Five Kinds of Kaddish
Mourner's Kaddish (Kaddish Yatom), traditionally said by mourners––that is, those who have lost a parent during the previous eleven months or a child, sibling, or spuce during the last thirty days––and by those observing the anniversary of the death of those close relatives. (In many contemporary communities, the full ocngregation says it in support of the mourners, and in memory of the six million Jews who perished during the Holocaust, assuming that at least one died on any given Day.) The mourners Kaddish omits lines 7 and 8 of the Full Kaddish that asks God to answer our prayers, because presumably, God did not grant the mourner's prayers that the relative recover and live).
Full Kaddish (Kaddish Shalem), is said upon the conclusion of the main section a prayer unit, typically the one that includes Shemoneh Esrei. This form of Kaddish is the only one that includes the phrase “titkabeil tzlot’hon u’va’us’hon d’chol beit Yisrael” – “accept the prayer and the supplication of the entire Jewish people.” Accordingly, it is sometimes referred to as “Kaddish Titkabeil.” This Kaddish may be recited immediatly after the Shmoneh Esreh
Half Kaddish (Chatzi Kaddish), which omits the last two sentences of Mourner's Kaddish, and consists of only the first two paragraphs and the response ("May his great name be blessed forever and for all eternity"
Rabbi's Kaddish (Kaddish D'Rabbanan), which inserts a paragraph asking god's blessing on those who teach and study Torah
Burial Kaddish, is recited on two special occasions: when completing a tractate of Talmud or an order of Mishna, and at a funeral. These two occasions are radically different, but there is something in common. The theme of this Kaddish is that, in the merit of Torah study, the world will be renewed, including the eventual revival of the dead. Therefore, it is said for both a siyum (recognizing as it does the rewards of Torah study) and a funeral (as it contains within it the consolation that those who have passed on will someday return to us). All five require the presence of a minyan
יִתְגַּדַּל וְיִתְקַדַּשׁ שְׁמֵהּ רַבָּא. אמן: בְּעָלְמָא דִּי בְרָא כִרְעוּתֵהּ וְיַמְלִיךְ מַלְכוּתֵהּ בְּחַיֵּיכון וּבְיומֵיכון וּבְחַיֵּי דְכָל בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל בַּעֲגָלָא וּבִזְמַן קָרִיב, וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן: קו"ח - יְהֵא שְׁמֵהּ רַבָּא מְבָרַךְ לְעָלַם וּלְעָלְמֵי עָלְמַיָּא: חזן - יִתְבָּרַךְ. וְיִשְׁתַּבַּח וְיִתְפָּאַר וְיִתְרומַם וְיִתְנַשֵּׂא וְיִתְהַדָּר וְיִתְעַלֶּה וְיִתְהַלָּל שְׁמֵהּ דְּקֻדְשָׁא. בְּרִיךְ הוּא. אמן: לְעֵלָּא מִן כָּל בִּרְכָתָא וְשִׁירָתָא תֻּשְׁבְּחָתָא וְנֶחֱמָתָא דַּאֲמִירָן בְּעָלְמָא. וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן: קהל - קַבֵּל בְּרַחֲמִים וּבְרָצון אֶת תְּפִלָּתֵנוּ: חזן - תִּתְקַבַּל צְלותְהון וּבָעוּתְהון דְכָל בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל קֳדָם אֲבוּהון דִּי בִשְׁמַיָּא, וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן: קהל - יְהִי שֵׁם יְהוָה מְברָךְ מֵעַתָּה וְעַד עולָם: חזן - יְהֵא שְׁלָמָא רַבָּא מִן שְׁמַיָּא וְחַיִּים עָלֵינוּ וְעַל כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל. וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן: קהל - עֶזְרִי מֵעִם יְהוָה עשֵׂה שָׁמַיִם וָאָרֶץ: חזן - עושֶׂה שָׁלום בעשי"ת הַשָּׁלום בִּמְרומָיו הוּא יַעֲשֶׂה שָׁלום עָלֵינוּ וְעַל כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן:
Kaddish Shalem (Full Kaddish)
Exalted and hallowed be God's great name
in the world which God created, according to plan.
May God's majesty be revealed in the days of our lifetime
and the life of all Israel -- speedily, imminently, to which we say Amen.
Blessed be God's great name to all eternity.
