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When is Kaddish said, how, and by whom?

When and how is Kaddish said?

  • The Kaddish prayer is recited for departed parents for the duration of the first eleven months after their passing starting from the time of their burial, according to the Hebrew calendar.
  • The Kaddish prayer should be recited regularly, at least once a day, preferably at each of the three daily prayer services in the synagogue.
  • In addition, this prayer is recited every year on the Yahrtzeit, the annual Jewish date of passing.
  • A son that was informed of a parent's passing after the beginning of the eleven month period is obligated to recite the Kaddish prayer until the end of this period.
  • If a son is informed after the twelfth month of a parent's passing, he is not obligated then to say the Kaddish prayer. However, he should recite it on every Yahrtzeit thereafter.
  • The Kaddish prayer is recited for a child or spouse for the duration of the first month after their passing.
  • The Kaddish prayer should only be recited in a quorum, a minyan of at least ten Jewish males from the age of 13.
  • One should ignore a clear instruction of the deceased that the Kaddish prayer not be said.

Who says Kaddish?

  • A Jewish male that has reached the age of 13, Bar Mitzvah, is obligated to recite the Kaddish prayer for a departed parent for the duration of the first eleven months after their passing.
  • A son under the age of Bar Mitzvah may also say the Kaddish prayer, and should be encouraged to do so if he shows an interest.
  • A daughter is not obligated, but may recite the Kaddish prayer quietly while male mourners are also doing so.
  • If the deceased left no son, other close relatives are not obligated to recite the Kaddish prayer. However, it is important that somebody say the Kaddish prayer for the deceased as an act of kindness for the entire eleven months.
  • A male sibling has no obligation to say the Kaddish prayer for a departed brother or sister. However, he will often do so as an act of kindness for the thirty days of mourning, if s/he died childless or the children aren't doing so.
  • A person may be hired to recite the Kaddish prayer for the deceased. It is important to choose a G-d fearing individual who preferably is also a Torah scholar.

If you are unable to recite the Kaddish prayer yourself, we can assist you in fulfilling this important mitzva.

In cases of a question, an Orthodox ordained rabbi should be consulted. We, at Ascent of Safed, will strive to bring you clear answers to all of your questions - whether or not you enlist our services.