The Mourner’s Kaddish is a Jewish prayer that never mentions death or dying, but instead proclaims the greatness of God. By reciting it, mourners show that even as their faith is being tested by their loss, they are affirming God’s greatness.
Traditionally, the prayer is said only when there is a minyan, a quorum of ten Jewish men so that the mourner can feel a part of the overall community, even while mourning. This encourages mourners to remain part of the overall community, although they they may instinctively want to withdraw and be by themselves.
When mourning a family member, one typically recites Kaddish for eleven months. The Kaddish prayer is also said annually on the anniversary of the death (Yahrzeit) and at Yizkor.
Yitgadal v’yitkadash sh’mei raba b’alma di v’ra chir’utei; v’yamlich malchutei b’hayeichon u-v’yomeichon, uv’hayei d’chol beit yisrael, ba-agala u-vi-z’man kariv, v’imru amen.
Y’hei sh’mei raba m’varach l’alam u-l’almei almaya.
Yitbarach v’yishtabah, v’yitpa’ar v’yitromam, v’yitnasei v’yit-hadar, v’yit’aleh v’yit’halal sh’mei d’kudsha, b’rich hu, l’ela min kol birchata v’shirata, tushb’hata v’nehemata, da-amiran b’alma, v’imru amen.
Y’hei sh’lama raba min sh’maya, v’hayim, aleinu v’al koi yisrael, v’imru amen.
Oseh shalom bi-m’romav, hu ya’aseh shalom aleinu v’al kol yisrael, v’imru amen.
Magnified and sanctified is the great name of God throughout the world, which was created according to Divine will. May the rule of peace be established speedily in our time, unto us and unto the entire household of Israel. And let us say: Amen.
May God’s great name be praised throughout all eternity. Glorified and celebrated, lauded and praised, acclaimed and honored, extolled and exalted ever be the name of thy Holy One, far beyond all song and psalm, beyond all hymns of glory which mortals can offer. And let us say: Amen.
May there be abundant peace from heaven, with life’s goodness for us and for all thy people Israel. And let us say: Amen.
May the One who brings peace to the universe bring peace to us and to all the people Israel. And let us say: Amen.
Expressions Of Grief:
In Judaism, mourners are offered the condolence “הַמָּקוֹם יְנַחֵם אֶתְכֶם בְּתוֹךְ שְׁאָר אֲבֵלֵי צִיּוֹן וִירוּשָׁלָיִם“, “May The Omnipresent comfort you among the remnant mourners of Zion and Jerusalem” throughout the period of Shiva. The most common honorific is “of blessed memory,”and the Hebrew transliteration is “zikhrono livrakha” (m.) / “zikhronah livrakha” (f.) (Hebrew: (f.) “זיכרונה לברכה” \ (m.) “זיכרונו לברכה“). It is often abbreviated in English both as OBM and as “Z”L” The Hebrew abbreviation is “ז״ל.” Upon the passing of a loved one, it is customary to tear an article of clothing to show grief. This action is called kriah and is symbolic of loss and extreme grief.
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Upon receiving the news of the death, the following blessing is recited: ברוך אתה ה’ אלוהינו מלך העולם, דיין האמת. Transliteration: Barukh atah Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha’olam, dayan ha-emet. Translation: “Blessed are You, Lord, our God, King of the universe, the Judge of Truth”.
Rabbi Mendy Gutnick, Chabad of Parkland, Florida.