Blessed, praised, honored, exalted, extolled, glorified, adored, and lauded
be the name of the Holy Blessed One, beyond all earthly words and songs of blessing,
praise, and comfort. To which we say Amen.
Congregation: Accept in compassion and desire our prayers
Leader: You will accept the prayer, awe, and reverence of all of Israel before their Father who is in heaven
Congregation: May His name be blessed from now until forever
May there be abundant peace from heaven, and life, for us and all Israel,
to which we say Amen.
May the One who creates harmony on high, bring peace to us and to all Israel.
To which we say Amen.
(Mourner) Yitgadal v'yitkadash sh'mei raba. B'alma di v'ra chirutei, v'yamlich malchutei,
b'chayeichon uv'yomeichon uv'chayei d'chol beit Yisrael, baagala uviz'man kariv. V'im'ru: (Congregation) Amen. (Mourner and Congregation) Y'hei sh'mei raba m'varach l'alam ul'almei almaya. (Mourner) Yitbarach v'yishtabach v'yitpaar v'yitromam v'yitnasei, v'yit'hadar v'yitaleh v'yit'halal sh'mei d'kud'sha b'rich hu, l'eila min kol birchata v'shirata, tushb'chata v'nechemata,daamiran b'alma. V'imru: (Congregation) Amen. Y'hei sh'lama raba min sh'maya, v'chayim aleinu v'al kol Yisrael. V'imru: (Congregation) Amen. Oseh shalom bimromav, Hu yaaseh shalom aleinu, v'al kol Yisrael. V'imru: (Congregation) Amen.
The Parallel to the Lord's Prayer
The Lord's Prayer
Our Father, which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth,
As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever.
Matthew 6: 5-13
5 “And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 6 But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 7 “When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 “Pray then in this way: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one.
He was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father,* hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come.* Give us each day our daily bread. 4 And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to the time of trial.”*
* Other ancient authorities read Our Father in heaven
* A few ancient authorities read Your Holy Spirit come upon us and cleanse us. Other ancient authorities add Your will be done, on earth as in heaven
* Or us into temptation. Other ancient authorities add but rescue us from the evil one (or from evil)
The Association Between Kaddish and Mourning
The Legend of Rabbi Akiva (As told by various 10th-14th Century Midrashim)
Rabbi Akiva once saw (what he thought was) a man struggling with a heavy burden on his shoulders and bemoaning his lot in (what Rabbi Akiva thought was) life. Concerned that this might be an overworked slave deserving to be freed, Rabbi Akiva asked the man what his story was. The oppressed laborer replied that he was the soul of a person who committed every conceivable sin and that if he stopped to talk, he’d get in even more trouble.
The punishment of this particular sinner was to gather wood, which was used to burn him every day. Rabbi Akiva asked if there was any way to free this soul and the deceased replied that the only way was if he had a son who would stand in front of the congregation and say “Barchu es Hashem hamevorah” or “Yisgadal v’yiskadash…,” after which the congregation would reply, “Baruch Hashem hamevorah l’olam voed” or “Yehei shmei rabbah…,” respectively. (These are the prayers of Barchu and Kaddish, in which the leader of the service calls upon the congregation to praise God, which they then do.)
Finally, Rabbi Akiva asked the man who had survived him; the spirit replied that his wife had been pregnant when he died. Rabbi Akiva recorded the name of the deceased, the man’s wife, and his hometown so that he might investigate the matter.
Hurrying to the man’s city, Rabbi Akiva discovered that the deceased was particularly reviled by the townspeople. He had been a corrupt tax collector who took bribes from the rich and oppressed the poor. Among his more notorious deeds, the man had violated a betrothed girl on Yom Kippur! Rabbi Akiva located the widow, who had given birth to a son. So despised was her husband that no one had even circumcised the child. Rabbi Akiva took care of this grievous omission and, when the child was old enough, he taught him Torah and how to daven in shul, including the prayers the man had specified.
As soon as the boy recited the appropriate prayers, his father’s soul was relieved of its harsh punishments. The man’s spirit re-appeared to Rabbi Akiva in a dream to thank the scholar for saving him from the tortures of Gehinnom.
