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Kaddish: The How To

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  1. Kaddish creates a spiritual benefit and merit for the soul of the departed.

  2. Kaddish is said by a child who has lost a parent.

  3. As a part of Jewish life, men are obligated to participate in daily synagogue prayer services. Kaddish is said in synagogue during the daily prayer service. Even if someone rarely or never attends synagogue, it is nonetheless appropriate to do so for the sake of saying kaddish.

  4. Kaddish is not an all-or-nothing proposition. If for some reason a person misses a daily service, he continues saying kaddish in all subsequent services.

  5. Though women are obligated to pray daily, they are not obligated to attend daily services and are therefore exempt from the obligation to say kaddish. Women bring benefit and merit to the soul of the departed in various ways: a) By giving charity-tzedakah in memory of the person b) By performing any mitzvah-commandment in memory of the person c) By studying Torah in memory of the person d) When a woman does attend synagogue, she responds to the kaddish and also says “amen” at other points in the service with the conscious intent that her response be a merit for the soul of the departed.

  6. Kaddish is said daily for eleven months.

  7. If there are no sons to say kaddish, a grandchild may say kaddish for a grandparent after first receiving permission from his parents.

  8. Kaddish is easy to learn, even if one doesn’t know Hebrew.

  9. Ideally, kaddish is said three times a day. If it is not possible to attend synagogue for more than one daily service, once is the minimum requirement. If one is unable to make the commitment to say kaddish daily for eleven months, it is possible to pay someone in a synagogue to say it on your behalf.

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