Thank you for visiting. Please make sure you do not use our website on Shabbos.

Helpful Kaddish Information: Part 2

Kaddeshim (prayers said when there is a deceased) are essential transitions between stages of Davening (prayer/praying) that affect different worlds.[1] Even if there is no mourner present, Kaddish (prayer said on behalf of the deceased) must be said after Aleinu[2] ]and it is customary before Pesukei d’Zimrah (morning psalms)[3]. Those who denounce saying extra Kaddeshim (prayers said when there is a deceased) did not refer to this.[4][ Anyone who lost a parent (or thinks that his parents would not mind) may say mourner's Kaddish (prayer said on behalf of the deceased).[5] Kaddish (prayer said on behalf of the deceased) d’Rabanan should be said after learning Torah she’Ba’al Peh with a Minyan (group of 10 Jewish men). Since it was enacted primarily for Agadata, our custom is to append a teaching of Agadata after Ein Kei-loheinu, ba’Meh Madlikin or Pirkei Avos before saying Kaddish (prayer said on behalf of the deceased) d’Rabanan[6]. However, the Yehi Ratzon (at the very end of Korbanos) suffices[7]. Anyone may say Kaddish (prayer said on behalf of the deceased) d’Rabanan[8].

[In some congregations, when there is no Chiyuv (obligation), no one says the Kaddish (prayer said on behalf of the deceased) after Aleinu or Kaddish (prayer said on behalf of the deceased) d'Rabanan. Some people are even adamant that no one say them (when there is no Chiyuv (obligation)), and hurriedly start the next segment of Davening (prayer/praying) in a loud voice. They seek to 'save' a minute from Davening (prayer/praying). This is a terrible miscalculation![9]

One who says ‘Chachamim (Torah sages) do not help us’ distorts Torah, for the world would not exist without Torah[10]. The same applies to one who belittles Amen Yehei Shmei Raba (of Kaddish (prayer said on behalf of the deceased) d’Rabanan), for it is sustaining the world (together with the Kedushah (Holiness) in u’Va l’Tziyon)![11]] Since the Churban (destruction of the Jewish temple), every day is cursed more than the previous day.[12] There are storehouses of brutal decrees prepared for each day, each worse than the previous day. (Today’s decrees are worse than the Holocaust!) When Yisrael answer Amen Yehei Shmei Raba, Hashem (G_d) does not allow the decrees to be fulfilled.[13]

Amen Yehei Shmei Raba is a great praise. It makes Hashem (G_d) rejoice that His subjects praise Him thusly, lament the Galus and tear up harsh decrees[14]. It enables complete Teshuvah (repenting).[15] It cheapens Kaddish (prayer said on behalf of the deceased) to consider it merely something we say to help a Niftar (deceased). Perhaps it is better when one without a Chiyuv (obligation) says Kaddish (prayer said on behalf of the deceased), for it is surely Lishmah (soley for the sake of G_D)! One must motivate himself to show no less zeal for Hashem (G_d)’s honor than he would for a Niftar (deceased)!

One need not be embarrassed to say Kaddish (prayer said on behalf of the deceased) without a Chiyuv (obligation) when no one else in the Tzibur (group) does so. Most people will assume that it was said for an in-law. One may say Kaddish (prayer said on behalf of the deceased) for all deceased Yisraelim[16]. A startling case involving ha’Gaon R. Y. C. Zonenfeld testifies to the awesome effect this can have[17]. One should not be embarrassed to serve Hashem (G_d), even if people will mock him[18]! One should not refrain because the majority prefers to skip it. If one person wants to follow the Halachah (jewish law), and 99 do not, we follow the one![19]

From the Sefer Wake Up, with permission from the author


[1] Ben Ish Chai (Vayechi 1 DH Mah, Rav Pe’alim 2:14), from the Zohar and the Ari Zal

[2] Rema 132:2, Mishnah Brurah 132:10, Halichos Shlomo 11:15. Doleh u’Mashke (p.94) says that it is good to do so.

[3] It is needed to bring Pesukei d’Zimrah to the world of Yetzirah (Ben Ish Chai, ibid.) We follow Kabalah when it does not contradict the Poskim (Mishnah Berurah 25:42). Mishnah Brurah 51:10 connotes the custom is to say this Kaddish. Kaddish d’Rabanan after Korbanos is a Mitzvah, so a Tzibur cannot tell one not to say it (Divrei Chachamim 53, citing ha’Gaon R. C.P. Scheinberg Shlita).

[4] Devar Shmuel 183 berates appending Tehilim to Ma’ariv to add Kaddeshim. Aruch ha’Shulchan 133:2 says to omit Kaddish after Shir Shel Yom when there are no mourners. Magen Avraham (132:4) and Mishnah Brurah (132:10) connote that Kaddish is always said after Pesukim.

[5] Mishnah Brurah 132:11

[6] Magen Avraham 55:3

[7] Shulchan Aruch ha’Rav, Sof Siman 54. When no Avel was present, ha’Gaon R. S. Z. Auerbach would say this Kaddish or tell someone else to (Halichos Shlomo 6(24)). If the Tzibur wasn’t particular to say Korbanos (to his dismay), he would say Kaddish after Mizmor Shir.

[8] Pischei Teshuvah YD 376:4

[9] Similarly, if one rushes the Shali’ach Tzibur, his sin is ‘too great to bear’ (Kaf ha’Chayim 98:20).

[10] Sanhedrin 99B

[11] Sotah 49A

[12] “Ba’Voker Tomar Mi Yiten Erev” (Devarim 28:67)

[13] Heichalos Rabsi 6:3 brought in Keser Meluchah p.67. Presumably, decrees such as the Inquisition, the Holocaust… were fulfilled because Yisrael did not answer Amen Yehei Shmei Raba properly. See the beginning of Section 10 below.

[14] Brachos 3A and Mishnah Brurah 56:1

[15] See the beginning of Chapter 3 above, from Nefesh ha’Chayim.

[16] Darchei Moshe (YD 376:9 DH Kosov b’Vinyamin). Ha’Gaon R. Y.S. Elyashiv Shlita said Kaddish for one who died without children (Imrei Me’ir p.182:2).

[17] A woman used to pay a Yeshiva so that someone would say Kaddish for Mesim (deceased) for whom no one says Kaddish. This greaty reduced the punishment of one Mes [and surely of many others], and she merited to see and be saved by Eliyahu ha’Navi. The case is brought in Just One Word: Amen (p. 107).

[18] Rema 1:1 and R. Yonah, Yesod ha’Teshuvah DH v’Yasim

[19] Pe’ah 4:1

Disclaimer

The articles are not meant to be halachic rulings, so please contact a posek regarding your situation. Our website is intended to be a helpful guide, but for everything contained in the articles, or to the extent that we inadvertantly made a mistake on one of the articles, please contact your local Orthodox Rabbi regarding it.