Kaddish is one of the most important prayers in the communal service. It is a declaration of our desire that G-d’s presence be recognized in the world. It can be a significant source of merit to a person who has passed away, and so it is common practice for the children to say Kaddish for a parent, or ensure that Kaddish is said by someone on their behalf.

One of the key moments of kaddish is when we declare “Yehey Shimey Rabboh Mivorach- May His Great name be Blessed”. To find out more please click the Take Ten for Talmud link Brachos 3- Yehey Shimey Rabboh



A Class Explaining the importance of Kaddish

(For Hebrew/ English PDF, click here)


1) It is popularly assumed that Kaddish is in Aramaic because it is such a beautiful prayer that we don’t want the Angels to understand it and be jealous, this doesn’t make sense, because there are many prayers which are very beautiful and are in Hebrew.

Rather, since the general population was not as fluent in Hebrew, they authored this prayer in Aramaic, so that all would understand it.


2) Rabbi Yosi related: While travelling, I once entered into a Jerusalem ruin to pray. Eliyahu guarded and waited for me, and then asked me, “My son, what did you hear in this ruin?” I said, “I heard a voice moaning like a dove, and saying, ‘Woe to the children, for through their sins I have destroyed my House, and I have exiled them.” He said to me, “Not just that, but when the Jews enter for prayer and they respond, “Yehey Shimey, May the Great Name be blessed,” Hashem nods in agreement and says, “Fortunate is the King who is praised like this in His Home. Woe to the Father who had to exile His children. Woe to the children who were exiled from their Father’s Table.”


3) Kaddish is a great and awesome praise that the men of the Great Assembly formulated after the destruction of the first Beis Hamikdash, when the land was destroyed, and the Jews scattered throughout the world. It is a prayer that Hashem’s Name should be made great and be sanctified. It is based on the verse in Yechezkel, “I will be great, I will be sanctified, I will be known before many nations. They will know that I am G-d.”


4) Rabbi Akivah once met a man who was dark with depression, holding wood, and running with haste… “I am a dead person who abused people when I was alive.” … Rabbi Akivah found the man’s son and taught him the basics of Judaism including Kaddish. The man later came to Rabbi Akivah and blessed him, “May you be blessed with serenity for you have brought me to rest.” (Meseches Kallah Rabsoh 2; Hakadish p. 138, Beis Yosef YD 376)