Yehei Shmei Rabbah

December 10, 2010, by

Kaddish is what we call a davar sheb’kedusha, a type of prayer in which God’s Name is caused to be praised. Prayers of this type require a minyan, based on the verse, “I will be sanctified among the children of Israel” (Leviticus 22:32 – see Talmud Megilla 23b). They are said with the feet together […]

Read more

L’eilah U’l’eilah

November 30, 2010, by

During the Yomim Noraim (“Days of Awe” or “High Holy Days”), there are a number of insertions and emendations to the text of the liturgy, designed to reflect the special nature of that time of year. Most of these fall in the text of the Amidah prayer, such as substituting “Holy King” for “Holy God.” […]

Read more

Yisgadal or Yisgadeil?

November 17, 2010, by

As is the case with many prayers, there are numerous textual variations of Kaddish. Most of these are fairly minor: In Whole Kaddish, is it d’chal Yisrael or d’chal beis Yisrael[1]? In the Rabbis’ Kaddish, is it chaim or chaim tovim[2]? Di vishmaya or di vishmaya v’arah[3]? Hu yaaseh or hu b’rachamav yaaseh[4]? These are […]

Read more

The Five Types of Kaddish

November 9, 2010, by

We’ve all seen it (or lived it). It’s the Saturday night prior to a holiday, so there’s no recitation of Vayehi Noam. The chazzan says “Half Kaddish” as one usually does at that point and half the room yells out, “Tiskabeil!” indicating that he should continue through the end of “Whole Kaddish.” But what are […]

Read more

Biblical Verses in Kaddish

November 1, 2010, by

Kaddish is not just a random assortment of praises to God. Like all the prayers composed by the Anshei Knesses HaGedolah (Men of the Great Assembly), the words are very carefully selected and replete with meaning. Many of them refer to specific Biblical verses, not the least of which is the opening phrase. “May His […]

Read more

Why Do We Say Kaddish for the Deceased?

October 26, 2010, by

It is often pointed out that Kaddish is not a prayer for the dead per se, but rather a praise of God. The question remains, however, as to why we recite this particular prayer during the year of mourning and on the anniversary of a loved one’s passing. The answer can be found in a […]

Read more