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Chapter 26: 1-3
The Mourners Kaddish

1. The Midrashim relate many stories how Kaddish recited by a son for his deceased father or mother saved them from judgement. Therefore, Kaddish is customarily recited.

[There are other practices which also benefit the departed. Among them:] receiving maftir and leading the congregation in prayer. Saturday night is a particularly auspicious time for the latter, for after Shabbos, the souls return to Gehinnom. The same applies on all evenings, for then judgement is more severe.

There are many different laws regarding Kaddish, depending on the prevailing [local]customs.

2. During the seven days of mourning, a mourner is entitled to recite all the Kaddishim in the prayer service. His rights supersede those of other mourners, regardless of whether he is a minor or an adult, a resident of the city or a guest.

Even if a holiday falls in the midst of these seven days, and thus nullifies the morning practices associated with them, as it also nullifies the mourning practices associated with the thirty-day period if it falls then, the mourner's right to recite these Kaddishim is unaffected.

Similarly, [regarding the seven days of mourning, we follow the principle:] "a portion of the day is considered as a complete day" [and thus conclude those practices on the morning of the seventh day]. However, this principle is not followed regarding Kaddish, and the mourner is entitled to recite all the Kaddishim in the afternoon service of the seventh day.

In this regard, the periods of seven days and thirty days are counted from the day the deceased was buried. Even if the mourner did not hear about the death immediately, and thus does not count the seven days of mourning from the burial, he is not given the rights to the Kaddishim [beyond the seven days after the burial]. Similarly, when a person dies in the midst of a festival, [though the seen days of mourning are held afterwards,] regarding Kaddish, the seven days are counted from the burial.

3. A child below majority [is not obligated to remain at home] and may attend the synagogue during the seven days of mourning. He is entitled to all the Kaddishim. However, if a person commemorating a yahrzeit is also present in the synagogue, he is entitled to one Kaddish. If many people commemorating yahrzeits are present, each one is entitled to one Kaddish, even if granting them this privilege will not leave the child with a single Kaddish.

In the above situation, if a person in the midst of the thirty-day mourning period is also present in the synagogue, he is entitled to one Kaddish. However, even if there are many people in the midst of the thirty-day mourning period, the [privilege of reciting Kaddish is never taken away] from the child entirely.

Similarly, an adult who does not attend the synagogue during the seven days of mourning, but rather conducts a minyan in him home, is entitled to recite all the Kaddishim when he comes to the synagogue on the Sabbath. If there is also a person commemorating a yahrzeit present, the person in the seven days of mourning recites all the Kaddishim except for one over which lots are drawn [among all the mourners to determine who will recite it].

Should a holiday fall in the midst of the seven days of mourning, or should one's father pass away in the midst of a festival - at which time an adult is also allowed to attend the synagogue every day - the laws apply to a child who attends the synagogue apply to him.


   The Mourners Kaddish
Paragraphs 4-6
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Halacha-Yomi, Copyright (c) 1999 Project Genesis, Inc.

 


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