Mourner's Kaddish Insert
(Pioneered in Hamburg Prayerbook 1819)
על ישראל ועל צדקיא. ועל כל–מן דאתפטר מן עלמא הדין כרעותה דאלהא. יהא להון שלמא רבא וחלולקא–טבא לחיי עלמא דאתי. וחסדא ורחמי מן–קדם מרא שמיא וארעא. ואמרו אמן
Mourner's Kaddish Insert:
(Union Prayer Book, 1892 Translation)
Unto Israel, unto all the righteous, and unto
all who departed this life according to the will of God, may there be granted fullness of peace, grace and mercy by the Lord of heaven and earth.
Meditations Before Kaddish (From Mishkan T'filah)
By Merrit Malloy
When I die
Give what’s left of me away
And old me that wait to die.
And if you need to cry,
Cry for your brother
Walking the street beside you.
And when you need me,
Put your arms
And give them
What you need to give to me.
I want to leave you something,
Look for me
In the people I’ve known
And if you cannot give me away,
At least let me live on in your eyes
And not your mind.
You can love me most
Hands touch hands,
By letting bodies touch bodies,
And by letting go
That need to be free.
Love doesn’t die,
So, when all that’s left of me
Give me away.
In nature’s ebb and flow, God’s eternal law abides. When tears dim our vision and grief clouds our understanding, we often lose sight of God’s eternal plan. Yet we know that growth and decay, life and death all reveal God’s purpose. He who is our support in the struggles of life is also our hope in death. We have set God before us and shall not despair. In God’s hands are the souls of all the living and the spirits of all flesh. Under God’s protection we abide and by His love are we comforted. O Life of our life, Soul of our soul, cause Thy light to shine into our hearts, and fill our spirit with abiding trust in You.
The light of life is a finite flame. Like the Sabbath candles, life is kindled. It burns, it glows, it radiates warmth and beauty, but then it fades and is no more. Yet we must not despair. We are more than a memory vanishing in the darkness. With our lives we give life. Something of us can never die; we move in the eternal cycle of darkness and death, of light and life.
Why should I wish to see God better than this day?
I see something of God each hour of the twenty-four, and each moment then,
In the faces of men and women I see God, and in my own face in the glass;
I find letters from God dropped in the street, and every one is signed by God's name,
And I leave them where they are, for I know that others will punctually come forever and ever.-- Walt Whitman
‘Tis a fearful thing
to love what death can touch.
A fearful thing
to love, to hope, to dream, to be –
And oh, to lose.
A thing for fools, this,
And a holy thing,
a holy thing
For your life has lived in me,
your laugh once lifted me,
your word was gift to me.
To remember this brings painful joy.
‘Tis a human thing, love,
a holy thing, to love
what death has touched.”
― Yehuda HaLevi
It is hard to sing of oneness when our world is not complete, when those who once brought wholeness to our live have gone, and nothing but memory can fill the emptiness their passing leaves behind . . . Yet no one is really alone; those who live no more echo still within our thoughts and words, and what they did is part of what we have become. We do best homage to our dead when we live our lives most fully, even in the shadow of our loss. For each of our lives is worth the live of the whole world: in each one is the breath of the Divine. In affirming God we affirm the worth of each one whose life, now ended, brought us closer to the source of life, in whose unity no one is alone and every life finds purpose.
שאורם מגיע ארצה רק כאשר הם עצמם אבדו ואינם
שזיו זכרם מאיר כאשר הם עצמם אינם יותר בתוכנו
אורות אלה –
המבהיקים בחשכת הלילה – הם שמראים לאדם את אורות הדרך
There are stars up above,
so far away we only see their light
long, long after the star itself is gone.
And so it is with people that we loved --
their memories keep shining ever brightly
though their time with us is done.
But the stars that light up the darkest night,
these are the lights that guide us.
As we live our days, these are the ways to remember.
When cherished ties are broken, and the chain of love is shattered, only trust and the strength of faith can lighten the heaviness of the heart. At times, the pain of separation seems more than we can bear; but love and understanding can help us pass through the darkness toward the light.
Out of affliction the Psalmist learned the law of God. And in truth, grief is a great teacher, when it sends us back to serve and bless the living. We learn how to counsel and comfort those who, like ourselves, are bowed with sorrow. We learn when to keep silence in their presence, and when a word will assure them of our love and concern.
Thus, even when they are gone, the departed are with us, moving us to live as, in their higher moments, they themselves wished to live. We remember them now; they live in our hearts they are abiding blessing.