr/The_Meaning_of_Kaddish.html

http://www.aish.com/atr/v/104697064.html

This is also the link for our Kaddish service:

http://international.aish.com/kaddish/arrange_for_kaddish.php

May your father’s souls have a continued elevation in Heaven.




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